Christmas was fabulous this year. For a million reasons.
The biggest one is pretty obvious....
And despite having had THE most horrible cold for the past week, he still managed to be congenial and return to his happy self for part of the day. It was a treat to get a glimpse of his smiles again.
It's funny, by the time we get everything under the tree on Christmas Eve, I always feel a little overwhelmed.
It made me very glad that years ago we decided we weren't going to overdo it anymore.
By the time child #4 rolled around the amount of toys and children's items that were accumulating were completely overwhelming. It was at that point when we heard about a family in my parent's neighborhood that for Christmas gifted "something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read." Brilliance! We have based our Christmas gifts around that since then and it has been such a relief. Less spending, less "stuff", everyone feels equal....it's fabulous. They still get a 'Santa' gift and stockings and all that, but think about it-with as many kids as I have, even the scaled down version of Christmas adds up to a lot of things under that tree! We also do a name drawing for a gift exchange with a sibling, and on top of that they have grandparents and aunts and uncles....yeah. Still more than enough.
Actually this year was about as close to perfect as it could get. Everyone felt spoiled, but nothing felt overdone. It was great!
The stocking line up-since once they are filled they are too heavy to hang back up:
(still not sure how the cereal, 2 liter bottle thing got started, but they asked about it the whole week before Christmas, so apparently they like it. Everyone *must* have their own hot cocoa, and yes, that is marshmallow cream as well.)
The kid line up:
I have a lot of kids.
Waiting for the music to start that signals the living room is no longer off limits and the real morning may begin.
(and yes, those stairs are still unfinished. But hey, at least we've narrowed down the carpet we want. Now we just finish saving for it. Eventually.)
Dallin was sick
but was feeling a little better after finding his long-awaited pirate sword.
The younger boys finally got their bunk beds-and all the kids thought it was cool that they got to open such a giant gift.
Jacob felt the need to direct their unwrapping efforts-
Lincoln has practically lived in his fire suit, and for the past three days has walked around saying "I knew Santa would bring my fire suit, I just knew it! I knew he would come! Best Christmas ever!"
Makes me smile.
The big boys had a basketball themed year-each getting a new ball and tickets to a Jazz game.
The girls are growing up, I felt a little boring to be fulfilling their wishes of an ipod dock/stereo and a jewelry box with jewelry, but it made them happy.
And it was nice to be able to indulge in some little girl gifts as well-there is nothing like a new doll on Christmas morning. (am I the only mom out there who LOVES the smell of a new doll?)
Even Sam got in on the action, which the kids loved.
The aftermath was a whole lot of happy kidlets.
All in all, a fabulous morning, a wonderful day.
Even if we are all a little bit crazy.
who has a lot of kids