Christmas 2014

We had a great Christmas this year and for the first time, it didn't feel too rushed, which was a welcome change. We spent two full days celebrating with our family, and when I say full days, I mean full days!

On Christmas Eve Eve, the boys found that Cookie Pole left them food for Santa's reindeer. They were ready to go to sleep about 6 pm! After baths, reading a few Christmas books (Snowmen at Christmas is a new favorite this year) and the Christmas Story, leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, and putting baby Jesus in their nativity scene, they were ready for bed.

When the kids went to sleep, Santa and Mrs. Claus went to work.

The next morning, the boys slept later than normal (about 7 am) and waited for us to walk upstairs so we could watch them run down to their gifts.

They opened their stockings and then all their gifts from Santa. Minecraft was the major theme for this Christmas. When they opened their last gift from Santa, they discovered that Cookie Pole was holding a poem that instructed them to go outside for one last gift. Their big gift from Santa was a basketball goal!

When we got back inside, Kevin and I opened our stockings and then we all opened the rest of our gifts.

Later that morning, our parents and my sister and her boyfriend came over for breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls, and to see what the kids got, of course.

The boys both agreed that this was the best Christmas ever!

That night, we celebrated Christmas with Kevin's side of the family. We had our traditional fondue dinner and then went upstairs to hide in the closet while Santa came to fill our stockings. While we waited, my MIL recited 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, my FIL read the Christmas Story, and we sang "Silent Night" by candlelight.

When we were done, we heard the reindeer landing on the roof and then bells ringing downstairs in the den. When it got quiet, all the kids ran downstairs to see what Santa left.

After opening our stockings, it was time to open gifts. The boys each got a Nintendo DS3 XL and some games. They loved them!

Later that night, Kevin and I headed to my parents to spend the night. The next morning, we all opened our gifts and then went to my grandma's for lunch with our family. It was great. Two of my cousins who live in NYC now were in town and it was nice to catch up with them.

After lunch, we picked up the boys and went back to grandma's and then to my parents for dinner and so the kids could celebrate Christmas with them. They each got a tablet as their big gift from my parents. Those are going to be fun!

On Friday, we headed out of town for the day to see Kevin's extended family. Two of his cousins were in town and it was great to see them.

This Christmas season was so much more relaxed and enjoyable to me. I feel like we tried to slow down and really focus on the Reason for Christmas and spending time with our family. I feel so blessed to have such a great family and I'm so thankful for the greatest gift of all, God's gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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