Sunday, December 26, 2010

What a fun Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and day after we have had.  Such a contrast to last year on Christmas Eve when we received devastating news that my Grandma had stage 4 lung cancer, and 3 months left.  She had been in the hospital and had lung biopsies around Thanksgiving, so to receive news like that on Christmas Eve took our breath away and we drove Christmas Day 2 hours to see her and spend our last Christmas with her.  It was heartbreaking, she was so sick and in pain that having a holiday around that was the least of our consideration.

This year was a quiet and much needed calm Christmas.  The kids opened presents and we had our traditional casserole and cinnamon rolls, napped and the kids played.  We went to my sister's house for an easy and delicious chicken cordon bleu, twice baked potatoes, green bean almondine, salad and roll dinner followed by some games and much fun doing the cousin gift exchange, and gifts from Grandma.  The kids were surprised, happy and appreciative for all they received.  I always worry about greedy, spoiled kids but so far I *think* I have kids that aren't those things.

It was surprising to see what gifts the kids were the most excited about.  Hannah LOVED the easy bake oven and Zhu Zhu pet.  Taylor loves the Lego universe computer game and his Nerf guns.  I got Mike a Kindle!  He was so surprised and had been carrying it around.  It is so much fun to surprise him with a bigger gift.  He ALWAYS gets me too much.  Every year we say only items to go in our stockings and he fills up my stocking AND I have gifts under the tree.  I never expect it and feel so spoiled.

Today we have lounged, eaten, napped, played Apples to Apples that Hannah got from her Grandpa, and eaten some more.  Gotta love the holidays.

I made goodie tins to give away to about 8 friends and neighbors & family.  Inside was almond toffee crunch, peppermint bark, chocolate covered pretzels and our favorite cookies-Kiflins (almond cookies)

Christmas Eve sugar cookie making

Before our decorating
...and after.

The traditional gingerbread house
Santa's treats on Christmas Eve

Our stockings hung with care..

The tree was ready!
Taylor with his Santa gift, the last one read below

Santa wrote Taylor a letter explaining he was growing up and since he was almost 11, this year would be his last.  But he wrote what a sweet, smart and wonderful boy he has grown up to be.  I don't think Taylor liked it much.
Hannah baking away!
Mike lovin' the Kindle.

Me planning my shopping with my gift card!


Krystal said...

It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! It really is so nice to have a relaxing time where everyone can just *be*. It's so easy to get caught up in everything but that really is what it's all about. We had a bit of a crazy day with visiting families. I'm hoping that every once in a while we can have a Christmas where we just stay in our pajamas all day, hang out together, nap, play games, etc. That's perfect!

Your cookies look dramatically different from ours! They look amazing! It's a fun tradition to have with the kids, however they turn out though.

Have fun spending those gift cards! I'm looking forward to doing the same. :)