Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Christmas Season #2

(Continued)

Christmas Morning:  Is there anything more magical?  Honestly, a morning where Anna would sleep in until 7:00 would be pretty dang magical but Christmas morning is a close second.  (Sorry, Liz) When I was a kid, I couldn't imagine ever being a grown up and having Christmas morning anywhere other than my parent's house.  Even as a college student, the only place I wanted to be during Christmas was back home at 1608.  To me, there was nothing better than the Christmas Eve traditions my parents had created (deli meat sandwich melts with "real butter"!!, green rice, chips and queso, and plenty of sugary treats-- not to mention the annual Christmas book and then [in my opinion] the best thing Catholicism has to offer.... candlelit Midnight Mass) and I couldn't imagine ever deviating from those traditions.

Then slowly, as time marched on and these little humans came into my life, and their ideas and interests influenced us.... things and traditions (and tastebuds?) evolved.  We no longer eat deli meat sandwiches and green rice and queso.  We don't buy a Christmas book and read it on Christmas Eve. We don't do church.  But we do have crab legs and clam chowder and mid-day munchies.  And thanks to the Scholastic book order, we buy a million Christmas books all month long.  And we take silly family photos in front of the Christmas tree and wear new Christmas jammies and drive around Grundy Center looking at Christmas lights before coming home and eating peppermint ice cream and preparing snacks for Santa.

Even though deli sandwiches and green rice have be replaced with clam chowder and crab legs, and the sweet songs and the candlelit glow of Midnight Mass have been replaced by Christmas carols sung at the top of our lungs in a minivan, the magical feel of Christmas remains.  So maybe it shouldn't be surprising that even though I'm a grownup, the anticipation of Christmas morning still brews in my belly all day on December 24th.

So without further ado, I give you Christmas Morning:

Anna found Clifford (her current favorite fictional character) waiting patiently by her stocking.  It was the hit of the morning...

Charlie was just as excited to find Smartwool in his stocking.  (I may have influenced my children a little...)

Santa must have been advised by a school counselor to toss in a calm-down bubbler as well...

And what was Anna's favorite part??  I'll give you one guess...

Charlie and I searched the internet for hours trying to find the perfect Dolphins shirt for Daddy.  Once it was wrapped and under the tree, Charlie eagerly begged us for Mason to open it early-- but we never gave in. The anticipation nearly killed him, but he hung in there and the look on his face in this picture absolutely melts me.


Some crazy people still read books with paper (who knew?) and require new reading lights from time to time.... which are hard to come by!


Shopkins obsession still going strong....

Cubs obsession still equally as strong....

Oh, and reading/ books obsession too....

It's unclear who this gift is really intended for....

And Anna was also around on Christmas morning-- but she's just a little more difficult to catch on camera...

Except when we stopped her and made her 'say cheeeeeeezeeee'.  (Notice Charlie and Clifford in the background)


Charlie opening his gift from Anna....

And the reaction...

 More books...

And more food!  (But this time pretend food)

Sidestory: Mason plays Pickleball twice a week (He loves it.  We're officially old.  Next will be Shufleboard.) and has wanted a Pickleball paddle for awhile but they are surprisingly expensive.  (Who would've thought??)  So every time we're at Scheel's, we look at them and then ultimately he decides that no, he does not need an expensive Pickleball paddle.  This has gone on for months so naturally, this seemed like the type of thing I could buy for a Christmas gift.  So three DAYS before Christmas, Mason comes home with a new paddle.  "What!?" I yelled at him??  "Why would you DO that? And 3 days before Christmas??  Have you no sense??"  So we laughed (but I was still a little annoyed because, seriously, even though you are the type of person who just buys something if you want/need something, it's three days before Christmas!! Who does that?? ) but I suggested that maybe he wait to see which paddle I "may have" bought him and then keep the one he likes best.  Fast-forward three days and Mason opened up his new Pickleball paddle-- which was exactly the same one that he picked out.  Which means that I am a freaking awesome gift-giver and he should remember this in the future and not buy things for himself hours before Christmas.  End of story.


The aftermath (this photo taken with my new wide-angle lens that fits right over my phone!)

Charlie received a Shopkins Lego kit and now has officially been bitten by the Lego bug.  He was one of the only 6 year olds I knew who could have cared less about Legos... but all that has since changed.  Much of Christmas Day was spent constructing the new Shopkins set.  (Ah, smart Lego parents!  Now I understand why this obsession is encouraged!!)


Our afternoon was spent playing with new toys, eating, watching tv/ movies, reading books, and just enjoying our time together.  That night, the kids graffitied their bathtub with new bath crayons, lathered up with their new soaps and bubbles, and slipped into their new jams.  We read a little longer and cuddled and a little tighter that night, as we reflected on the day.


At one point in the midst of the gift-opening craze (which is actually semi-controlled at our house because I still have too much Bomgaarsian controlly-feels inside me...) I looked around our living room and felt a wave of gratitude wash over me.  Not only are we able to afford these financial luxuries that come with Christmas (new tree, new decorations, new books, extra groceries, splurging on the expensive booze, way more gifts than necessary, etc. etc.), but we have this safe and sturdy home with plenty of space for the four of us.  We have more clothing than some small countries and we've never had to want for food.  At this moment, we have our health, we have each other, and (current politics aside)we live in a safe, civil world.  I couldn't help but think about all the people in the world (some right here in our own county) who do not have these things.  As we enjoyed this beautiful Christmas morning, some people were struggling in a war-savaged country. Others were struggling in a drug-raged community, or within secretly violent families.  And while my over-emotional emotions sometimes get the better of me, I'm so glad that they are in tack and keep me grounded and grateful for these things that matter most, but are usually thought of least.  It truly is a magical season, made even more magical when you know just how lucky you are to be living it. 




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