27 December 2013

We Gathered Underneath the Tree

Is it just me -- or was Christmas over just as quickly as it started? Every year, I feel like I spend all month planning, preparing, decorating, filling with excitement, wrapping, the list goes on and on. And within only a matter of hours, all that is over. But the look on those little faces -- so full of wonder and love and joy -- makes it all worth it! 

We spent much of Christmas Eve enjoying a regular day together. M took S in the morning to finish shopping for stocking stuffers, while L and I were able to enjoy a little Mommy/Son time, which doesn't happen very often. After a light lunch and early nap, we got the kids ready and headed to church for Christmas Eve service. We got there plenty early -- and were so glad we did. Over 1200 people showed up, and were standing in the aisles and against the walls in the lobby, watching over the flat screens! The kids did pretty well, until the end when L wanted to hold the lit candle by himself and almost knocked it out of my hands. Thankfully, it was over pretty quick and I could blow the flame out. 

We came home after and immediately popped our dinner into the oven, spent some time with my father in law, and a few visitors, and then let the kids open their one gift of the night: new pajamas and slippers! After baths and a cartoon, it was time for them to get to bed, and this Mom to get to prepping! All gifts were wrapped and ready to be set under the tree, and Santa gifts needed assembly. By 9pm, everything was finally set, and I was exhausted and ready for bed! 

We got an earlier start on Christmas morning. My father in law arrived shortly after 6am to get his gifts under the tree and ready once the kids woke up -- and it wasn't long before S heard the commotion and woke up. She was so excited to see what Santa brought her -- the full Sofia the First ensemble, complete with talking amulet. While she started in on her stocking, I took to waking L up. As soon as he realized what was going on, he was ready to go! 

Both of the kids loved their gifts! S tore through hers, one right after the next, only pausing long enough to take in what it was and who it was from. She did, however, stop long enough to ooh and aah over a few: some new clothes, the convertible for her Barbies, and her Sofia the First tree house playset. 

L was a little slow to the game. He seemed overwhelmed with the packages and flying wrapping paper, and was content to just play with the fire station that Santa had brought him. He was almost painfully slow pulling treats and toys out of his stocking, stopping after each item to have somebody open it for him and test it all out. The same happened with the few gifts that he opened himself -- in fact, he used his beloved forks and spoons from his stocking to help him. 

Overall, our morning was a major success. We had to get heading to the rest of our families for the rest of the day's celebrations -- but the kids had a blast! They each chose items to tote around with us all day, and added more gifts to their stash at each stop. Regardless of how many gifts, or cards, or meals we had that day, though, the best moment was seeing their smiles, hearing their squeals, and knowing that they were ultimately the happiest they could. 

As a mom, that makes any amount of stress and rushing and chaos all worth it. As a mom, that right there -- is the best gift anyone could give! 

We hope you, too, had a wonderful, and very merry, Christmas, full of love and laughter and maybe a mountain or two of crumpled wrapping paper. Enjoy the last few days of 2013 -- and lets all try to ring in the new year with a bang! 


  1. What a wonderful Christmas! It really is amazing how fast the Holiday season is going by. :)

  2. I think Christmas with little ones is the best. I'm enjoying my time until the new year. But can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!

  3. Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes is the BEST!!!! And I can't get enough of your daughter's curls!! To die for!