On Christmas Day in the Morning

On Christmas Eve we had a really good, thick blanket of snow outside, complete with a lopsided snowman out our back window.  There's an extra bit of magic in a white Christmas.  There's also an extra bit of anxiety when your car is sliding off the road, which may or may not have been my experience when searching for the world's largest gingerbread village.

Kirsten got out of the car to try and give me a push, and I got to watch her slip and fall right onto her butt.  Just then a man and his family appeared.  We were on a backroad {not my most brilliant decision to blindly follow the GPS during a blizzard} and they just materialized out of nowhere.  Like they were waiting on the corner for the idiot of the day to drive up their neighborhood hill.

This guy and his teenage kids were so nice, and knew just how to get us unstuck.  Thanks to them we did make it to the world's largest gingerbread village, plus we got to play on the hotel elevators, which is 4-year-old gold.

When we battled our way home through the snow we had a ham and potato dinner with Uncle Mason, Grammy, Papa, and Aunt Kirsten.  I love how the two sides of our family blend together without a second thought.  And although there are more family members we would have loved to have there at the table with us, I felt so blessed to be surrounded by my sweet kids, husband, and some of our favorite people.

After having waaaay too many servings of Those Potatoes we busted out the sugar cookies Aunt Jess had made the day before and we decorated them for Santa.  Camden had so much fun making and delivering treats to friends this season, so Santa almost felt like the grand finale.  

Before going to bed we read the story of Christ's birth in the book of Luke, and Camden played out the scenes with his Little People Nativity set.  By this point he knew the story very well, as he had been hearing about it at home, at church, and at preschool.  In fact, he had been "playing" the Nativity story out all month long.  Once when I was pushing Hallie in the stroller he put his hand on the edge and said, "Hallie is Mary, and the stroller is the donkey.  I'm Joseph, so I'm leading the donkey to keep Mary safe."

Seeing my boy begin to grasp the importance of these people who played such a major role in Christ's birth and life touched my heart.  There was a special feeling in our home that night as we focused on the meaning of Christmas.  

This Christmas Camden asked Santa for a new book, a "little Christmas tree," and a train to go around his tree.  I tried to explain to him that we already had a tree with a train, but he told me, "That's your tree and daddy's train.  I want my own."

Cam also helped Hallie with her list to Santa, which included baby books and a new walker toy.  The tent was a surprise for both of them.

On Christmas Day in the morning I remembered to wish Roy happy birthday first thing.  Woo, yay!  But then we were grabbing cameras and running for the living room with promises of celebrating 31 later in the day.  

Can I just tell you how excited I was about the matching pajamas this year??  So.  Excited.

For the first time Camden picked out all of his own gifts for everyone.  A week before Christmas we went to the dollar store and I let him loose.  Gifts included multi-colored paper clips, bubbles, and glow sticks.  Camden wrapped them all himself, and passed them out Christmas morning.  

Also I have to mention the sweet woman at the dollar store who gave Camden a five dollar bill to "buy something for your mother."  That lady truly made my day and taught Camden something about generosity and the spirit of giving.  Man, Christmas is the best.

I love my family!  I realized too late that we didn't have anyone take a picture of Roy and I with the kids, but I promise we were there.  I guess we were distracted by the pummeling waves of love and disbelief that this is our beautiful life together.

And then, side note, we may have also been distracted by the fact that Cam woke up sick as can be!  Joy overcame any desire to act like he was sick, but he hardly had a voice at all.  A couple days later we took him in for treatment for croup, poor kid.  Luckily he had Aunt Kirsten sticking around to take extra good care of him.

 Roy's birthday celebration was supposed to be in Tucson after Christmas feasting with my mom's family.  Kirsten, the saint, stayed home with Camden so that we could still go down as planned.  Even though it was only one night away it was difficult for me to leave him.  Only do-able knowing that Cam had Kirsten.

Being surrounded by so many new faces and relatives she'd never seen before, Hallie had her first hints of stranger danger.  Exhausted little thing went to sleep before the birthday celebrations began.

Words can't express how much I love this man of mine, and every year that love grows.  It was a fun night with more sugar than anyone could ever want and card playing late into the night.

A great way to end a near-perfect day.