Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Magic

It doesn't just happen on its own, you know.  Which explains why this Christmas was the most exhausting one yet.  Poor Aunt N, she had no idea what she was signing up for, coming to stay with us the week of Christmas.  Crazy, with a capital C.  But, she took the baby's wailings in stride.  And J's screeching.  And his mantra, "Don't look at me!"  And R's meltdowns.  And K's moodiness.  And S's questions.  And Shaggy's clowning around.  And my emotional highs and lows.  She just jumped aboard and rode the roller coaster that is our family life.

Yeah, she can come visit us again . . . IF she ever recovers enough to want to. 

We played games.

We made fudge and educated the youngest family members in the joys of chocolate.  We'll have to have a follow up lesson on that when she's older since the tast of a chocolate wrapper doesn't really do justice to the taste of chocolate.  But what does she know?  The paper was mighty exciting.

We wrote a note to Santa and left him a treat.  Notice that they are chocolate chip cookies.  Which I pulled out of the freezer.  The kids were a little concerned about that, but I reassured them that they would, indeed, be thawed by the time he visited our house.  According to the Norad Santa tracker, he was in Nova Scotia when we set these out.

We managed to somehow tolerate all the energy generated by five (ok, four) kids waiting with baited breath for Christmas morning to come.

Although she LOOKS like an adorable little elf in this photo, she actually made it extremely difficult to keep up with all the family traditions we've build up over the years.  Not very helpful to Santa at all, really.  If we had managed to catch Santa with his sack open, we might have sent her to the north pole for an extended visit.

We didn't, however, catch him in the act.  But he definitely visited and got all the presents wrapped and the stockings stuffed.

We rifled through our stockings and had our traditional sugar cereal for breakfast Christmas morning.

Then we gathered for the gift extravaganza.

Two of us got all they wanted for Christmas.

Some of the kids asked Santa for one specific gift.  J even complained to me that his present wasn't going to be a surprise, even though he thought it should be.  His belief was that sure.

K didn't ask for anything, just wrote to Santa saying that he could bring her anything--something he thought she would like.  Yep, she's a pre-teen.  And yep, I realize how lucky I am that she is so very UNmaterialistic.  I think she approved of his choice in gifts.

R was all into the Christmas magic this year.  She learned how it all worked.  She was extremely thorough in sprinkling the reindeer food around our front yard.  She didn't want any of them to go hungry.

Besides receiving a gift from Santa, she also got some great presents from the attic fairy.  You know that nice fairy who stores toys when children outgrow them and give them back when younger siblings are ready for them.  She's a very nice fairy.  And handy to have around for Christmases and birthdays.

B slept through half of our gift extravaganza, which no one complained about, least of all me.

And we were able to give N one of those great, meaningful gifts which are the very best kind to give.  The ones you can hardly wait for them to open.  The ones that are more exciting to give than they are to receive.

We did a lot of assembling and playing.

And we made a giant mess.

We had a nice Christmas dinner and learned about some English Christmas traditions.  Crackers!

B wasn't very impressed, but the rest of us enjoyed them.

In short, we had a fabulous Christmas.

And I am so VERY glad the next one is a year away. 
I think it will take me that long to recover from this one.

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