Christmas has always been a very special holiday for me, and it just isn’t the same without small children. Having the opportunity to celebrate Oliver’s first Christmas with him was amazing and no offense to my kids, but has to be in my Top 5 Christmases ever. My youngest daughter said to me that she had never seen me laugh as much as I did around Oliver and the answer to that is he gives me pure joy. He had a wonderful day and we had a terrific time, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story for me.
In our house whoever passed out presents wore the Santa hat and Kyrston taught Jeremy the tradition. He was excited about passing out presents and was a good sport about the ridiculous hat she made him wear 🙂
I warned Kyrston and Jeremy that babies often become overstimulated on their first Christmas, so keeping that in mind we all kept things really mellow. We took our time opening his presents first and then he went down for a nap while we opened ours. He was absolutely perfect until the last couple of presents when he got a tad bit fussy. We all called it a big success.
We have a tradition in our house that by popular vote each year someone “wins” Christmas. I am not sure where it started but the person who finds the one present that really is perfect for someone else “wins”. I have a series of lovely moments in my head from this tradition over the years for both the winners and the recipients of the presents, and this year we were all vying to win Christmas with Oliver. I thought Lee had it when Oliver had a strong reaction to his best gift…actually laughing out loud when he got a teddy bear from Grandpa.
But then Aunt Kay swooped in for the win with an amazing Pooh Bear rocking horse. Couple of things. Kay’s nickname is Pooh, so it was a very sentimental gift, and better still she bought it at a yard sale. Yes, that’s right, winning Christmas isn’t about how much you spend but the feeling you evoke and we were all super impressed when she unwrapped the gift and saw his reaction. Score!!
Even after he took a nap it was still fun because it was Jeremy’s first family Christmas. He and Kyrston had exchanged gifts in the past but never in a circle with a family like this. By the way his Christmas list was absolutely perfect for a rookie. Everyone had a $200 budget (we really splurged this year) and he picked lots of things that were fun to buy. I gave him an A+. My favorite were these little robot cufflinks. He is the manager at a VERY swanky restaurant in downtown Charleston and wears a suit every night, but a little science fiction touch was delightfully nerdy. Loved them!
As a bonus I also bought him a set of Doctor Who socks that could pass as regular socks so he could wear them but hardly anyone would know 🙂
It was really fun and nice to splurge on the kids again. We haven’t exchanged presents for years and they have been really awesome about understanding the fact that we were on a tight budget. Now that I am making money again it seemed the right thing to do was spread the wealth a little and they were all super appreciative. My kids are super awesome about that. Although they absolutely love an over the top Christmas experience they never expect it which makes it even more special.
Later in the evening we had a Christmas dinner filled with the kids requested favorites. AS a calorie counter I will be honest and say I went over on my diet by around 500 calories (all those old family recipes are full of fat!) but that was the only day I did that which was nice!
As I stated it was one of my best Christmases ever and I am so grateful we got to experience it. If I hadn’t gotten a job we would be gate guarding again in Texas, which would have made me incredibly sad. I feel blessed to be in a position where we could be together and am looking forward to seeing Kat and meeting her boyfriend next week. Being with family is a gift that this lifestyle doesn’t always allow, so we need to take advantage of those moments when we can.
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