Nearly a week into the new year, I feel like it's time post about the holidays before they are a distant memory...
The whole holiday season seemed to go by super-quickly. I've heard the same thing echoed by lots of other people. Even though we aren't in the U.S. I think it had to do with American Thanksgiving falling so late this year. I'm sure having Sprout's birthday festivities going on earlier in December also made a difference.
Christmas Eve we drove out to my mom's. She and her boyfriend hosted a very nice turkey dinner followed by gift-opening. My mom is German and growing up, we always opened all of our gifts on Christmas Eve, so that doesn't feel strange to me. Just like I imagine celebrating two Christmases won't feel strange to our kids. The kids were quite spoiled. The two boys both had a great time playing with (/competing for`) new toys, while my brother supervised (/kept the peace). We left later than we had intended to and were exhausted by the time we got home, but it was worthwhile.
We had intended to leave early Christmas morning to head to PA, but we all slept in and then took our time getting ready. The kids opened their stockings and watched videos and Jen and I got the car packed up. Traffic was a little heavier than it would have been had we left first thing, but it still wasn't bad and I think we felt better having had extra cups of tea and knowing that nothing had been left behind because we were rushing.
Jen's parents were at her aunt's house for dinner so when we got it we just got the kids fed and ready for bed. After her parents got home we chatted by the fire and opened adult presents, so that Boxing Day morning would be all about the kids --their Christmas morning.
Needless to say they were ridiculously spoiled. Like last year, The Bean took time to play with each new toy he unwrapped. He had gotten down to his last few boxes and I asked him if he wanted to open another gift and he said, "Nope. I'm good." We're going to have to remember to ask Santa to cut back next year! ;)
A few days later we had a joint birthday party for the kids. The Bean got the chocolate robot cake he had been asking for and Sprout got my family's traditional hot milk cake. All the great grandparents came, along with a good smattering of aunts, uncles and some good family friends. It was a very nice celebration. I'd like to think The Bean's favourite part was his robot cake; Sprout's was DEFINITELY the balloon Grandma and Grandpa got her. She didn't let go of it for three days! (She even held it while nursing one day!)
While all the celebrations were lovely, the thing I enjoyed most about the holidays was spending time as a family. We kept busy, but we didn't have a hectic schedule that we were working with. We got to hang out with each other. Play. Chat. Eat. Relax. It was really nice. A good way to end the year.