Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Holy Mess

Two trash bags of crumpled wrapping paper and cardboard toy boxes sit busting at the seams by the front door. New clothes, blocks, balls, dolls, and gadgets scattered among the living room. Pine needles… everywhere.

Candy wrappers and instruction booklets lay strewn about. Tickle Me Elmo peeks out from under a mound of toys. It's chaos in the form of clutter. It's the aftermath of an extravagant and most wonderful first Christmas.
1st Christmas ornament from my mom.

But lets start from the beginning.

Thursday began our Christmas 'vacation.' Evelyn and I spent the majority of the day with my mom. Running errands, holiday events, and stopping in for some hot cocoa.

The local history museum has a Christmas presentation each year which includes having Santa come to read and sing to the kids. Before nodding off in my moms arms, Evelyn was very much into the singing, the story telling, and the kids bouncing from wall to wall on their candy-cane sugar high.

The museum becomes home for retired Christmas decorations donated by local stores and businesses.

Our favorite was this fairly creepy Santa.

Check out who was on his list...

 On Christmas Eve we hustled to finish up our Christmas shopping. It's a terrible idea to wait until the last minute for Christmas gifts. I don't know what we were thinking. I would say that next year I'll be on top of my Christmas shopping and it'll never happen again, but that would be lieing.

We spent the rest of the night with my family, riding out to see the Elks home Christmas lights, windows rolled down listening to the holiday music coming out from the ground speakers, mocking the Marilyn Monroe cut out that has been repainted to look like an ice skater, and commenting on the decorations we remember and love the most.

The night was topped off by lounging around watching movies in our brand new Christmas PJ's.

Some things never change.

For the first time in a long time we woke up to a white Christmas. I remember the last time I saw it snow on Christmas. I was a teenager. We were opening presents around our tree and my dad happened to notice some snow flurries. He opened the front door and we watched the sky spit out a few flakes for several minutes. Then it was over. Kind of a let down if you happened to get a sled that Christmas… but none the less, still felt a bit magical. But this snow had blanketed the ground and was still coming.

We spent about two hours opening presents with our jammied up bed headed baby. Santa completely overdid it this year. Completely. But so worth it.

My mom was totally right about Christmas morning with your children.

It so totally rocks.

It's creating a wonderful experience for them, a day of imagination and fantasy, and then sitting back and watching them get caught up in it.

And you know all the secrets.

We did something new this year. Something I've never done on Christmas and something I actually thought I'd never do. We went out for breakfast.

It was 9 at night on Christmas Eve before we realized we had nothing to fix for breakfast and of course, every thing was closed. So we headed over to Denny's. I'm actually amazed at how many family's eat out on Christmas morning or maybe amazed at how many people like us, forgot the eggs and bacon at the grocery store.

The rest of the day entailed the usual, making the family rounds. Christmas at my parents has remained unchanged. My mom is the only one I know who can make getting a bottle of shampoo exciting. Just add wrapping paper. But my parents have always known how to do Christmas. They are good at it. 

And they lovingly added to our current out of control toy situation.

This Christmas has taken it's rightful place at the top of my all-time-favorite-Christmases list. For the first time, I got everything I wanted. It has nothing to do with the gifts I received in the literal sense. It has everything to do with having my own family to form traditions with.

It's being able to give the Christmas I loved so much as a child to my own daughter. It was being with my family for Christmas dinner and Evie passing out at the table from utter exhaustion.

It was my dad making salt fish at the last minute because he knows I look forward to it. It was taking Evelyn to visit my grandfather who had to spend Christmas in the hospital, to cheer him up, and being grateful that I had another Christmas with him. It's having my grandparents on both sides eating dinner and celebrating together as one whole family.

It's a stocking with my little ones name sewn on it in red yarn.

It's opening that last gift of socks. It's tears before bedtime. It's continuing the most loved and cherished traditions.

And it's over. We are now left with the remains of a day well spent. And an enormous mess that will over the next week be picked up. And by New Years all the reminders of the Christmas season will be packed away until next year.

And so life goes on.  I'm ready for the normal-nothing-going-on days. Bring on the drab winter and cabin fever. Bring on the mittens on stocking caps, fleece PJ's, and staying in on the weekends to avoid the cold. Bring on being lazy.

And speaking of warm winter hats. I absolutely love Evie's new Cuddly Bear Beanie!  This hat is from fellow mommy and friend Courtney McCoy who run Daddy Mack Hats on Etsy. She makes beautiful well made hats and best of all, they are super affordable.

It's so chunky, warm, and incredibly adorable. Check out her store and all of her other items which include hats, booties, and diaper covers by click here: Daddy Mack Hats on Etsy

And in other news... The photo blog has begun.  You can find the list of lessons under the Photography tab at the top of the page.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is recovering nicely.  Well, me and my little cuddle bear need to get this hazard also known as the living room picked up before someone sprains and ankle or breaks a neck.

Post-Christmas warm and fuzzy family feelings to you all!

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