We went to the Family Mass on Christmas Eve at our parish - it was very nice with candlelight, a children's choir (that the girls were regretting NOT being a part of after I had encouraged them... but they were afraid that they would have to stand in full frontal view of the whole congregation, so they opted out of the children's choir. And it turns out all the children sang off to the side not in full view... RATS!)
So, after Mass, we headed home - over the rivers and through the snow (well, sort of... the snow was a while before Christmas Eve and again a few days after). We listened to Christmas music and talked about the ONE present (some day they will figure out that the present that they get to open is ALWAYS a pair of pajamas and sometimes a little something tucked inside of those pajamas! But, there is always so much excitement, that they don't appear to have that one figured out!) that we would open after we ate our Christmas Eve feast of Pizza and all the Christmas Cookies one could muster the courage to consume! When were pulling up to our home, everyone noticed that ALL of the downstairs lights were on in our house and they were OFF when we headed out. As we drove down the driveway, the tell-tale signs of eight reindeer who pull a sleigh were scattered about ... gnawed pieces left behind from a great big carrot feast! Can you even begin to imagine the excitement building in our vehicle??!
The treekids did dash away, dash away, dash away, all from the warm interior of the family ford. To the driveway to inspect the carrots, to the front porch to peer through the windows - inspecting the interior of the house without disturbing any of the magic of it all! Into the house they clamored, hunting for new Christmas socks no longer hanging by the windows, but on dinner plates waiting to hold pizza! Glasses intended to hold egg nog now filled with candies for all!
So excited she was, 7-year old Branch was shaking (yes, literally) and sputtering about all the excitement she could see! Blossom couldn't stand it and dumped her stocking to see what she could find! Bud saw a book peeking out the top of his Christmas sock, in sheer excitement, removed it and curled up in a chair and got lost in the story. Bump wondered what the big deal was and "Where's the ZA?!?" Such different responses, yet all so much fun!
It wasn't long before they asked to open the presents from one Mr. S. Claus - or at least just one of them! Pops spoiled them rotten and told them they could open ALL of the presents and we would stay up late... really late! It turns out that when you live really far from your family and they send Christmas gifts to your house... the opening of gifts feels like it really goes on and on forever! We had presents to open from Mr. S. Claus, Paternal and Maternal Grandparents, Paternal Great-Grandparents, an aunt, a set of GodParents, "Mom & Dad," siblings... when you live close by, some of that present opening is broken up and done at different houses! But, we had a glut of presents under our tree this year, for certain! So, staying up to open EVERYTHING turned out to be a super late night!
The big treekids - were thrilled, of course! Bump couldn't be bothered to sit near presents after sitting at church for over an hour and riding a half hour in his carseat to get home! So, later... he might join the fun!
Still loving ALL things Hello Kitty!
A request for a Princess and the Frog "Marrying Dress"
A highly sought after package bow!!
Some fun pirate dress-up stuff.
A Barbie Microphone to plug into an MP3 player and sing along!
A beautiful glitter globe.
A princess castle/doll house to have fun with together.
A written surprise certificate - a trip to the Movie Theater to see the newest Narnia movie!
That Bump... just couldn't make it very far past a normal bedtime!
OH, MY! A Red Rider BB Gun... just what he needs to shoot his eye out!!
Pops and the big TreeKids stayed up WAY too late... They hit the hay somewhere between 2 and 3ish. Yes, in the morning! Bump was asleep before 11 PM and I did the sensible 12:30 or so routine! It was a fun time and we enjoyed being together in our fun. That Mr. S. Claus can come to visit our house a little early ANY TIME, the TreeKids insist!!