This Christmas we stayed in Maryland, which was very strange for us! Usually we head to Chicago or Ohio, or both. But this year we stayed home to have a calm Christmas with my parents and brothers. We where able to do more traditions and even start a few.
The morning of Christmas eve we filled the house with the sounds and smells of Christmas. We watched every Christmas movie we could find. Johnny finally started to like The Grinch (cartoon), he got worked up when the sleigh full of toys almost feel down the cliff, "he drop the toys, no one get toys." And was very shocked when the Grinch was able to pull up the sleigh again.
We also made some cookies! Can you guess my favorite Christmas movie?
The "fart cookies" are a family specialty! Santa loves them.
One of my favorite memories from my childhood is our Christmas Eve parties at my Grandparents house. All of my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins would get together to eat some pizza, chicken, and jojos and exchange gifts. My parents took over this tradition so that we can share it with our kids. Grams and Pops have a stocking for each Grand kid (that is 6 now) and they filled it to the top with toys and gifts that they took a lot of time and thought to pick out just for them! Each stocking comes with a special big gift for each kid as well and an envelope for Mommy and Daddy.
There is nothing more important to Grams and Pops then these kids. They would do anything for them and treasure each moment they get to spend with them.
Another special tradition from my childhood was the new and really nice outfits we would have for this Christmas Eve party and church. My mother would often make mine with matching ruffle socks and hair accessories. So this year I tried my hand at making Lily's bows so that they would go exaclty with her dress. This is as far as it lasted, she yanked it off of her head and ripped it apart...next time more hot glue.
After a quick hello to Grams and Pops and making sure that all 6 kids where in the house (not an easy feat these days) everyone headed downstairs to dig into their gifts.
Johnny's first was this little triceratops that moved its head and growled, he carried it around like a baby. Here is Johnny's special outfit, he loved the reindeer this year so we got him a funny reindeer tie and some nice Levi jeans, I am not allowed to put bows in his hair.
And the wonderful chaos began! 6 kids opening 6 sets of presents and playing with tons of new toys.
Wyatt was just so cute! He got new tools, and this saw and goggles where the best! We where all surprised that he kept the goggles on, but he wanted them on and they stayed that way for most of the night.
Johnny's big gift was Boris the Tyrannosaurus from Dinosaur Train. He is the main dino is a set that Johnny asked for this year. All of the dinosaurs talk to and with each other when they sense the others are near. It is very cool! I remember that my Gramma Nancy had 13 grand kids and every year she would get each kid a gift for $25, she always knew the perfect gift! You always felt special when you opened that gift, like she knew you and you of all the grand kids best, but everyone felt like that!
Johnny also got his first Hot Wheels! He (and Daddy) are very excited!
I am not the only one who loves taking pictures of our families.
See the apron Grams is wearing? Each adult girl got one this year with our Aunt name on it (none of us are called by our real name, I am Aunt Nenni, then there is Aunt Natnie and Aunt Shell.) This is another tradition my mother is carrying on. Her mother, Gramma Nancy, would always get each daughter and daughter-in-law a matching gift.
Lily's stocking was filled with Little Button toys. Little Button is this round faced, pink checked teddy bear that reminds Papa of Lily. There is an entire line of toys that go along with this teddy bear and Lily got them ALL. She also got some great cupcake cloths and pink bedding.
Lily is such an amazing baby. In the busyness of the day she only got one short nap and was completely thrown off her routine. But she did not cry at all or become fussy, she just became cuddly and sweet.
Lily got this great little pink car as her big gift! She is such a big girl sitting in it and turning the wheel.
As the evening began to wind down my camera battery died and the two boys dug into the plate of homemade buckeyes (thank you Natalie!) They are so sneaky and sweet!
I really treasure these days. I got a chance to sit around and talk to my brother Thomas about school and my sister in law Michele about our famlies. Natalie made some very delicious food and Charlie played with kids. I am lucky to have the family I do and be able to have friendships with my brothers and their wives.
It was a wonderful family filled start to the week end Christmas extravaganza.