What a blessed and wonderful Christmas we had this year. We so enjoyed spending it in our home and were fortunate enough to have Gigi, Steve, Uncle Blaine and Aunt Christina join us. (We will celebrate with the Clanahan Crew this weekend). While the kids definitely didn't quite understand the concept of Santa (and naughty vs nice : ) ), they were VERY into all of the Christmas jingles, cookies, presents, yummy food, and lots of attention. Seeing their smiles and hearing their exclamations of "Open! Open! Open!" after seeing every gift just made my heart leap. And totally made Santa's last minute shopping efforts worth it (Santa and company were fighting a stomach bug in the week leading up to the big day). Although I question whether Santa had a little too much egg nog because he definitely went a little overboard on toys that make lots of noise and have tons of pieces --- I know he couldn't have been completely sober to bring that madness into my house.
Multiple pieces and noise aside, the kids loved every single thing and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with their new toys. Given their age and my ability to tolerate messes without getting a twitch, we did put about half of them in a closet upstairs and will break them out in intervals. No one needs that much stuff at once! One thing that will not be put away were their new bicycles from Gigi. They were a total hit and the kids spent a good hour before the cold front rolled in practicing up and down our street. We need them to grow a little bit more to truly be able to pedal correctly, but they just enjoyed using their little feet to propel them down the sidewalk. My little babies are not so much babies. I almost cried seeing them "ride" their new treasures, because wow. Where did the time go? Just 2 Christmases ago they couldn't even sit up on their own. Pardon while I sob.
We spent a wonderfully relaxing Christmas Eve making cookies with Aunt Tina, a blessed church service, then a fancy dinner out at Perry's. The kids, despite their expected tiredness, did rather well at their first fine dining experience and chowed on some very expensive chicken fingers and fries. Then we came home where Gigi distributed our matching pajamas, and the kids opened their traditional Christmas Eve gift (special ornaments for the tree - holiday Barbie for my princess and a firetruck for my all-boy toddler).
In keeping with Anderson tradition, present opening lasted a good three to four hours, pausing for snacks for the kids and lunch for the adults. Once naps were indulged, we all gathered back together for our prime rib dinner, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a new addition of butternut squash casserole. Ohhhh, so good. And I love how traditional our dinner has remained over the years. I look forward to it every year.
Anyway, here are a few (haha, not really!) pictures courtesy mostly of Uncle Blaine. Thanks for capturing these, Uncle B! The only thing missing is a good picture of the family altogether. Maybe next year!