Our days leading up to Christmas this year were very full and busy. The month of December brought a lot of travel for Steve and I and we tried to do our best to create a feeling of calmness in our home and hearts despite the crazy days. It is so very easy to let the busy, even well intentioned events, cloud our heads and keep us from concentrating on the true meaning of Christmas.
On Christmas Eve Day, Steve had class, but was able to come home between his morning and afternoon classes. This gave me time to run to the market for our produce for the rest of the week.
The kids were enjoying a few days off of school and were snuggled under blankets watching some Christmas movies. It was sweet to see them just enjoying the down time. There were many books read and many legos played with (during the littles nap time).
We made one last batch of forgotten cookies – a way to use some of the egg whites as the egg yolks went into a batch of yummy egg nog.
When Steve got home from teaching, we had a delicious dinner of Minestrone Soup (pioneer women’s recipe is my most favorite), and rosemary bread.
We also allowed the kids to dive into their gingerbread houses they had been eyeing for a few days! They were especially thrilled with that.
(Hope woke up from her afternoon nap with some serious crazy hair going on…)
Hope and Luke both enjoyed their first eggnog. Good thing! We all enjoy drinking it once a year!
Once the littles went to bed, we let the big kids remove the presents that had been hidden and stashed around the house and put them under the tree. We had all decided to avoid the stress of keeping Luke from unwrapping every.single.present, but not putting them in front of him. Sure I could train him to leave them alone, but that was not a task I wanted to take on right now. So they just remained out of his reach! The kids loved seeing the gifts and whose name was on each gift. I absolutely loved how excited they were not for the gifts they would be receiving, but for the gifts they were giving. They take such delight in giving gifts to their daddy and siblings and that is so much fun!
The big kids went down great, knowing that Christmas Day would come faster if they were sleeping! I then laid out the Christmas stockings, finished making some cinnamon rolls, and finished some last minute Christmas wrapping.
First thing Christmas morning I tried to get a quick picture of the kids before stockings. This is what I ended up with. It’ll do.
Our Christmas morning started off with having a look in the stockings. They weren’t overly full this year – I didn’t do much shopping at stores for little items, but they had a few special items that they enjoyed. The big kids all got a Camelbak water bottle which they loved, and then some goggles from Nana which I had been saving for a present. The girls got a few new bracelets and a necklace each which I found online for an incredible price.
Hope got some new stickers and a magic wand & tutu, and Luke got a couple of new cars & don’t laugh, our old home phone. He likes real stuff and he likes phones. One person’s trash… right?
We let the kids enjoy their stockings for a while, then we moved into the kitchen for cinnamon rolls… they were quickly gone and thoroughly enjoyed.
After breakfast, we listened to Steve read from Luke 2. I always love how he reads through and stops at just the right moments to ask the kids some thoughtful heart questions.
After we sang a few songs, we moved onto present time.
The girls (mostly Anna) had desperately wanted to give Nate a race car for his present, and they were so very excited for him to open it, they insisted that was the first present to open.
We almost always do gifts one at a time, but occasionally if the girls are getting the same thing they can open at the same time so they both get the surprise together.
The girls got legos – pink ones, from Nate, Hope & Luke. They are constantly playing with Nate’s legos and were beyond thrilled to have some legos that weren’t borrowed. Nate was also very thankful to have his legos back again!
Luke went down for a nap during all the busyness of present opening, and he didn’t seem to mind missing anything. We saved his presents aside for him to open later.
Hope very much enjoyed the morning. 2-3 presents were great with her. She doesn’t need much to make her happy and often just prefers to use her big siblings gifts. She got a new baby doll that she adores, and some new books, and some money in her savings account, she also has taken custody of a plastic turtle which was part of Nate’s present.
Before nap time, Luke got a new airplane and was completely delighted by it. He seemed to know it was just his and the joy on his face was so precious!
He also got some new cars, books, and money in his savings account. Which he will appreciate one of these days. :)
Nate got a new imaginext boat and a big bag of new legos to add to his collection. He also got a few new sets from his siblings, a new pair of boots, and some new books. One of which came with the planes characters.
Elizabeth and Anna in addition to the legos, got a new book each and some much needed winter shoes. Slippers and warm boots to keep the cold off this year! The majority of their presents were monetary, as they have been saving for something very special for 2 years now.
Steve is saving for a few new purchases. He got help earlier in the year to replace his broken mac mini, and is now having to replace his iPad. Oh we depend on apple so much! :) But he did get a new pair of rock port shoes. And since they are pricey, he got one shoe from Anna, and one shoe from Elizabeth! He got a Burr coffee grinder from Nate, a much appreciated present after years of using my baby food maker to grind his coffee beans! :) He also got a hard case for his iPad from Hope (as she likes to borrow it), and a new hairbrush from Luke, as Luke is the one who lost Steve’s over a month ago. One day we will find it!
I got money towards my new camera, which was gifted early (right before Thanksgiving), and a new pair of lounge pants and some metal measuring cups (all of my plastic ones had broken handles!).
Once we were done with presents, we explained to the girls that after the money they were given for Christmas, they now had enough money for their mini iPads. Just for a background… they started saving 2 years ago, 2 Christmases now, 2 birthday’s, they just asked for money from everyone. They asked Steve and I for extra jobs, they did a big project for their Grandaddy (which I still have to give to him), and they didn’t spend any money. So knowing ahead of time they would get enough at Christmas, Steve picked up their mini iPads while he was in Hong Kong last month. He had them all set up and ready to go. The girls thought they were going to have to wait another month before we could get their mini iPads from Hong Kong, so they were thrilled when we sent them off to our room to look behind a curtain.
So while the girls are now penniless they are thrilled and feel so great about how hard they worked saving up for these. We are also proud of them!! Anna decided that she wanted toys for her birthday next year, she wants a break from saving money. Elizabeth however, is ready to start saving for her next purchase. A sewing machine. :) (She is going to have to also save for a plane ticket for her Nana to come out and teach her how to use it!)
It was such a fun time. And thankfully the girls were able to put their iPads down long enough to get into the kitchen with me. I let the kids chose what dishes they wanted for Christmas Dinner and they agreed that Turkey was a definite. Thanksgiving turkey wasn’t enough for them! They chose mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots, rolls, and were very clear that they did not want green bean casserole. They wanted the green beans, and they wanted me to make the fried onions that go on top, but no casserole. :)
We had a fun time preparing and getting the meal made.
We were so very thankful for a quiet, mostly calm family day. It was a wonderful Christmas Day, full of celebrating our Savior. It is so sweet to see while the kids do indeed get excited about the giving and receiving of presents, they can keep it under control and really do understand that Christmas is so so much more.
Merry Christmas from the Webels!