Friday, December 30, 2011

christmas 2011

We had a really great Christmas this year.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas I found myself slowing down.  Unplugging.  Lowering expectations.  We did less than we did in years past but the activities were more fun and we were more focused on them.  Also, I focused more on the people that mean the most to me.  My family and friends.  It was worth it.  Not only did my kids have a great Christmas, but so did I.

We give our kids 3 presents on Christmas.  This is so very loosely based on the idea of the wisemen giving Jesus 3 presents on the first Christmas.  We like the idea of having a tangible way to tie their gift receiving to Jesus's birthday.  However, that's as far as it goes.  There is no more thought behind it than our kids have WAY too much as it is and all of our kid's birthdays fall within about 6 weeks of Christmas so we are uninitiated with toys and gifts this time of year.

Every year I put a little bit of pressure on myself, since we 'only' give three gifts, to get it right.  I find myself almost holding my breath as the kids open their gifts.  In years past there have been some gifts that seemed like a great idea but went over like a lead balloon.  But this year, we got it right.  The boys love all their presents.  

I didn't take many pictures of the present opening part of Christmas.  I wanted to be present.  To be able to experience their excitement not just see it through my lens.  Here are a few pictures I did take,

Mark's parents bought us a Wii for Christmas and I wanted to do something fun instead of just wrapping up the Wii.  So, the last gift the boys opened was two Wii remotes.  They just looked at them and said, 'we don't have a Wii'.  Then we sent them downstairs to our basement where Mark and Tad had set the Wii up last night.  We got it all on video and it was classic.  The stuff that great Christmas memories are made of.  I love a good surprise!   

This is where the boys would have spent their entire Christmas vacation if I let them.  Down in our unfinished, unheated basement playing Wii games.  They are so happy.

I only broke down once this Christmas.  We let Grace sleep in and we finally heard her once the boys were almost done with all their gifts.  Since she doesn't participate in any situation, the boys opened her gifts for her.  I was in the kitchen taking my faux cinnamon rolls out of the oven and just starting crying.  It was so unexpected but I all of the sudden was so very sad.  I had a brief (but good) cry on Mark's shoulder and then went back to join the boys.  Thankfully, my joy in being with my family was only tinged briefly with sadness this year. 

Overall, Christmas 2011 will down in the books as a great one.  But I'm done with it.  I'm ready to take the tree down and move on to the next event in our family, Luke's New Year's Day birthday.  I have a few more posts about our Christmas to put up before I wrap up the year, but I'm ready for 2012.  How about you?



noreen said...

Merry Christmas Anne! I like the way you don't overplay Christmas gifts and that your children are happy with 3 gifts. How did Grace react when she saw her presents?

Hannah said...

Sounds like a nice Christmas. I burst into tears on Christmas too, I have no idea why... All in all still ended up being a great day :)

I love a good Christmas surprise! Have fun with your Wii