For the first time ever, we actually stayed home today-the entire day- for Christmas. In years past, we have spent Christmas with family and relatives, but the way it worked out this year, there were no family plans for Christmas.
We got home late from having Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house “in the big city.” We had a blast, with my siblings, my mom, my cousins, and my aunt and uncle. The boys had a wonderful time playing with their teen-age cousins, and Ryan was thrilled we picked him up a Santa hat, earlier in the day. He was saying, “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas,” and saying he was one of Santa’s helpers.
We had an Italian theme for the food, and Ryan and Cole couldn’t have been any happier with the generosity of family and their selection of gifts. Cole received a shopping cart, play food, art supplies, books, an airport playset, a blanket sleeper, and the big hit- a play pizza set. He played with that for hours last night! I think we have a future pizza maker on our hands.
Ryan received a musical instrument set, a mini United Airlines die-cast airport set, art supplies, a giant train book, a Bob the Builder tool / play set (complete with a hard hat), a Thomas glow-in-the dark- puzzle, Thomas pajamas, a colored illustrated copy of “Little House in the Big Woods,” (his first chapter book), and a copy of the new Puff the Magic Dragon book. When Ryan would open a gift, he would say, “Well, what do you think about that!” It was so funny. I was really overwhelmed by the gifts- it seemed like everyone knew just what to get the boys- they love all their gifts!
After us adults participated in a white elephant gift exchange- we watched my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding DVD. It was fun to watch, but every time we started laughing at something, or talking over the DVD, Ryan would stand up and say, “Be quiet- I am trying to watch TV.”
This was my niece’s first Christmas as well, and it was so sweet to see her reactions to everything. Like every baby, she liked the wrapping paper and ribbons, more than the gifts. :-) Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve (you can click on any picture to see it larger):
When we got home, Cole stayed asleep from the ride home, but Ryan was wired. We put out cookies for Santa, that we had made earlier. Ryan wanted to play with his airplane toys, and Joe read him his new train book to try to settle him down. We finally got him to go to sleep at about 10:30. He was SO excited Santa was finally on his way. As I tucked him in, he had a big smile on his face.
I finished wrapping a few more presents, and then stuffed Ryan’s and Cole’s stockings. I wanted to arrange everything so it was perfect, since this was the first time, Ryan was really excited about Santa. I couldn’t overlook anything, because I know he would notice. I finally got to bed around 2 am.
Fortunately, the boys slept in until 8. I heard Ryan wake up, and Joe and I rushed out of bed. We got Cole out of his crib, and we headed down stairs. When Ryan saw the tree and the presents under it he said, “Santa came!” Then he saw his new, red, shiny fire truck, with the ariel ladder, he so desperately wanted (we even had to make a last minute phone call in to Santa on Sunday for the request!). He yelled with delight, “An ariel ladder truck! Santa really did come!” Then he noticed the crumbs on the cookie plate, and said, “Santa ate all the cookies, and even got the little cookie I made for the reindeers!” It was just the most magical moment. Obviously, I didn’t take any pictures, but I will always remember the joy and happiness from Ryan this Christmas morning.
Cole wasn’t quite ready to get up, and did not want to open any presents until he had woken up a bit. Then he wanted to play with the fire truck. Surprisingly, the boys just shared beautifully today, and there were very few squabbles over the toys.
Joe and I made breakfast a of scrambled eggs, and French toast. We had a leisurely breakfast, while the boys played. We did a few minor chores around the house, and I tried to get Cole to take a nap, but he didn’t fall asleep. Right before lunch, the boys opened more presents from Joe’s side of the family, and again, the boys loved every gift, and we are so grateful for the nice presents they received.
Ryan received a glow-in-the-dark marble runner, a wooden xylophone, books, construction toys (for Cole as well), and a hand-made pillow. Cole also received a hand-made pillow and some books. Cole was so content playing with the gifts he had already received, he didn’t want to open anything else! We still have about five gifts from relatives that he did not want to open today. So we will be opening these in the coming days I’m sure.
Joe made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and the boys wanted to watch Bob the Builder’s Christmas video we checked out from the library. After that was over, it was nap time, for all of us. We all took a nice, long, nap. It even started snowing!
When the boys and I got up, after two and a half hours (Yay!) Joe had started the ham, and had it in the oven. I made mac & cheese, and pears for the boys, and also made broccoli, and garlic bread for Joe and I.
After dinner, we cleaned up, and I made a quick batch of toffee. Then we went out for a drive to look at Christmas lights. The boys were getting pretty tired and fussy, so we cut the drive short.
Joe and Ryan started putting the marble runner together, and Cole watched for a few minutes, before it was his bed time. He was very tired! I read him a new book Santa brought him, and he went right to sleep. Then we got Ryan in his PJ’s, and he was ready for bed too.
Staying home this year was wonderful. It was so nice, being able to just relax and not having to worry about coordinating schedules and naps. It was just a very easy, and lazy day. We did miss celebrating with family though, and I don’t think we would want to stay home every year, but it was a nice change, and with two small children, it was a lot easier on them too. Overall, it was just a great day. I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas too. Here are some more pictures of our Christmas.
Here is a series of Cole I just loved- eating his first Candy Cane (click on it, to see it much larger):