Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Festivities

We had the most wonderful Christmas!  It was our first time we were really in our own place on Christmas morning--we loved it.  And I think Andy's at an age where he really got into everything, which made it all super fun.  Here's what we did the few days surrounding Christmas:

On Christmas Eve, we went to my Aunt Ann's house with my mom's side of the family.  We used to get together all the time when we were younger, but the family has grown so much we don't see each other often enough.  It was so fun to all be together.  The food was delicious. And, as tradition requires, we played the chimes.  We came home later that night and read the Christmas story with Andy under the tree. We left out cookies for Santa and sent Andy to bed.  Cam and I stayed up getting Christmas all ready and watching Elf.
Andy joined in on the chimes this year!
Christmas morning was magical.  Andy asked Santa for a trampoline and a tic-toc (clock).  The tic-toc was a relatively recent Christmas wish, so Santa may have had to stop at Walmart on Christmas Eve.  For some strange reason, he was very excited about having his very own clock in his room.  We kept it pretty low-key.  Andy got the trampoline, the clock, a preschool readiness book, a puzzle from Max, and some new slippers.  Max got a couple new books.  (We already have so many toys for a one-year-old boy, we didn't see the need to buy a lot more.)  Cameron got a massage gift certificate, a new cell phone case, and a jazz ticket to go to a game with his dad and brother.  I got a massage/facial gift certificate and a new running headband. 

One of my favorite things we did was letting Andy pick out presents for everyone at the dollar store.  Our immediate family, grandparents, and all his aunts and uncles.  The presents were pretty hilarious.  I'm not even sure what to call my present...some sort of hot pink decorative centerpiece?  He got Cameron a paddle ball game.  And he got Max a coloring book.  Some of the other gifts he got everyone: Brendan got hangers, G.G. got a mini skateboard, Sara got one of those giant crayon banks, my dad got a pirate mask, Abby got fairy wings, my mom got a gumball machine.  It was so funny to see what he picked out for everyone.  And he loved helping me wrap them all up.  It was really sweet to see how excited he was to give things to people.  He could NOT understand the concept of how things were supposed to be surprises.  He second he saw Abby, he told her, "Abby I got you fairy wings for Christmas!" I reminded him it's supposed to be a surprise, so then he whispered, "Abby I got you fairy wings."  :)  

Anyway, after we opened up our gifts at the house, we headed up to my parents house to watch Abby open up about thirty presents of clothes open presents and have breakfast.  So fun to be all together Christmas morning!  My parents pretty much give us money and then we buy what we want.  We got a Blendtec this year.  We LOVE it.  Andy got a leap pad, and Max got some musical instruments that he loves to play with.  
Cute Andy and Sam on Christmas morning.
We headed to Cameron's parents house later that afternoon.  We opened up presents all together.  The boys got so many fun toys!  I think Andy's favorite is his new remote control cars.  Max loves the new shape sorter he got.  Greg and Kathy were so generous with Christmas money for us and then lots of fun other presents.  We're so excited about our tickets to Hale Center Theater! Kathy's side of the family came over later that night for a big Christmas dinner and celebration.  We had a little Christmas concert.  Cameron and I played a duet, Cameron sang a song he'd sung in church on sunday, and even Andy played a few numbers.  We practically had to drag him off the bench--I think he would have been happy to play for us all night.  We slept over that night and had a great time.  
Andy got to ring the bells.
Andy playing for everyone.
And here he is bowing.
We spent the two days after Christmas with my family.  Everyone was all together!  It was SO fun.  It doesn't happen very often since Christine and Ben live in Chicago.  We got sitters for the kids and saw Unbroken.  (Loved it.)  And then we went to Five Guys.  We hung out at the house a lot watching sports.  I'm not even sure which sport we were watching (basketball?  football?) which tells you how much I was paying attention.  We did our annual Gingerbread Man decorating contest!  The bakery messed up and made sugar cookies instead, but it all worked out.  Except that I took second place instead of first, which we need to choose a more competent judge next year.  Andy got to decorate one this year, so that was fun.  We also went bowling and to Cafe Rio.  We snuck in a trip to the mall.  So many fun things! 
My Elsa=perfection.
My mom did a traditional gingerbread man, my dad called his creation nut man (?), Sara did Cogsworth (1st place), Cameron did Brobee, and Ben's is a map of Jenny Lake and the Tetons.

A close up of Cameron's Brobee.  Pretty impressive! He got fifth place this year instead of his typical last place, so he's pretty thrilled.
I think this looks like a mermaid, but Andy says it's a pirate.
Jordon did Batman, Rachel did the joker, my Elsa, Christine did Olaf, Andy's pirate, and Abby's smoky the bear.

We love bowling with the family!  We always divide into teams and make it a competition with a prize.  I think our team won! Andy LOVES bowling. 
Proof Max and I were there.

The big fail is that we never got a shot of our little family all together! Next year we'll be better.  We're so grateful for the wonderful Christmas that we had, for the chance we had to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  What a wonderful time of the year.  


  1. Amelia just had fun looking at those gingerbread men with me. She loved the Elsa and Olaf. I miss your Christmas sing-along so much, I was really loving that tradition. But I'm glad you guys had fun there! That trampoline looks awesome, a good way to get some energy out.

  2. I love your gingerbread decorating contest tradition. So glad you posted photos again this year! How did Elsa not take first place?! You needed some six year old girls to be doing the judging.

    Andy is the sweetest. I love the whispered, "I bought you fairy wings for Christmas," after you reminded him it was a secret. So cute.

    Sounds like you had a great Christmas! Soooooo jealous of the Blendtec!