Christmas, my FAVORITE holiday. My favorite time of year. The lights, the decorations, the fire in the fireplace, snow?!, and of course Santa! It is also the most stressful. I love selecting and wrapping all the gifts, but the process of figuring out what to buy each and every person is overwhelming. And it seems like the stress sets in earlier and earlier every year. As soon as halloween is over it's time to start thinking about Christmas. The lists must be ready to go by Thanksgiving or sooner so people can shop black Friday to cyber Monday. At least for me. I prefer to do all my shopping online that weekend and leave few things - like stockings - for the end. But once it is all done and taken care of, I can relax and enjoy all the festivities.
Speaking of festivities, while we did stay home this year we still managed to have a fun and full holiday season. We missed family but hopefully we can get a visitor next year! Of course we stopped by to meet the big guy this year. No tears from Norah - yay! Charlotte had a deep conversation with Santa, asking him for "diamond earrings" for Christmas. Where she got that idea I have no idea! This girl is always full of surprises.
|Norah checking to see if that beard is real or not!|
We hosted our annual neighborhood holiday party in mid December. We love our Buck's Run family! My girls got to wear their Christmas dresses for the event and looked absolutely adorable! It was a gold year.
|my two beauties!|
|a girls selfie|
|watching Santa on the firetruck!|
Our elf Jinx came back to visit us this year and got into plenty of mischief. Charlotte really enjoyed searching for him every day and the threat of him "watching" worked a bit. Here is a bit of the fun we had with Jinx....
Of course our girl performed in the most adorable Christmas performance. Multiple songs, lots of dancing and some yummy food. Daddy left work a little early to cheer for C.
We got a special gift on Christmas Eve - Meredith, Parker and John James came for a quick visit and playtime! The kiddos had a great time playing....and snacking.
And before we knew it, it was time for bed. We set out the goodies for Santa and the reindeer, took a few photos, and headed to bed.
And finally Christmas morning!!! Charlotte woke up earlier than normal and was super excited about seeing what Santa brought her. Both kids had a ton of fun opening gifts. Charlotte helped Norah with each one, what a great big sister. And as soon as one gift was revealed she was asking for the next one. We tried to take a break to eat breakfast but that took a lot of convincing. I can see it may not be a leisurely experience for many years. That's ok with me. I cannot get enough of their joy and happiness on Christmas morning!
|our annual family photo|
|more excited about the box than what was in it|
|showing off her "diamond" earrings - stick on. Good job Santa!!|
|Obsessed with her new shoes!!|
|harley's favorite gift - a box!!|
|playing with her new Barbie vet set!|
|all set and ready to go with her bag!|
|Daddy opening a gift and nobody else in sight|
|enjoying a few of their new toys!|
|Barbie and Snow White going for a dip in the pool. Looks like they forgot their suits!|
|Not so thrilled about her potential dip in the pool. THIS IS NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR!!!|
|The aftermath. The best part is the clean-up right? haha|
Later that day, after I finally started to feel a little better (I got the icky stomach bug that was going around), we decided to go to the movies to see Sing. What a great movie!! It was the perfect end to our day.
A week later we had a second Christmas with Matt's side of the family. We all got together at Jack's house, had dinner and opened presents. The kids had a great time playing and being forced to take multiple photos in various outfits. It's ok kiddos - you will appreciate these someday!
|my favorite - fancy clothes!|
|the spread. Look at those hungry munchkins waiting patiently|
|can't forget about H. Norah just loves to give him hugs!|
|fingerprint ornament - one light from each kiddo! Great job Jen and Nikki! (I supervised)|
|Love this group photo (missing Karen and Jan) - kiddos in their Christmas jammies.|
The next morning - after plenty of cartoons and a hearty breakfast - it was time to decorate some cookies! And by decorate I mean the Mom's did the "work" while the kiddos just ate the frosting and sprinkles. Talk about sugar rush!
|sprinkles all over the floor = time to clean up! They were more than happy to help|
And finally - NYE. We all went out, hit up the bars and had a hangover like no other!!! Kidding. Those were the days. I don't think we even made it to midnight this year. BUT, we did do something fun....we took the kids to Anne Marie Gardens to see the Garden in Lights. A cell phone camera just doesn't take good photos, but I had to share a few. Enjoy the blurry images! haha
SOMD bucket list item ✔.
Every holiday season I can't help but feel how truly blessed we are. Enjoying the holidays through the eyes of a child is the greatest gift of all. Sending all of you love as we say goodbye to 2016. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Cheers to 2017!