Christmas was so fun this year with two very excited little boys. We woke up to find (despite Ben's suspicions) that Santa had come. Ben begged for a Leap TV and due to its educational nature, we caved on the no video game rule. Elle needed something to keep her entertained as she grows both at home and in the shop, so Santa brought this very fun bouncy play station. She already loves to sit in it and spin the little wheel and chew on everything else. All Jackson wanted for Christmas was a baby monkey. He used to have one and then lost it about six months ago. He never forgot about baby monkey though. He actually used to call out sometime while going to bed, "I miss you baby monkey. I'm sorry I lost you." Jackson loves monkeys and his favorite stuffed animal is "monkey," a Build A Bear monkey that James made for me when we were in high school. Then one day he found an old monkey of Ben's at my parent's house and that became baby monkey. James found the exact same one that comes in the suitcase, and Jackson was thrilled to be reunited with baby monkey. And so was "monkey," who kissed and hugged him when he saw him Christmas morning (we have video- too cute).
This year was extra sweet with the addition of this girl. Elle's first Christmas!
Jackson's other main present was a play kitchen. I always find him playing in the little kitchen at our gym or at friend's houses, so we thought it was time he had one of his own. I think that he and Elle are going to have lots of fun playing with this together in about a year.
Besides the Leap TV, Ben got a few Minecraft paper kits, a Minecraft lego set, and some art supplies.
All I wanted under the tree were my instagrams printed and in my hands. Thanks to Chatbooks I now have all 1000 or so in print. Nothing better than looking back at all these sweet memories of the last almost three years.
The aftermath. Ben just dug right in and opened up everything; creating an even bigger mess for me. Jackson wasn't feeling too well (we actually had to coax him into opening all of his presents), and he was exhausted, so he just wanted to lay down and watch a show. After presents I made breakfast and then we got ready to go see some of James' extended family. Our night ended with a Full House christmas episode marathon. So awesome! I think we struck a pretty good balance this year between extended family time and cozy downtime with our own not-so-little anymore family. As always looking forward to years to come and the evolution of our family and Christmas traditions.
And because Christmas really is the whole month and not just one day, we also celebrated by . . .
- watching lots of Christmas movies.
- going to see the temple lights. The first time we went, when we pulled off the freeway and rounded the corner that the temple is on, Jackson exclaimed, "I want to go there!"
- decorating a gingerbread house. And then slowly eating the candy off said house all month long.
- decorating gingerbread people and having an Instagram/Facebook contest for the best one. I think James ended up winning. I love though how Ben got his sight word flashcards out and put the word "like" next to his to encourage voters. We also got a huge laugh out of James' photo-bombing ginger man.
- attending our ward's Christmas party and sitting on the big man's lap.
- attending my family's annual Christmas party and seeing family we usually just see once a year.
- reading lots of Christmas books. I kept our stash out this year in the living room for easy accessibility for bedtime and anytime reading.
I love how Christmas was the whole month for Jackson and not just the one day. Christmas was the decorations and all the festivities leading up to it. I think sometimes if we place all our anticipation on just the big day it can be a letdown, because it comes and goes in a blink of an eye. We didn't take all our decorations down till January 9th. Around January 7th Jackson was talking about Christmas and I told him that Christmas was over. He went into the living room, looked at the tree, and said, "no, Christmas not over." Wish we could have kept it going all this month too. But alas, the decorations are in boxes, and the tree is on our front lawn (waiting for the garbage man to haul it away). Till next year.