What a Christmas! I hope everyone else's was as warm, family-filled, fun, and exciting as ours. MJ and I were particularly looking forward to Christmas morning this year, since the kids are just now getting to understand the whole idea and look forward to gifts and surprises and Santa.
Even better, Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Grandma Jean were in town to share in the festivities. We all went to Mass on Christmas Eve, after which the kids left cookies and milk for Santa. They also sprinkled "reindeer food" on the front lawn (dry oatmeal and raisins mixed with red and green sprinkles). Santa shouldn't be the only one who gets treats, after all!
After the kids went to bed, MJ and I got to work, and finished up at a reasonable hour (thank goodness). The calm before the storm:
Christmas morning began with a meltdown from CC, before we even got downstairs. Such is life with a 3-year-old! But once she calmed down, the kids ran down the stairs and into the family room to see what Santa left. Within minutes, Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma Jean arrived from their hotel to witness the chaos.
The big gifts this year were two tricycles and a wagon from Mommy and Daddy:
Santa also brought the kids new toys and clothes (including yellow tights and cowgirl boots -- CC's special requests).
Also among the presents was a Brio gas station that was MJ's when he was a little boy:
Also: books galore, Little Man's first matchbox cars (a huge hit with all three kids), some adorable soft dolls for the girls, a giant telescope (assembly required -- I will find some time in the next few days!), magnet dolls, and more toys than I can keep track of at the moment.
Plus plenty of treats in their stockings, naturally. I may or may not have allowed the kids to eat animal crackers for breakfast.
Later that day, the men took the kids for a walk in the neighborhood with their new wheels:
And we Facetimed with cousins Anna and Abby:
The kids stayed in their pajamas all day, and we all enjoyed a nice surf n turf around the big dining room table for dinner. Even Rory got a special treat:
Unfortunately, we said good-bye to Grandma, Grandpa and Grandma Jean on Saturday.
But it was a great visit, and a great Christmas! It's especially nice now that the kids are getting old enough to remember people between visits. There was very little "warm up" time required for Grandma and Grandpa when they arrived!
Next up: Christmas Recap, Part II: when we visited my family to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday. Coming soon!