Sunday, December 25, 2011

Let it be Christmas....

Ahhhh Christmastime! What a wonderful time! I love Christmas and all its traditions and all the time I get to spend with my family.

We sing a lot in our family. One might even say we are like the Von Trapp family! So, in preparation for Christmas, there have been many Christmas songs filling the air around here! Shyla (and, truthfully Harper also) has been loving Rudolph and Jingle Bells. One of my favorite Christmas tunes is "Let it be Christmas" by Alan Jackson:
Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere

But enough about that! Let's take a look at Christmas and the days leading up to it!

A few weeks ago we took Shyla and Harper to meet Santa. You may recall that the 2010 meeting didn't go so well. We were pleasantly surprised to get a good picture this year! Although he didn't ask, Shyla went ahead and told him that she wanted "candy" for Christmas. She was supposed to tell him that Harper wanted a ball, but I guess she forgot.

After meeting Santa we went tree hunting! You might also recall that Stevie and I have an annual fight about trees: I want an artificial tree so I don't feel like a tree murderer and don't have to vacuum up all the needles. He wants real trees only because the tradition of picking out the perfect tree makes him feel warm and fuzzy.

I didn't fight too hard this year...I mainly sat back, listened, and chuckled to myself as this was the constant conversation heard in the tree lot:
STEVIE: "Shyla! Isn't this the best tree you've ever seen?"
SHYLA: "No."
STEVIE: "Shyla, do you think we should bring this tree home?"
SHYLA: "No."
And so on. You get the idea.

When we got home and the tree was put up (and after great deliberation, the "perfect" side was determined and set facing the living room), I noticed that within an hour of being in our house one of those pesky needled ended up in Harper's butt! Yep, I have the picture to prove it!
Each year we add to our ornament collection. This year Shyla got a "big sister" ornament because she is a great big sister and Harper got a "baby's 1st" ornament for obvious reasons.

Once the tree was decorated and we broke up the clump of ornaments that Shyla put up, I had the girls pose for a picture and it warmed my heart that Shyla took Harper's hand. See, she is a great big sister!
And then one of my favorite holiday traditions: The Winterhaven Festival of Lights! We have been going to Winterhaven for as long as I can remember. We got bundled up and headed out with BOB and the cutest cupcake hat ever (thanks Auntie Cicely!)
I had to snap a picture of my favorite house: Occupy Winterhaven.

And I had to get a picture of me and Harper to show off the hat!

Then Christmas Eve Morning! We had a feast of a breakfast at Grandpa Steve's house along with Auntie Kirsten, Uncle Jim, Simone, and Sophia. And, of course, there were presents galore! Shyla liked opening the presents, even the ones not for her.

And Harper got some one-on-one time with Uncle Jim(s).

Then Christmas Eve Evening! Shyla and I made sugar cookies and we had yummy homemade mac n' cheese.
The girls each got new pajamas and Shyla set the cookies and milk out for Santa before going to bed.
Then Christmas!
When Shyla woke up on Christmas morning and we went into the living room I asked her "Does it look like Santa was here?" And here response was "no." Are you sensing a pattern here? I choose to believe that she didn't understand the question.

You will notice that there are 2 dolls under the tree that Santa didn't wrap. Even if this is just because Santa ran out of time and energy to wrap another single present, I am going to choose to believe that it is really because Santa is brilliant! Having an unwrapped present sitting out kept Shyla from whining while we waited for Harper and Daddy to wake up (she chose the purple haired doll and named her "Shyla" and decided the pink haired doll would be Harper's and her name would be "Angel.") Thanks for the brilliance, Santa!

Once those two sleepy-heads were up, we sang Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus and Shyla blew out the candle on his blueberry coffee cake.

Stevie got the largest bag of gummy bears ever (3 pounds of gummy goodness!)

Harper got a new blankey!

Shyla got a tricycle and helmet!

And we all got lots of other things too. Apparently we were all on the good list because Santa was really good to us!

Then onto my parents house where we sang Happy Birthday again, had mass pandemonium while we opened the way-too-many-gifts that Santa and my parents had for us there, and took a family picture since I learned how to use the timer on my camera.

Then onto my grandparents house where we crammed over 20 people and 9 kids into a small mobile home! The kids were, again, spoiled with gifts and they got to play with cousins they rarely see.
We took a picture of Grandpa Steve with his 4 grand-daughters.
Harper got some one-on-one time with Auntie Kirsten.

And then...A Christmas Miracle occurred! We somehow got all 9 kids (who are all under the age of seven) to sit on the sofa for a picture. I'm not gonna lie: it was my idea and there were some who said it couldn't be done. Well it was, and we have proof!

Harper got some one-on-one time with Grandma Barbara!

And, even though she was cooking up a cold and teething, she was still the belle of the ball. She and Shyla and all the other kids are what Christmas is all about. They are each a Christmas Miracle and blessing in their own ways and are each loved more than words could ever express.
It was a downright amazing Christmas. We are spoiled by gifts and by love and luck.

Merry Christmas to all and now....good night!


Chelsea said...

Love the ending - amazing day and amazing season! Love you!

Your Mom said...

And God bless of every one!!! What a wonderful "wrap-up" post about a truely miraculous Christmas!

Jeannette said...

Great post! Loved the pictures, the traditions, and, most of all, the people! :)

Suzanne said...