It was a good one...again. We faked Christmas Day this year by having our own family Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of the 25th. I know it's terribly selfish, but I love...LOVE...love having a whole day at home with just our little family. Love. It. For some reason I feel like I need to justify this decision but it really works good for our family and we love the down time. It started years ago when we ran around like crazy people hitting every gathering (at the time-my extend family gathering was usually on boxing day which was out of town and Conrad's parents also lived out of town) and we arrived home after 2 or more days of chaos absolutely exhausted and then Conrad would go back to work and I would be left with the aftermath. One year - I think Kaden was 2- and for some reason Conrad's sister's family (who live out of province) wanted to celebrate the Sunday before Christmas Day and that year my sister was only available the Sunday after. My extended gathering had been held early in December and so that year, we were spoiled with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing day to ourselves. It was glorious. I have nothing against spending time with family but I love OUR family time and LOVE that time on Christmas Day together.
As our kids have grown up and our schedules have become more hectic, I cherish this small family time even more. I think it also becomes a competition because if we don't get together with both families on Christmas Day, then one feels the shaft. So, choosing to be with just our little family eliminates that. Christmas day is the ONLY day of the entire year that we can be sure that there are no distractions...no hockey games, no soccer games, no synchro meets, nothing...nada....zip. Conrad has had to work on Christmas Eve sometimes and he has also worked on Boxing day too. Christmas day is the only day we are guaranteed to have together and that's sacred time to me. We laze around in our jammies, leisurely open our gifts one at a time taking turns, eat a fantastic breakfast, and then we spend the day checking out our new gifts, playing our new games (there's always at least one new one!) and chilling out as a family. I love it.
Yes, I realize this is setting myself up for my own kids to want to do the same thing and not be with me on Christmas Day. However, I hope they do want to spend time with their little families as well. I think that will be important for them too --to not just rush through Christmas but to stop and enjoy it. I think it helps slow down the season when you are not rushing from one place to another but rather savouring the time instead of breezing through it.
Conrad's parents planned for our gathering with his side on Christmas Day which I have to say I was a little sad about. Even our kids asked if we had to go out on Christmas day if they could wear their jammies and I know they look forward to our relaxing time at home. Conrad (solver of all!) suggested we just hold our Christmas on Christmas Eve since Conrad's work had decided to be closed on that day. So, we did...
We pretended it was Christmas morning and besides being interrupted by the mailman, it was pretty much how we would have spent our day anyway. We opened gifts:
...and the bags I made this summer worked great! We continued the tradition of 4 gifts (something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read) and a stocking. Their "something they need" bags were a little full this year with some bonus gifts because the girls desperately needed tank tops/camisoles and Kaden needed socks and a long sleeved underarmour thingy for outdoor hockey and so those got stuffed into the bag as well.
Gifts this year from us:
Something she wants- Sephora make up kit (bought with a $15.00 off coupon!)
Something she needs- pjs, tank tops, socks, underwear
Something she wears- "synchro" (I have a post on this coming soon!) sweats and I did add a pair of boots that I found on clear out for $10.00)
Something she reads- Listography (not sure why it is twice the price at chapters?!)
Something she wants-lug skipper purse in ocean blue
Something she needs-sweats for soccer, tank tops, socks, underwear
Something she wears- sock monkey footsie pjs (that reminds me, I don't think I paid Tammy yet for picking these up for me from the States! Sorry!!)
Something she reads- Susie Magazine subscription
Something he wants-Football Jersey Shirt on sale!
Something he needs- music stand, socks, hockey jock, underarmour hockey thing,
Something he wears- housecoat
Something he reads- Latest Diary of Wimpy Kid Book
The game we added to our game collection was "Sounds Like a Plan" which was a real winner!
A Popcorn Machine!
I bought Conrad some clothes, a new razor (Black Friday Sale!) and 4 new magic tricks which he was thrilled with. I think he will get a kick out of showing these off...especially this one and this one. He spent some time on the 24th practicing and it was so fun to watch him master his new tricks.
I was extremely blessed this year by receiving so many of the gifts from my wish list. I probably shouldn't be surprised when he gets me something from my list but it blew me away to find ALL of these things under the tree for me:
I also got an immersion blender/chopper which I was thrilled with because I had a really cheap one and it broke right away and so Conrad picked a more studier one. I was so happy with all of my gifts and then Conrad told me to close my eyes because there was one more...
A Kitchenaid Mixer!! Wow! I cried. It was so unexpected because it was such an expensive gift. Conrad shrugged it off and said it was kind of a silly gift because it was for the whole family. I have been wishing for one of these mixers for a long time but did not think I would actually own one. I love it. I told Conrad that I had not spent that much on him and he laughed because he said that was not the point. It was a huge and unexpected surprise. I am blessed to have a husband who spoils me royally. I put it to good use already that first night when I made pizza dough...
It worked perfectly! So. awesome. Even though it was our "Christmas Day" we kept our Christmas Eve tradition of making pizza for supper. We spread out the toppings and went to town building our individual pizzas. They were scrumptious as usual!
The leftover toppings for our pizzas are perfect for breakfast the next day when we make omelettes in a bag and serve them with hashbrowns, bacon, and fresh fruit.
After our late breakfast, we were off to Conrad's parents for the rest of the day. I didn't take many pictures. We spent a good part of the day swimming in their condo's pool and then we ate dinner and opened gifts. Here are just a few of the kids with some of their gifts.
My sister-in-law blessed us with some amazing delish naturals products from her shop. The girls especially loved their lip balm flavours in Monkey Fart and Blueberry Smoothie. My nephew was a bit under the weather and my brother-in-law had to work early the next morning, so it was just our little family and Conrad's parents left after they were gone. We stayed late to play some games and it was a good time.
Today, Conrad had to work :( and so just like that it's all over. While I'm thankful he has a job when so many others do not, I would have liked another day with him at home.