I am still riding the high of Christmas 2013. It was such a special time spent with the people I love.
This year we decided to stay in Virginia rather than travel anywhere. Even though I love going to Pennsylvania to see my family and friends, I knew it was time for us to start our own traditions. Luckily both of our families were willing to come to us from Pennsylvania and South Carolina and spend the holiday here!
We celebrate Christmas starting at the beginning of December. Before I get into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I want to recap some of our pre-Christmas traditions. First, we always go pick out our Christmas tree and decorate it together.
We also take our picture in front of it after we are finished decorating. This year we added our 5th picture to the collection. I can’t believe we have already celebrated that many Christmases together! Here they all are below: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Another thing we have done yearly is visit the Bull Run Festival of Lights. Kevin first took me here in 2009 when we met, and we’ve gone every year since. Last year Kevin slept through the whole thing, but this year I knew he’d enjoy it more because he is infatuated with lights. It is a 2 mile long light show that you drive through. Since we only go about 5 mph, I took Kevin out of his car seat and let him ride in the front in my lap. This way he could see everything much better, since he is still rear facing in his car seat. He absolutely LOVED it, and he also had fun running around the carnival at the end.
Finally, this past weekend we went to see Santa at the mall (along with every other child in Northern Virginia). Since we waited until the Sunday before Christmas the line was super long, and we waited for over an hour. Last year Kevin was only 3 months old so he was kind of indifferent about Santa. This year we weren’t sure how he would react, since he doesn’t like anyone to hold him except mommy and daddy. He was also getting a little cranky since it was almost nap time. He didn’t cry, but he wasn’t exactly excited either. He just looked kind of… scared. Haha. Maybe next year we’ll get a smile!
Now onto Christmas Eve. My dad and sister came in late Monday night after I was already asleep, so I was excited to wake up to them on Tuesday morning! We all had a lazy morning just hanging out and spending time together.
Kevin played in his tent, which we got him when we found it for a great deal. It wasn’t technically a Christmas gift so we gave it to him this past weekend. He loves crawling in and out of the tunnel!
He also spend some good quality time with his Poppy and Aunt Lauren.
Later that afternoon my sister and I started prepping dinner. We kept it simple with ham, our family’s special recipe for macaroni and cheese, and roasted vegetables. It was so yummy!
After dinner I made some chocolate peanut butter chip cookies for “Santa” and Kevin opened his Christmas Eve gifts. This is a tradition we hope to continue each year. He opened a pair of pajamas and a Christmas movie. We didn’t have time to watch the movie that night since it had gotten late, but we did let him have the cookies that he was supposed to eat with it.
For some reason he did not want to eat the cookie! We finally got him to taste it and then he realized it was good and wanted more.
Then he just started feeding it to us!
After our cookie snack we got ready to take him up for a bath. We always let him have a little ‘naked time’ before his bath, which he absolutely loves. We’ve only had two ‘accidents’ so far 🙂
After bath daddy read him “The Night Before Christmas,” which he also did last year.
After we got the baby to bed it was time to get to work! We had a kitchen to put together. It took almost 3 hours and a few drinks, but finally it was finished. This picture is deceiving though, because it was really Kevin, my sister and my dad who did most of the work. I only helped at the end because I was busy doing dishes and cleaning up the house 🙂
I woke up the next morning at 7:30 and realized the baby wasn’t up yet. Of course he decides to sleep in on Christmas (probably the last time that will happen for a long time!) I was too excited so Kevin and I woke him up and brought him downstairs. He had some breakfast while we got the video camera and everything set up in the other room.
Finally it was time! We let him walk into the living room on his own to see all the gifts.
We tried to keep Kevin’s gifts simple and follow the “something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, something to read” idea like last year, but we ended getting more than we planned originally. His wants were his kitchen and play food (it’s his favorite toy at daycare), plus some wooden puzzles, his needs were some plastic utensils and a reusable plastic placemat for when we eat out, something to wear was a snowsuit and Christmas pajamas, and for something to read he received two lift-the-flap books and one ABC animal bag/book with velcro animals for each letter. He also got a stocking full of some of his favorite treats, teethers, and other small items.
My dad got him this amazing wagon, which was by far his favorite gift of them all. His face when he saw it was priceless!
I knew he would love it because there were 2 little girls at his old daycare who lived in the same neighborhood, and everyday their mom would let them ride home in a wagon. He loved it and always wanted to get in and go with them.
He loved the wagon so much that he insisted on opening most of his presents while sitting in it.
We all took turns opening our gifts from one another. Like usual we all spoiled each other and bought way too much. The biggest shock of the day was when I opened our gift from my dad. He knew that my MacBook that I’ve had for over 6 years (our only computer) was giving us issues. It would randomly shut off and the screen was constantly flickering unless it was tilted just right. I was finally about to drain our savings account to buy another one when he surprised us a beautiful new MacBook Pro. I couldn’t believe it when I opened it up and immediately burst into tears. Such a generous gift. I love my daddy!
The rest of the morning was spent playing with all of our new toys, eating breakfast sandwiches and drinking Poinsettias (champagne and cranberry juice).
My dad and sister sadly left in the early afternoon. We put the baby down for his much needed nap after all that excitement, then I headed out for my run. Unsurprisingly, after a few too many cookies and glasses of champagne, it wasn’t my best run. But at least I got it done! Afterwards I showered and when the baby woke up, we headed over to Kevin’s sister’s house to do Christmas with his side of the family.
Unfortunately at that point Kevin was pretty much done with Christmas. He was pretty cranky and unhappy for most of the evening. We stayed there for a few hours, opened gifts and had dinner, then called it a night. We were all exhausted!
The last picture of the day, after a long and overwhelming day. This is the best “family picture” we got 🙂
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!