i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

a Christmas to remember

with all the counting down and ramping up, anticipation and decoration, christmas music and christmas movies and christmas presents ... this year's crowning celebration seemed to come and go all too quickly. (i need to figure out how to slow down time - does it seem to anyone else that the older we get the faster time flies?)

traditions are so fun! i decided this year to start a new tradition and join these 2 at Figgy Pudding every year from now on ... we went with them a few years ago and skipped the last few but went again this year and made a night of it ... it was SO fun and i totally want to make it our tradition! can you guess who was behind the camera??

on Dec. 22nd we headed to the westlake center carousel as we have for the past umpteen years - although we decided this year to not have it on the Monday before Christmas - instead we opted for the Saturday before!

this year was markedly different than past christmases because we celebrated 2 christmas mornings. last sunday (dec. 23rd) was Christmas Eve Eve for the rest of the world ... but at granny's house it was just Christmas Eve. my parents, youngest sister and brother were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spent christmas day traveling to my oldest sister's home in Texas to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's with them. So, we followed tradition and donned our new jammies and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and then Luke 2 and visited and ate and then when we decided that the kids needed to get to bed we hurried home because at 7:am we were expected to be back for Christmas Morning! My dad asked Santa if he'd make a special trip one night early - and since he (my dad) is one of the best "Santa's Helpers" he was more than happy to oblige. We woke at 6:30ish (ok ... so we didn't get out of bed until 6:45), decided that we'd get the van ready and then wake the kids. we loaded the gifts and stuff we were taking with us and then got the kids in and made our way to granny's. sure enough, Santa had been there and left some fun stuff for us!

Granny's tree was upside down again - she started doing that last year to accomodate all the myriad of ornaments she has in her collection. she figured that if there were more hanging room at the top of her tree then she wouldn't have to worry about little hands and also there would be more room for presents ... it just works better all around to have the tree upside down!!

after opening presents and eating breakfast - we followed tradition and took naps! it's boring - and i want to have different traditions ... but this one always seems to be the winner!

we loaded our 'granny-christmas' into the van around 4:30 and headed home for showers and change clothes from our jammies that we had been sporting all day! then to grandma Shaw's Annual Christmas Eve party.

Christmas morning came quickly for this gift-wrapping-procrastinator ... i was up until 3:30AM - i almost caught a peek of Santa and i think i heard him mutter something about having to change his route because of one little helper that wasn't in her bed when she was supposed to be!! i promised him that i wouldn't be the last one on the block to hit the sack next Christmas so he took my word for it and filled my stocking quite nicely - not one bit of coal in sight!

after opening our gifts here ... we loaded in the van and headed to grandma shaw's for breakfast and more gift opening.

the favorites this year:

Abi: Fur Berry, White Tiger and Lady and the Tramp Water Baby

Elyssa: Roller Blades, Pooh Bear Water Baby, and Fur Berry

Ammon: Motorcycles being hauled by a pickup, Train track with train and bucking bull in the middle, and Cowboy Boots!!

Easton: his very own Flip Phone, Race cars with track, and Pound and Play Xylophone - balls that you hammer through holes and xylophone all in one!

Andy: Brown coat, Touk, White 'Church' shirts, Belt (unfortunately just useful stuff for dad)

Me: my ZUNE(!!), matching Watch and Bracelet, and 2 purses

at about 10am we witnessed a genuine White Christmas!! it's been a VERY long time since we had one of those ... and it didn't stick around for very long. just long enough to get a few of these pictures! i will forever remember this Christmas because i've truly been 'dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card i write ..."

[i actually sent out Christmas Cards this year ... well - i printed 100 pictures, wrote in 80+ cards, printed out our letter, cut and folded it to fit in the envelopes, printed labels, stuffed envelopes, applied the address labels and return address labels, and mailed 13 of them so far ... i need to buy more stamps!]

we know that it's not all about what we get for Christmas - that the real reason for this season is the baby Jesus was born. at my parent's house there is a stocking hung for Jesus with a poem inside that helps us remember that we need to give Him a gift - a gift of self each year, everyday. (Abi drew Him a picture)

Wow! Christmas came and went in a whirlwind this year - I'm with Harlan Miller when he said "I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." in fact ... i think this year i'm going to light my pumpkin spice candle and do something related to Christmas around the 25th of each month. i'm also starting to decorate on Nov. 1, 2008 - then hopefully come december i won't feel like "wait! slow down! don't go so fast!"

I hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright!

i was up at 5:30 on the 26th for the after Christmas sales! they were fantastic again this year! i donned my 'after-christmas-sales-shopping-sweater' and headed to Wal-Mart first. i was alone this year, my parnter-in-crime was in Texas ... and so i didn't have anyone there to say "you don't need that!" (clearly my efforts to channel Mindy with my sweater didn't work!) and i spent twice my allotted amount. i shopped for coming birthdays, and next year's Christmas ... i think i did a GREAT job - just spent a little too much. in the long run i saved us a lot of money - it's just a little hard for andy to swallow when i come home with my arms loaded down and my wallet quite empty!

and now we're headed into the New Year ... we're counting down here at home with our kids and some friends! come on over!!


Super Angie said...

Wow! What a great blog update! Cute photos, fun adventures, wonderful traditions...but one question...how the heck does your mom do that tree upside down?

Julie H. said...

Yeah, I was gonna ask the same question how does your mom do that upside down tree...that's pretty cool...you should visit my blog site too.

Julie H. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
emily said...

the upside down tree was rigged up by my dad and brother last year ... they took my mom's fake tree and stuck the top down in the base and then did some lashing and hammering i'm sure to make the rest of it work! what ever they did it's working fantastically!!

Colleen said...

Great posting! What a fun Christmas it was! I am so glad it lived up to all your expectations!

Jennalee said...

ok, first I want to know whose post had to be deleted!?! anyway, thanks for letting me steal your "partner-in-crime" this year, we did a little after Christmas shopping too...I agree on the start new traditions! if I'm ever there for Christmas I want to be included in yours! Happy New Year! shall we count down to the first 25 of the year? :) maybe by then I'll have your Christmas present in the mail :)

emily said...

the deleted comment was a duplicate ... Julie H. must have clicked the "publish your comment" button twice!

aliciadiane said...

So fun. Great pictures...Happy New Year.

iamjennycook said...

Em, so glad you got your camera! Fun! I love all of the pictures, your figgy pudding tradition looks like so much fun. You need an intervention with that christmas sweater my friend. Love ya!

Nicki said...

Oh my, are you sure you want the first thing your friends to see when they pull that post up to be my big eyeballs?? Yikes, that's scary!

emily said...

Jenny - I get one day a year to wear my outlandish shopping sweater! don't make me throw it out!!
Nicki - your eyeballs are quite lovely - not scary! and besides, those pics of you and your hubby are HALARIOUS ... and did you see the one of me!?

Nicki said...

I LOVE that picture of you! I think you should blow it up and frame it for me for my birthday. And my eyeballs - they're scary.