Just a day or two late. ;)
We had a wonderful Christmas with our little family. We decided not to travel anywhere for the holidays, and I have to say, that I have never been more pleased with a decision. Packing up tons of stuff, dragging 3 kids plus said stuff through the airport and sitting on a plane with them for 5 hours, dealing with time changes etc, sounded exactly the opposite of fun. So we were more than happy to be sticking around for a nice relaxing holiday.
To be honest, we didn't do much. I took Asher downtown to the Lionel train store and to Bryant Park to see the big tree and ice skaters, the week before we took the kids to see Santa at Bloomingdales (never again, we will stick with SantaLand at Macy's from here on out), and Nate and I were out and about the city throughout the holiday season, so I feel like we got our fill of holiday cheer. However, we never once made it to the famed tree at Rockefeller Plaza, or to the window displays down 5th Ave, and I feel perfectly ok with that.
We stayed in on Christmas Eve... decorated gingerbread cookies, delivered the cookies to neighbors while caroling (Nate brought his mandolin and Asher wore suspenders, it was pretty awesome!), kids watched A Muppet Christmas Carol while I made rolls and other dinner preparations, had a nice Christmas Eve dinner, Nate told the Christmas story, the kids opened their pajamas, and down to bed they went. I did have to resort to telling Asher that if he got out of bed one more time, then Santa wouldn't come. How mean am I? At least it worked. :)
When the kids went down, that is when the real fun began. Seriously. The night of Christmas Eve is possibly one of my favorite things in the world... getting everything set up for the kids, making it a special, memorable sight... it's the best. I have such wonderful memories of staying up with my mom and sisters, wrapping stocking stuffers and setting out the presents, then turning off all the lights except for the tree... it is honestly one of my favorite sights. I remember waking up in the middle of the night when I was a kid and coming out to see the family room just like that, tree lights on with all the presents set out, it was so magical looking and so exciting. Seeing it now just brings back all the excitement I would feel growing up.
We watched While You Were Sleeping while Nate got to work setting up the tree house we got for the boys. I think it took about 3 hours. Not fun. But it turned out really cute. I finished with all the wrapping and got everything cleaned and set up nicely. I was so excited for the kids. Unfortunately, Asher woke up at 4:30 am, rearin' to go. We sent him back to bed, although I don't think he actually went back to sleep. When 6:30 hit, both kids were up for good, so I came out, turned the tree lights on, got the oven ready for the cinnamon rolls, and the camera ready. We had such a fun time opening gifts and playing with toys. The kids played and played all day long, with naps for everyone inbetween, except for Sayer who refused to fall asleep. After a nice little nap myself, I got to work on the rolls and peppermint chocolate tart for dinner. We met up with some families from the ward down in our community room for Christmas dinner and games. It was such a nice evening. The kids had fun with their friends while the adults had fun with white elephant gifts, board games, and plenty of good food. The day was a perfect mix of relaxing and being festive with friends. We did miss our families, but now that the kids are older, it makes everything so much more fun and magical, so we didn't mind being on our own as much.
Last night we had a huge blizzard, which was very fun to watch. I was supposed to start my cake decorating class today, but it got pushed back to tomorrow because of the storm. I heard this morning that some of the subways weren't running at all. It's crazy how this city shuts down when it snows.
|Here is our little Christmas Eve dinner table. We don't even have 4 chairs, so I had to move the table over to the couch. It was pretty ghetto. I sure do miss having my nice Christmas dishes and goblets. Oh well.|
|The boys checking out the tree house on Christmas morning. I love their jammies.|
|Playing with their trucks.|
|Barty had a blast rolling through all the toys and wrapping paper. He had plenty to keep him busy.|
Anyway... we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with magic, love, family and friends!