Warning!!! This post consists of many pics and Christmas memories of my children constituting a lengthy journal entry. Unless you find my children as bright, charismatic and photogenic as I do...you may want to browse quickly.Abi is "dreaming of Christmas Goodies" as she sings in the school Christmas program. Their music teacher wrote this adorable program about Santa being hooked on an X-Box and forgetting about Christmas while the North Pole residents try and remind him of the magic of Christmas. Abi and her grade were bakers trying to woo Santa away with Christmas delights.
Talmage and his grade are singing snowflakes, caroling about "Suzy Snowflake." Who doesn't love melodious frozen precipitation?
The celebration of Christmas in the Meek home is a drawn out affair, at times I have even described it as an ordeal, as we journey from house to house so that each grandma, Nana, and Nana and Papa can have their special Christmas time. This year however, we tried to keep it simpler and relish the joy of living so close to our family.
Our festivities begin Christmas evening at Great-Grandma Hayes's where we have dinner with all of Kris's extended aunts, uncles and cousins. His aunt Nancy makes this wonderful rolls and hides a tin foil ball inside one of them. The lucky recipient of the ball wins a prize. Kris and I have been married for 10 years and this is the first year I have ever found the ball. Yeah me!!!
Leah and her second cousin Emily loved rifling through the white elephant presents. You never know what you are going to get - this year it was a cool headlamp for Talmage and candles for Abi.
Later we go over to Nana Meek's for a round of present opening and wassail. One of our traditions is to read "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve.
Leah really was thrilled with this new jumper because it had "circles" on it. She is fascinated by circles and points them out on things from books, to stickers, to clothes, etc.
Tal truly is my Lego Maniac and really was this crazy about his new Star Wars ship and the fact that it had droids to go with it.
Leah didn't want to feed the baby Polar Bear from Uncle Eric the bottle, it was Leah's. But Leah surely loves snuggling with Uncle Eric. I think that he might feel the same.
Abi strikes a pose in her new Christmas jammies from Nana Meek. She is sooooo stylin' with the sleep mask as well, and you KNOW that she wore it to bed that night.
After a late night, Christmas morning dawned a little toooo early for mom and Leah. Tal of course was up about 6:00, but Mom chased him back to bed with dire threats of NO PRESENTS unless he stayed in bed until 7:00. Abi was awake in her bed counting the minutes as well and at 7:00 on the dot I heard her feet on the stairs.
Santa had the right connections this year and found Abi the white Zhu Zhu hamster that she had been dreaming about. Mom is really happy that this pet runs on batteries, doesn't need it's cage cleaned, and can be turned off at will.
Once Leah opened this baby stoller and we put her baby in for a ride, there was no stopping her. Up and down the hall, around the dining room, kitchen and back to the living room she went. Leah loved pushing her baby so much that she would NOT stop to open any more presents; she howled in protest when I tried to persuade her. So Abi and Tal took turns opening the rest.
Tal's favorite present was Lego Indiana Jones for the Wii. I know this because he played all Christmas break and every spare moment since he started school.
And mommy received the best present of all. Daddy bought mommy a new piano that arrived Christmas Eve. I've been waiting for this for 10 years. Many thanks to my wonderful husband who spoils me rotten. Kris thought he was getting shoes, but I totally surprised him with tickets to see LaBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Utah Jazz. He was almost speechless. (More about that later.)
The Meek Family mugging for our annual photo that I make them take every Christmas. I just like the regularity of the comparison so that I can see how we change from year to year. After opening presents on Christmas morning we host a breakfast for whatever family wants to stop by. This year we had cinnamon rolls, make your own omelets, hot chocolate and wassail. Listening to my kids play on the new piano or with their new toys, chatting with family and just relaxing and soaking in the warmth of love, family and the season; Christmas morning was definitely my favorite.
Later in the afternoon we drove out to Nana and Papa Fife's for Christmas dinner and more present opening. The kid's favorite activity is playing Christmas Bingo for their fun prizes. Nana shops year round to stock up on tantalizing gifts for Christmas Bingo.
As a finale' we tried to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas with a little program and Nativity. Nana's leading the children in a chime rendition of "Little Jesus" captured the season perfectly: joyful chaos.
A little crazy, very noisy, and a lot of fun - our Nativity is kind of like "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" - it didn't go according to plan, but we all felt the spirit, maybe even because of that.
Nana and Papa Fife always outfit our kids so adorably for Christmas. Mom enjoys that gift Sunday after Sunday. Hoping you all had a Merry Christmas and a not toooo crazy New Year.