He was old enough to really know what he wanted from Santa, and the joy on his face as he opened gifts at each celebration made my heart swell with love for our sweet boy. Hearing him ooh and ahh, and especially hear him say thank you to every gift giver made it all the more special. I didn't know it was possible to enjoy Christmas more as an adult than I did as a child, but seeing it through Connor's eyes trumped every other Christmas I can remember, and I am certain that when we have another precious one to enjoy next year it will get even better.
Our celebrations began on Dec. 22, where we had a late morning brunch in Glendale with Jason's family.
That evening we spent the night at Mom and Dad's house, where we opened gifts (Linds and I usually go together to buy gifts for Mom and Dad so we open them all together that evening), enjoyed a delicious dinner, and watched a Christmas movie.
The next morning we all went to church together, then late afternoon Dustin and Jared came over to make our traditional Christmas cookies. Dustin's always turn out the best, and this year was no exception.
Later that evening, everyone came to our house for dinner and Just Dance before spending the night at Gran's.
Around 10 on the night of the 23rd, Jason was suddenly struck with the dreaded stomach virus that Connor had a few days earlier, and he was pretty much either in the bed or on the couch from then until Christmas Eve night. It definitely put a damper for him on watching Connor open gifts and run around like crazy, and I felt terrible that he couldn't enjoy those 24 hours with the rest of us.
However, after minimal sleep (Linds and I spent from 4 a.m. on setting up Connor's gift in Gran's living room.), we all saw our "Santa" gifts, opened stocking and gifts, and ate a huge breakfast before heading back home, where Jason spent the day in the basement while Connor and I tried out all his new toys and gadgets.
|Mom had this gorgeous carousel horse restored for London's room...love it!|
|I thought the horse was my "Santa" present, but Mom then pulled out another package...the camera I have been drooling over for months and was planning on saving Christmas money for. Mom is so generous and thoughtful!|
Christmas Eve dinner is traditionally held at Grandma Egnew's house, and while the adults play "Dirty Santa" with gift cards, the cousins still all do our traditional name drawing and gift exchange. For the second year in a row, Michelle has gotten my name, and twice now she has spoiled me with beauty goodies from Sephora, which I LOVE. Connor was showered yet again with gifts that he enjoyed playing with then and there.
Following dinner, we spent the latter part of the evening at the Christmas Eve service at our church, where Jason somehow muddled up enough strength to sing "How He Loves" more beautifully than I have ever heard him sing it before. Connor even got up, despite later falling asleep in my arms, with the rest of the children to sing "Joy to the World."
We arrived home after 11:30, and we quickly put together Connor's last gift, prepared everything for when he would wake up in the morning, and headed to bed soon after midnight.
Connor slept later than usual, most likely as a result of our late night, but once he was up, he was running around in his room, yelling for us to come get him. With the video camera and my new camera in tow, we captured his excitement at seeing the one thing he had asked Santa to bring, a soccer goal, as well as a tree house (which was a surprise and he has played with probably more than anything else) and a Lego farm set that he and Jason have already put together and destroyed multiple times in these last few days since Christmas. We spent the morning letting Connor play, and opening our few gifts and our stockings.
Later in the morning, Mom brought breakfast, and everyone looked at and played with Connor's toys.
After everyone left, we finished packing and drove to Louisville for our final big celebration, spending Christmas afternoon through the 27th with Jason's parents. We enjoyed a huge Christmas dinner, lots of dessert options, ice cream punch, and grape juice, along with opening gifts and stockings. Connor slept through some of the opening of adult gifts, but was more than ready when it was his turn.
We were so blessed this year to enjoy a happy, (mostly) healthy Christmas with each other and all the people we love. I couldn't have imagined a better holiday season. I am always sad to see Christmas go, and even though logically I know that Christmas wouldn't be special if we decorated all year long and gave gifts every week, I also know that I could use a little more Christmas spirit in my everyday life. What a magical time of year it has been.