We had such a good Christmas this year. It was fast, furious and I feel like I've just now recovered from it. So worth it though! I'm starting on the 23rd just because I can't leave these few photos out.
Our elf, Puff (who was previously named Klaus but renamed by Ellie this year), finally remembered to bring Ellie her mini Christmas tree and we spent the morning setting it up. It was so fun to put on the littler ornaments. After it was set up Ellie had us join hands and dance around the tree and then she spent the rest of the morning worried if the Grinch was going to take her tree up the fireplace. She claimed she didn't want him to come, but she totally did. She loves that Grinch.
My mom invited Ellie over to decorate sugar cookies and allowed me to tag along. It was so fun watching my mom do some of the same things with Ellie that she did with me. I'm pretty sure that we even used the same rolling pin and pastry mat thing too. That thing is especially ancient. Ellie was so proud of her cookies and I didn't mind having extra treats to eat!
Last year I made these scones for Christmas Eve and I fell in love with them, so I decided to make it a tradition. You also just need to add water and on Christmas Eve that is a major plus. Ellie loves helping and since the process is so easy it doesn't totally drive me insane.
Before the scones Ellie came and woke me up as per usual but then set up camp in my bed and refused to leave until Santa came that night. Sadly, this child still has absolutely no concept of time. It just took a little coaxing and bribery. Our specialty.
I'm kind of getting out of order, but you know, it's fine. After the scones were made we set out to deliver our neighbor gifts that I bought in November!!! I was totally planning on delivering them the first week of December but you know, it's me. I struggle so hard. So there we were on Christmas Eve delivering our Christmas pops and you know what? It wasn't terrible. ALSO, if you're my neighbor, you'll probably receive a cranberry Sprite from me every Christmas until either you or I move. I would love to be crafty, but I also recognize that I'm me, so pop for all! After that we all got fresh Chrsitmas Eve showers and waiting for J.rue to get home from work.
A few days before Christmas I finally got around to setting up Ellie's kitchen that I was SO excited to give her for Christmas. Well, I opened it up ready to spend the 4 hours that was required and I pulled out the first big piece and it was...broken. Yes. Like sharp unfixable plastic broken. I was a little bit sad. Also, I got it for $46. After spending gobs of time online with Target I found out that they didn't sell that kitchen anymore. Of course! But they were so nice and sent me a similar kitchen for $1 more. Obviously, it didn't make it on time for Christmas but hey, now we are set for Ellie's birthday.
Anyway, that just needed to be recorded. When j.rue got home from work we packed up the car, stopped by Target to return the sad broken kitchen and then were off to my mom's to finish our Christmas Eve celebrations. Every Christmas Eve we have a soup bar with bread bowls. It was delicious as usual and I at my weight in soup. I loved spending time with my family. The conversation is never stale and we're not all together nearly enough.
After we ate we had a little Christmas program. We watched some lovely Christmas Mormon Messages and sang some carols. It ran a little longer than expected (as per usual) but refocusing on the Savior and the true meaning of the season is always one of my favorite parts.
After our program we piled into, like, 4 cars and went to deliver a box of food and presents for a family. We've done this every year for at least the last 10 years and we've accumulated some pretty good stories. They usually involve us driving around, lost, way too late at night, or getting caught. Both of those things happened this time too and we still had a great time.
After we did the drop we headed back to my mom's for dessert. We finally packed up and headed home around 11:30. This was the first year that we didn't sleep at one of our parents so we could start our own traditions. However, once we got home and Ellie had a total melt-down over putting Santa's cookies out we quickly realized that we're going to have to shorten our Christmas Eve down significantly to get Ellie home on time. I think Santa would also appreciate it.
Since we weren't sleeping at my family's house this year they decided to follow us to our house and have a sleep over. I loved it. They got there around midnight and we started wrapping. It was ridiculous and my house looked like Christmas exploded all over my living room. Around 2 a.m. we talked Micah and Cale into going to McDonalds for breakfast. We were all up talking and wrapping until about 3:30 and then I had a slight panic attack when I realized that it would take me no less than 3 weeks to recover. Sadly, that was completely true. It was worth it though. However, my mom beat us all and didn't get to bed until 5:30 a.m. I have no idea how she does it. But it always looks magical when she's done. This is I right before we headed to bed. Haggard mom and baby as fresh as a daisy.