Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

As we're just wrapping up Christmas over here, I feel very happy with how it all went.  We had just returned from our Disneyland Trip so I was worried it would feel stressful but it wasn't at all.  The kids were all healthy (possibly a first) and we weren't hosting (the benefits of having one of the smallest homes) so it was easy to attend two family functions alongside our own celebration.  

We had Christmas Eve with my extended family which includes 16 kids ten and under.  We have a couple of traditions alongside the turkey and ham–the kids exchange a gift with another cousin and the adults participate in a white elephant gift exchange.  There have been some doozies in the past but I think the most random gift this year was hash browns.

{Let's dab, Koen will love it. Or not.}

{So many cousins!  One family prefers not to be on social media which is why they are blanked out because I just had to share all this cuteness.}

We went to the Christmas Eve service afterward at our church. Our kids were tired so we didn't quite make it to the end.  We got all the kids to bed and placed the presents under the tree (while the boys argued in their bedroom about whether Santa was real or not–Kai cannot handle the fact that Koen could believe that Santa could deliver gifts all around the world and magically enter homes). The kids were up bright and early for our Christmas morning.  The trip to Disneyland was their present so there were just a few practical gifts under the tree.

I'm thankful that our Little One was able to celebrate Christmas morning with us!  

The boys used their own money to buy some gifts for their siblings and those were a hit. Gary bought me a couple bottles of wine and an item from MEC.  My gift to him is that we'll be going on a snowshoeing and dinner date next weekend. Oh, and he bought himself a skillet.

The boys are going to a Canucks game this week!  We won some tickets and therefore used them as a present.  Kai doesn't know how to react but they are both excited.

It was so beautiful out so I requested a walk for Christmas.  We went to Maple Ridge to walk along the dyke.  The kids were not in the greatest mood about it but it was a life lesson for them as they received a speech about thinking about other people's feelings (like their Mama who rode the Tea Cups and Ferris Wheel with them when she really didn't want to!) Ahem.

In the afternoon we went to the Christmas gathering for Gary's side of the family.  It's so unique to go from having some of the oldest kids (on my side) to the youngest on his. I guess that's what can happen when an oldest child marries a youngest!  There was so much good food from turkey to peanut butter balls with m+m's in them, and of course, good conversation. It's so fun having teenage neices and nephews; they are all such solid kids that it makes me feel a little less afraid of parenting teenagers one day.

I'm thankful that Gary takes care of the food for family functions and this time we were just on salad and fruit so it was nice and easy!  Our boys need to run around so some of the kids played soccer outside with them and Nya got to cuddle with some of her girl cousins.  Oh boy, does she want a sister.

We were home by about 7 PM and once we were all cleaned up and the kids were in bed, Gary and I watched a movie (The Proposal) and slept in until 7:30 AM– yahoo!  The kids have swimming lessons this week as I haven't put them in it for 1.5 years and we enjoyed some more playing in the snow.  I did a tiny bit of Boxing Day shopping at Old Navy and we may have cleaned up all our Christmas decorations already.  I know, so early, but our house starts feeling so cluttered!  Looking forward to a low key week while we prepare for Koen's birthday on the weekend.

I know that Christmas can be a difficult time for many.  I have memories of being recently single at this time of year and those holidays were not my favourite.  I'm thankful that although I've lost my mom and there is a piece missing, the rest of our family gets along quite well and we enjoy being together; I understand that this is not all that common and I appreciate it.  I hope that whatever your situation is that you were able to find joy in this season.

Merry Christmas, friends!


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