Saturday, January 21, 2012

simple and sweet

Well, here they are: photos of our first Christmas at our home.
I don't know why this post has taken me so long to put up because 
our intimate celebration was quite simple and sweet. 

Yummy Food: check.

On Christmas Eve day we enjoyed my husband's delicious no-chicken chicken noodle soup. The entire thing is homemade...even the noodles (what a guy, right?). I would post the recipe, but I pretty sure he just makes it up as he goes. Oh, and if the no-chicken chicken part confused you, click here.

Later on that night we munched on popcorn...

 and made these Peanut Butter & Chocolate Duo Cookies. Ummm, yum!

Infuse Memorable Traditions: check.

With this being our first Christmas here, as well as our youngest son's first Christmas, I wanted everything to be really memorable. I even wrote out a little itinerary of all the things I wanted us to do like...setting up and playing with the train set, watching FRED CLAUS (I know many would say this movie is ridiculous, and yes, it is but I love the message at the end about how no kid is truly naughty and they all have their reasons), reading our favorite Christmas stories, making cookies, and writing a note to Santa.* 

*I'm laughing right now as I just noticed how our little note turned into a thank you card...if you can't read it, at the bottom it says: "thanks for all that you do for every one." Siesh, does every thing we do have to have a tie-in with good manners?

 Growing up, we always opened all of our presents on Christmas Eve. That was how both my parents were both raised, possibly a German/Irish Catholic thing? We always loved this tradition and were usually the envy amongst all our friends. My husband however, always opened all of his presents as a child on Christmas Day. We've thrown out ideas here and there about how we want to do it going forward with our own children, but have yet to actually decide once and for all. Since my husband has been so willing for the past 3 years to try it my family's way, I decided to try it the Christmas Day way this year. Below is a picture of the fun display of presents I created in our front room after all the boys were asleep...
As you may notice, no tree. Not a full-sized one anyway. Reason being: two children (correction- two very strong and curious children who would have that thing taken down completely destroyed in 2 seconds). We did have a cute mini one on our dining table which added a nice glow, but for that fresh Christmasy (just made up that word!) scent, we opted for these Ponderosa scented pinecones.

Remind Husband What Day It Is! check.

So, I go to bed super excited for the next day. Before having kids, I was never one for surprises. Now that we have kids (maybe it was the waiting on their gender thing that switched me over), I love changes and switching things up whenever possible! I was proud of myself for being so patient, but after waking up for one of G's middle of the night feedings, I found it sooo hard to go back to sleep. Come 6 a.m. Benjamin came in and hopped in our bed (which he rarely does) to finish sleeping. By 7:30ish I was done half-sleeping with mr. squirmy (Benjamin) by my side, even though we usually can sleep-in until 9 a.m. on the weekends. But, since it was Christmas Day!!!!, I decided that we should just all wake up. After all, every thing I'd ever heard about present opening on Christmas Day involved waking up absurdly early, and since it was almost 8, I thought I was in the clear....No. My Christmas Day-celebrator-of-a-husband wanted to keep sleeping. I finally sat straight up in between both of them and proclaimed (in my best Mom voice) "It's Christmas. Everybody UP!" Thankfully that was enough to get things going, and after scooping up Grant from his crib, we were soon all sitting together in the living room, in our pj's, sleepy eyed but happy.

Now that I've experienced both ways of celebrating, I must say that I am still a fan of present opening on Christmas Eve. As much fun as the extra anticipation was on Christmas Eve night, I woke up hungry (I'm a eat breakfast as soon as I wake up kinda person), but we couldn't just ignore all of the presents sitting there, so we opened them first, then ate.... 

Berry and banana smoothies and scrambled egg and cheese panini's. Another, Ummm, yum! 

To wrap up this supposedly simple and sweet post: we had fun. Children really do add a special and delightful element to the holidays and I'm very thankful for all our time spent decorating, crafting, shopping, wrapping, staying in, relaxing, baking, eating, reading, and playing. To make the best of both worlds with the whole present thing, I think I'm going to propose opening most of the presents Christmas Eve after our bellies are all nice and full. Then on Christmas Day, we'll let the kids unwrap small stocking surprises while we put together breakfast, then we'll pull out all the really fun presents (games, stuff that requires assembly, etc.). As I type this, I see through the window giant snowflakes gently falling ~ they are a reminder to me to enjoy each moment as it comes and to keep seeking the intended meaning of the Christmas season.


  1. I can vouch for the deliciousness of the peanut butter chocolate duos. (I did, in fact, eat my birthday present.) Note that 3/4ths had already been consumed before I had my first, though, by other unknown family members. Apparently, birthdays are communal.

  2. What a fun Christmas Celebration! We usually do Christmas Eve with extended family and then Christmas Morning with our spreads the gifts out and it works out great for us so far (though we are early risers at our house...we were done opening gifts before 8am and had breakfast on the table by 8:30 this year and we didn't get up any earlier than usual!). Its tough trying to figure out what is best for everyone - kuddos for trying something new this year :)