It's been a whirlwind of a weekend. We are all tired and happy. So very happy.
Full days, full tummies, full hearts....
First, I must confess....There is crumpled-up wrapping paper under the furniture at my house, new books and socks and games all over the floor, and a few glasses left to hand wash from lunch on Saturday. Anna even found a little unwrapped package under the tree this morning. Yes, I continue to tolerate the tornado that is my home. Gladly, actually. Somehow I hold on to the holiday a bit longer by leaving the crazy and chaos as is. Right now, it isn't about a clean house. It is about something much lovelier. And I'll savor that magic for as long as I can. Mess and all....
So I realize that the pictures and stories I am about to share are a sweet reflection of our holiday. But they are, in fact, nothing unusual. I'd guess the beautiful faces and surprised reactions and stories in the pictures below were pretty much replayed over and over in households in our tiny little town, and across the country. And, for some reason each Christmas morning, I'm reminded of just that fact. Even as a kid, I remember looking out our front window, across our neighborhood, wondering what Christmas morning might be like in all the other houses I could see....
On Christmas, I believe that we all share this same spirit, from house to house to house. It is all so much bigger than a wrapped gift under the tree. Much, much bigger!
These stories and pictures just happen to be mine. Nothing amazingly different....but oh-so-amazing to me!
Christmas Eve meant final preparations, including this trifle, which at the time of the picture was a work in progress.
As was the tradition when I was growing up, the kids were able to open just a few presents on Christmas Eve. But boy, waiting until noon to open those very first presents was sooooo hard - -
Henry choose this doll for his sister. "I think she'll really like this one," he said. And clearly he knows his sister well....the doll hasn't left Anna's side since she opened it.
Then, we were off to Grandma and Grandpa's to celebrate with the rest of the family.....
One of the best presents for all of us was being able to Skype with Annie in Rwanda. In fact, she was able to be online and with us as we opened presents. The entire time. Obviously it wasn't the same without her. She was missed so much. But, considering she is half-way around the world, this was amazing!
And the kids were so cute. When they'd open a present, they'd line up in front of the computer to show Aunt Annie. Just like they would have if she was sitting on the couch with us.
It was an amazing gift!!
End of the night, and Miss Anna was ready to go home and sleep. Feather boa and all.
Then, it was Christmas morning. And Santa had arrived!
Before we all made it down the stairs in the morning, Henry looked outside and saw these tracks on the roof of the porch. We're pretty sure they were from Santa's reindeer.
I love sweet Christmas morning faces!
Legos! We weren't even half way through presents, and Henry had already opened his new box of legos. He couldn't wait to start building!
After all the presents and morning hoopla, Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Rick came over for the afternoon. And after lunch, Anna served tea. Well, actually she served lemonade with whipped cream. Pink coffee with bananas too.
Everyone said it was the best holiday tea party ever.
After the tea party, "Super Anna" dressed in her new "Big A" cape, and rescued Grandma Margie from the "sticky stuff." (As was the story told by Anna....)
I love a girl who can serve a proper tea, and then fly off to save the day!
This was all while the boys were downstairs jamming to Rock Band. "Eye of the Tiger" seemed to be the afternoon favorite. At least for Henry.
And then more Lego's....
Worn out! This super-hero needed a little beauty rest on Christmas afternoon. Surrounded by all of her new friends....
It was a wonderful few days.
And I am grateful for every meal shared and hug exchanged and gift given.
It was magic.