Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Christmas

Before showing our Best Christmas Ever (and most hectic) ... some things to keep in mind:
our children do own clothes that have sleeves and legs
our children generally choose their own wardrobe
we keep the house at 68degrees

this was the first Christmas I had about 1% help from Ren Man in the gifting process.
I was incredibly stressed
I am so relieved with how it all turned out
even if there was no time to make Christmas cookies
I was very very ill with a tremendous cold that caused my head to be replaced by a heavy snowball

On Christmas Even we had one present under the tree (from a family friend addressed to all of us).
Ark Boy: Mom, is tomorrow the day we open presents?
Me: Yep
Ark Boy: Who's going to open the present since we only have one?
Farm Girl: Can I?
Ark Boy: Hey! I know! How about we all open it since it's for all of us?
Farm Girl: Yeah!

I was so pleased by their thrill over one present and their willingness to share the experience. I was a little sad to think this will be the only Christmas like this. Next year, they will remember the gifting extravaganza.

In my heightened stress ... one of the stressful elements was that Ren Man would not be home until at least 9am. I didn't want him to miss out on the kids seeing the presents for the first time.
I came up with a scheme to have Ren Man come home after chores and distract the kids with book reading in their room while I hurriedly put out the presents.
My friend came up with a better scheme, but one that was a little less fool-proof. She suggested putting out the presents the night before and whisking the kids past the tree in the morning for our usual snuggle time.
I tried to explain how open our open floor plan is.
Kids must pass tree to get to parents bed.
But it was worth a try (you see what you expect to see, and all that).
And the next morning
it worked.
I instructed Ren Man to bring the stockings in from the living room (decided not to heighten their suspicions by leaving them in their rightful place at the end of their beds) when he came home from chores.


Stocking Success!

We tried to relish the thrill of the stocking (Ark Boy wanted to call Nina immediately to tell her what was in his stocking!) while being aware that we had two more houses to hit on Christmas day - including my parents 5 hours away.
In true Ark Boy fashion, he opted to put his whole stocking in the fridge to save.
In true Farm Girl fashion, she opted to devour as much of her stocking as possible, immediately.
Ark Boy was happy to help her in her quest and Farm Girl was happy to share.

With a ticking clock Ren Man and I made our way into the living room, camera in hand, and called for the children to come: "something happened to the tree!"


It was very hard for them to believe at first ... took a minute or two to process what they were seeing ... and then it clicked.


Happy present opening commenced.
I love these tiny dolls we got Farm Girl and Ark Boy was t-h-r-i-l-l-e-d with his skateboard. Even more than I expected him to be.


Then we were off to Grammy and Grampy's for MORE presents. It was all very exciting. When we arrived Ren Man's family was hanging out waiting on us. No one was rush-y rush-y about attacking presents ... and neither were our kids, which was cool. They found Grampy (who isn't often at his house), told Auntie Chels "Merry Christmas", Ark Boy told Grammy about his new skateboard, and then Grammy suggested opening presents. The kids were all for it!
After presents a much needed yummy and filling brunch.


We pulled ourselves from the fun family company and the delicious food to start the journey to my parents.
It was bitter sweet because my parents house has sold (that's all sweet, no bitter there ;) ) and we were leaving behind a place we've had Christmas at for years. My plan was for us to go to bed and wake up the next morning to open presents again. My siblings revolted this plan and I wasn't too dedicated to it so more merry present opening happened Christmas night. By this point no one was concerned about picture taking.


After a couple of days of little to no responsibilities, enjoying new Christmas presents, and catching up on starfall regularly we made the long journey back home.

I love that this Christmas was what we wanted it to be, a bigger emphasis on family togetherness.
Interesting thinking of where we were a year ago (anticipating moving to VT and farming) and what has happened this year (we've moved to VT and farmed) and anticipating what's to come in the next year (another move, more farming). Curious to think what next Christmas will be like.

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