Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year and this was one of the best yet. I love the season leading up to the holiday with decorations, traditions, and lots of time with family. And then the days around Christmas are filled with many gatherings with family where we love to give gifts. If only I had all the money in the world and could give even more amazing gifts to all my family members each year…that would be so great. I’ve already begun thinking about what to give everyone next year. This Christmas was suppose to be my first away from my family since I started my job in the ICU 3 years ago. We’re required to work every other Christmas and somehow I found someone who wanted to work mine the first year I was at my job. I had been dreading missing this holiday with my family all year long. When the schedule was published I was surprised to find out I only had to work the night of Christmas Eve because I had a little seniority and got pulled off the schedule the following night. And then a few weeks before Christmas someone who was celebrating the week before offered to work Christmas Eve for me. What a miracle…I didn’t have to work my favorite holiday again this year. I’m not sure I’m going to get this lucky every year but I will keep hoping.
We put our tree up as early as possible this year and decorated the house as usual. It was beautiful! And Jude’s favorite part, THE TRAIN! We couldn’t keep him away from it. We decided early on it was much easier to let him play with it than get onto him every time he touched it. If we didn’t want him to touch it we were just going to have to put it away. So needless to say, we may be needing a new train next year. But he had a blast with it and is still loving and talking about trains.
My grandparents were in town from Florida the week before and Jude and I hung out with my grandma and his Aunt Hailey the few days before Christmas. We hung around the house, watched movies, cooked a little, and just spent time together. I always feel like my grandparents travel so far for the holidays to spend time with us and we’re so busy that we don’t get to see them much. This year, it was great to just spend a few afternoons doing nothing together.We also went to see A Christmas Carol at the Rep which is a wonderful show and done very well. I would love to make this a part of my holiday tradition every year.
On Christmas Eve, we went to Papa and Doris’ and then church for the Christmas Eve service. We opened gifts as a family during the day on Christmas Eve just because our Christmas day was going to be so packed and tiring. We got Jude a big slide and also a wooden train and a couple tractors. I got Caleb a new pair of running shoes, an egg poacher (weird I know, but he wanted it) and some cologne. I got a fabulous new camera from which you’re enjoying some great photos and a shirt he picked out himself.
Christmas day started bright and early opening our stockings.
We quickly headed to my parents’ house before 7am where we had a great time giving and receiving gifts with them also. They got Jude an old fashioned pedal tractor that he opened first and really wasn’t interested in opening anything else afterwards. My grandparents got him a wooden train set we keep in the basement set up on a table just his height. He loves this thing and still looks forward to playing with it everyday. He also got a sled, monkey sleeping bag, floor elmo puzzle, a new book recorded by his great-grandma, and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting.
We then traveled to the Markt grandparents for a delicious breakfast and more gift-giving and present-opening. One of Jude’s favorite gifts from here is a set of Elmo books with the buttons you push to make noises in the stories. He got another tractor and some cars too. We then went to church and on to Caleb’s parents. Jude was exhausted by this time(and so was I) so we settled down for a short nap while everyone else ate lunch. When we got up we opened more gifts. Here Jude received a tent that he loves, dinosaur house slippers, blocks, a hammer and peg set, a farm set, and a chiefs sweat outfit from Uncle Philip.
We were finally able to relax a little before heading back to my parents for dinner. The days that followed included more dinners and gifts with extended family.
We were overwhelmed with toys and I spent quite some time trying to figure out where to store everything. I think I’m going to start putting away some of the toys and switching them out with others every couple months. It seems he can never get to the toys in the back of his closet to play with.
We all had a fabulous Christmas and I’m already looking forward to the holiday season next year. It’s so fun celebrating holidays with kids…it gives you an excuse to be a kid again and see it all with awe and wonder.
Below you will find some bonus pics of my family around Christmas I thought were good and wanted to include. Jude & I, Caleb, my grandpa Jerry, and my sister Hailey.