It is hard to believe that Christmas 2007 has come and gone. All the preparations, planning, decorating, shopping have culminated on one day and passed with what seems to be a blink of an eye. Our celebrations were numerous and filled with excitement. Sharing all of the festivities with Emily was filled with joy although I think that at times she was somewhat overwhelmed and not sure of how to react. Of all the things that she has had to absorb the past two days were probably some of the most difficult for her little mind to process. There was just so many stimulating activities. She followed the lead of her brother and sister by quickly learning the art of opening a present and has absolutely loved all of the tasty sweet treats associated with Christmas dining.
Our celebrating began on Christmas Eve with dinner and opening gifts with Mike's family at our condo. We enjoyed steak, potatoes and other yummy dishes and then opened our gifts one by one. Emily wasn't sure exactly what was going on with everyone opening gifts but quickly got the hang of it. She and Grace received a little girls make-up set which they loved. Emily also received a princess tiara and jewelry which she happily shared with her Grandpa who got lots of laughs when he tried them on. Cody received his most wanted gift, Roller Coast Tycoon III and an acoustical guitar. We said goodnight to everyone and after snuggling the kids in their beds (which took a while) I sneaked downstairs to our 4th floor condo which served as Santa's workshop during the past few weeks and brought up all of our Christmas morning gifts to be placed by the tree.
We awoke on Christmas morning to a rainy, balmy Florida day and enjoyed sharing the excitement of seeing the kids discover all of their Christmas morning gifts. Emily and Grace received My Twin Dolls which amazingly look like them and strollers to transport their dolls. Cody received games for his Wii and some lego sets but the favorite toy of all three kids was Emily's Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter. After all of the gift opening we were hungry for breakfast and were joined by Mike's parents for tasty eggs, grits, bacon and grandmas biscuits. No sooner did we finish breakfast and it was off to my sisters to celebrate with my family.
My sister and brother in law are such gracious hosts and we enjoy a delicious lunch complete with all our family traditional favorites. After we were fully stuffed we enjoyed a time of opening gifts. Of course most of the opening was done by the kids and they all were completely thrilled. Emily loved her new tricycle and Grace enjoy just about everything that she got but she loved the accessories for her doll the most. Cody and my nephew received digital cameras and spent much of the afternoon snapping embarrassing shots of everyone. My brother in law did manage to get them outside for a little bit of football although the ground was rather wet from the rain. No snow here in Florida but hey, I can "dream". We completed the day with an afternoon of sampling desserts and drinking coffee while watching the kids play with their toys and watching some of my favorite movie, You've Got Mail.
After loading the van with all of the goodies we made our 10 minute trip home where I collapsed onto the sofa while Mike took the girls down to the hot tub to "swim" and then after an episode of Green Acres (Grace's favorite show) we bid adieu to yet another Christmas. As I closed my eyes before going to sleep I thought about the day and how thankful I am for my family and how I hope that amidst the craziness of eating and opening gifts and the rushing from house to house that my children were able to absorb the true reason we celebrate. Although small in comparison to all of the other "stuff" that we did to celebrate we did sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before our Christmas breakfast and we read the Christmas Story before we opened gifts on Christmas Day so I pray that these small reminders left an imprint of the hearts of my children of the meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. I pray that you enjoyed memorable celebrations with all the things and people you love.