This was probably the best Christmas I can remember! I am glad about that because I didn't go into it with much Christmas spirit. I felt like Scrooge on the 24th. I really missed having Brakston with us! It was hard because he'd been gone the previous 2 years on his mission and I had really looked forward to having Christmas with him once again. But, alas, he's married now and spent Christmas with his wife's family. It is something I will have to get used to but it was really hard on me this year and I shed a lot of tears. Also, I was a little frustrated with a couple of my children who had put off making their homemade gift. Also, there was no snow which didn't exactly help put me in the proper Christmas mode. So, Christmas didn't get off to the most promising start.
I arose really early and took care of a few things. I also made homemade eggnog and started the Swedish Tea Ring which is our traditional breakfast. We went to church before opening anything. The music and prayers at church gave me the peace and joy I was seeking. We came home and baked our tea ring, ate breakfast, and did the dishes. Finally, when the kids were ready to burst in anticipation, we went in around the tree for another family tradition - the finding of the pickle. Based on a supposed German myth (most Germans have never heard of it), we have a pickle ornament which is hidden on Christmas Eve. The first child to find the pickle receives an extra present.
Chandler was the lucky pickle-finder this year and got a jar filled with gumballs.
Santa does not wrap our gifts but leaves the gifts and stockings on the couch covered with a tablecloth.
The kids line up by age for the unveiling.
I guess what really made this a great Christmas was that Kevin and I managed to surprise every child with something they really wanted. Some didn't know that was what they wanted and some didn't expect to get what they wanted. Shanley got this peacoat which she absolutely loves and didn't ask for.
McKayla was shocked to receive an acoustic guitar. She has really wanted one for a while but didn't actually expect to get it.
Chandler needed a new bike but thought he'd have to wait until his birthday. We also surprised him with a Legos watch. He didn't even know there was such a thing and he LOVES it!
Shanley and Alec show off their matching pajama pants.
Alec wanted a light saber. He was sure every present he opened would be that so, of course, I saved it to the very last. He was pretty excited about it. He likes that it makes lights and sounds.
I am so glad we were able to surprise our kids! I threw the budget out the window this year which wasn't smart (and is so unlike me) but it was worth every penny seeing every child so happy!
4 days ago