At one point about a month and a half from Christmas, we were wondering how we were going to get the kids presents, Josh was sick with a scarily unknown something, and I was feeling overwhelmed, and lonely for my sister and her family, who said that they might be going elsewhere for Christmas. I am not proud of it, but I will admit it...I had a bad attitude.
It turned out to be one of the most wonderful Christmases of my adult life. My family decided to hold our Christmas Eve celebration in the basement of my Aunt Angie's house- the same place I had it as a child, and my mother had it as a child, and my Umpa had it- and while I went into it with high expectations, they were met, and my nostalgia was like a warm drink on a cold night. (Josh posted about Christmas Eve, take a look.)
When we were discussing where to hold Christmas, it seemed that our usual craziness of traveling late Christmas Eve to be in our beds for Christmas is only really nice for us, and we decided to stay and have Christmas morning in the Valley. Since my mom's house is a little small for all that festivity, I called my Umpa and Grandma and asked if we could stay at their house...which began, to my joy, a chance to open presents at their house on Christmas morning. It was just another part of my childhood come to life again, and I am so glad that my children and my grandparents had this experience together. I am not unaware that many people my age have no grandparents at all, and I have three left living, and I am thankful for that. (I do wish that I could see more of my Poppy.)
Rosie made an outstanding casserole, and we had breakfast together before my grandparents left for Christmas Mass, and from there to my Uncle Beany and Aunt Cherie's house for dinner. We stayed behind and took it easy and enjoyed the sun and ease of a California Christmas Day.
Here are some of our gift-opening pictures, taken mostly by my mother, because I was hustling and bustling.The kids opening their stockings- Bowden loves the Littlest Pet Shop. (I couldn't figure out why Josh didn't like this until I realized that he thought that they were called, "Little MISS Petshop.)Jack got a big wheels, and will only allow you to call it a bike. He also loved the sea serpent in his stocking.
Selah Paix got a super-awesome wood food grill set.
We got her a fairy outfit that she wore for the rest of the day.
Lucy got the coolest lego set...we put it together a few days later at home, and it really was a perfect girl set...a little r.v. with a tiny bike and surfboard and two itsy-bitsy mugs for the lady and man to drink out of.
Bowden has been asking for a Power Rangers set for a few years. He's never seen the show, but Josh thought that since he's been wanting it for so long, we should get it. He loved it, and said, (of course) "It's what I've always wanted!!!"
Selah got a little fairy house, all wood and fabric.
Selah sure is cute, though.
Grandma held Isai...it was a really amazing Christmas. It's woven in my mind, a new Christmas to hold up in my heart and say, "This is what Christmas Day is like."
I can do little else but thank the One who is the purpose for this day, for His Good and Undeserved Gifts of family and safety and joy, joy even in the midst of trouble.