I love everything about the wonderful magical season. Even though this year was busy and crazy (as usual), we spent tons of time together as a family attending concerts and parties, baking and wrapping, shopping and planning.
All of that fun and excitement culminated in a beautiful Christmas morning that started about 7:30 AM. We've had this long-standing rule that the kids can't wake us before 7:00, and since we kept them up late on Christmas Eve, they didn't get up as early as usual. I heard later that Bossy's kids didn't get up until about 9:30!
After tearing through the various packages and being spoiled rotten by Santa, I headed back upstairs for a little nap while my sweetie made Belgian Waffles. Curly, Scout, and Sport all got Legos for Christmas and they were anxious to see if their instruction sheets would actually help them make the promised vehicles and buildings.
I came back downstairs around 11:00 and after sampling my sweetie's delicious breakfast, we opened the rest of the family gifts. Many of the kids had done homemade gifts this year so we took our time, admiring Prima Donna's homemade key chains and Crafty's darling necklaces for the girls and rubber band shooters for the boys.
Curly put all of his gifts in his Santa bag and handed them out one by one. Baby Doll presented her gifts to each sibling and then helped them open it! They just love the giving part. I only had one child (who shall remain nameless) who was distressed about having to work off the gifts I helped buy. And even s/he came around eventually, made the commitment, and presented gifts.
Bossy and Gamer and their kids showed up around 2:00. Teach had her time to call us from Texas scheduled for 2:30 and none of us wanted to miss that! I haven't had the opportunity to hear her voice since Mother's Day back in May and I knew it would be difficult for all of us, but so nice too.
She called within 2 minutes of her scheduled time. She only had 40 minutes for all 17 of us, so I gave each of the kids a minute to a minute and a half. My sweetie put her on speaker so we could all listen in as she sobbed her way through quick conversations with each sibling. I knew missing Christmas with the family would be the hardest part of her mission, but she managed to stay strong and she and I got the last 13 minutes all to ourselves.
She sent a little box of things for the family, but the gift she sent us that I have enjoyed the most (besides our chat, of course) was this video. I had never seen it before, but it has really made me think about what I'm teaching my own children about love and service to our fellow men and women.
After our time with Teach, we continued to prepare dinner and the kids watched a new movie. My dad showed up eventually and we exchanged gifts with him as well. He loves making his last stop at our house since he is addicted to my sweetie's rolls.
We all sat down for dinner together around 7:00 and then we cleaned up and visited until it was pretty late. It was a beautiful, happy Christmas day.
I hope yours was the same.