(My two boys on the left in the plaid and stripes, and my sister in law's children on the right)
We had a unique situation this year. Ryan's family was celebrating ALL the Christmas traditions on Christmas Eve, as his sister was leaving for her honeymoon on Christmas and his brother was flying back to Ohio Chrismas morning. My side of the family was doing all their celebrating together on Christmas Eve as well, including the four December birthdays in my family. So, the busiest day for us was Christmas Eve!
I was in the midst of a BAD cold, so the morning was a bit foggy for me. I was nursing a fever and chills, but I was thankful it wasn't the stomach flu. I detest the stomach flu! I felt much better as the day went on, and, for that, I am thankful!
We started the day by going over to my in-laws' for "Christmas" breakfast, taking pictures on the stairs and enjoying a long round of presents. We let the five kids (all 6 and under) open all their gifts first and then ushered them upstairs to watch Polar Express while the adults opened their gifts in peace. Genius!
After we finished, we drove to my mom and dad's for more presents, birthday cake, and time with my sisters, their families and my parents. My kids are the youngest on this side, with three of the cousins in their teens, so it is a little more calm as we open presents.
We drove to Christmas Eve services at church and then drove back to my in laws' for a prime rib Christmas dinner.
It was a busy, full, but very blessed day!
Christmas, we got up slowly--recovering from the day before, and started by finishing off the nativity story and the Jesse Tree ornaments with my boys. Then, we opened stockings together and enjoyed the Pioneer Woman's Baked Cinnamon French Toast. After breakfast, we opened more gifts. We scaled back this year. Ryan and I only did stocking presents for one another, and we had a limit to spend. The boys didn't get any BIG present from us this year, as we knew the grandparents were giving them some fun gifts that they would love. It was so nice, and the boys were completely happy with the smaller gifts.
We listened to Christmas services online--our church livestreams the services, which is the BEST thing ever if you are sick or the kids are sick and you can't be at church. Then my parents came over to our house, and we had an early Christmas ham dinner around 4. We watched A Christmas Story and just relaxed, which was a nice treat after the busy day prior. Here is a picture of my Christmas dinner table:
Yesterday, the day after Christmas, my husband and I cleaned the house top to bottom, took down our REALLY dry, fire hazard tree, went through toys to donate and organized the new ones, and did home projects. It as his only day off this week, so we had to just dig in and be productive.
He is back to work at his new job today, and I'm getting packed and organized for our anniversary trip Thursday through Monday. I'll share more about that later. I'm SO excited!
I pray you had a joyous Christmas! I'm excited for 2012!
(Our boys at the bottom of our stairs waiting to open presents under the tree on Christmas morning)