We celebrated Christmas at our house the week before the big day. Originally we were going to open presents on the 23rd, before we left for Pennsylvania. But if you know our history you know we tend to decided to "just go ahead" and celebrate early. But it was totally justified this time! We though it would be too much to open gifts, pack up and drive to PA all in one morning. And I'm sure we were right. Saturday the 18th was free and clear on the calendar so we deemed it our faux family Christmas, jammies, messy morning hair and all!
Not only can Jack say the word "presents" now but he clearly knows what it means and all it entails. He's an entertaining unwrapper ... and his excitement was everything we were hoping for.
Jude was pretty impressive too. He must have been watching his brother because he was whipping off paper in no time. I wasn't expecting him to be able to celebrate much so we didn't really bother getting him many gifts. I ended up stealing a few from Jack's pile and sliding them over Jude's way halfway into the morning. Not that it matters, Jack thinks every child-like item in this house is his anyway.
|Jon and I got more of a kick out of Jack's horse costume than Jack did.|
Whenever we're home for the holidays our calendar is abuzz with celebrations, dinners, breakfast with friends, and shopping trips. We were fortunate not to have to travel to New Jersey or New York this year, which was a big help, especially with the kiddos. Jack and Jude are really great travelers for the most part, but I like to avoid extended hours in the car with them if at all possible.
Our first day in town, the boys spent an evening with Marmie and Poppa so Jon and I could celebrate his birthday with his parents, sister and brother-in-law. Can I just say how lovely it is to go out for an adults-only dinner every once in a while? It's such a luxury to get to eat my food with both hands ... and while it's still hot.
We spent Christmas Eve with Jon's family too. By this point the anticipation was starting to get to Jack. And I can't blame him, Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year too! We had a special candlelight service with Christmas songs and scripture readings. After Jack realized his candle wasn't real, he was ready to move on to something else. So we spent the better part of the ceremony munching on cookies in the kitchen.
Of course, Jack isn't alone. He just feeds off his older cousins' energy. When the 5 of them get together it can be a touch overwhelming (don't even want to think about adding Jude to the mix next year!).
But they all love each other.
|Jack just took a swipe at Alex a second before I snapped this picture.|
|Ryley, Tyler, Ethan and Alex in their new Redskins jerseys!|
Christmas Day we spent with my folks. Thankfully the kids were up neither early nor late. Although Jack has got the hang of presents, he hasn't quite figured out the benefit of waking up the house. We kept the kids in their jammies until well after naptime. As for the adults, well let's just say the year I started caring about how I looked in Christmas pictures for years to come was the year I stopped racing down to the tree in my jammies and bed head. You only live in a moment once ... but those pictures last forever.
What they say about kids and the packaging is all true. Jack had more fun trying to open a present with a plastic tab from a different gift than he had with the present itself. Or the hand trowel that Uncle Micah had in his stocking. Jack whisked it away and immediately started fishing for shark.
It's really hard to open gifts when your 2 year old keeps stealing the show.
Of course, all that faded away when Uncle Jared brought out the big gift.
Jack is all seriousness when it comes to riding his new Handy Manny quad. So far, he's only managed to figure out how to push the button. But those steering skills will come.
One of Jack's favorite things to do at Marmie and Poppa's house is jump on the trampoline with Poppa. They can jump for at least an hour at a time, in the cold! One particular afternoon Poppa decided to combine two Jack-loves: the trampoline and the quad. And in case you're wondering why my son is wearing a robe, his coat was dirty and in the wash. It was the next best thing.