Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

And another Christmas has come and gone. We didn't have much snow this year for Christmas, but I had a feeling the weather would make it up to us in no time. Of course it did right after Christmas. It snowed a ton and the weather dropped to the negatives. Thank goodness we don't have to shovel our driveway. Thanks to HOA fees, we only have to shovel our sidewalk (which is itty bitty) and the walk to our door. And some days, when we're lucky, the guys who shovel our driveway are nice enough to shovel our sidewalk too! Gotta love it here.

It occurred to me several days ago that this was Jadon's 4th Christmas and Isabelle's 2nd Christmas. This year was definitely lots of fun because Jadon knew very well what was going on this year and Isabelle also had a better appreciation for all the wonderful gifts given to her. Both the kids were spoiled like crazy of course from both sides of the family as well as from Andrew and me. They'll definitely have some great stuff to last them awhile. I'm thinking of doing a handmade holiday next year where all the gifts will be handmade, but we'll see how that goes. Andrew loves being able to spoil the kids this time of year. According to him, this is the only time other than their birthdays that it's acceptable to buy them mounds of gifts. Thanks to Andrew, the kids got plenty of toys all around from Santa and from us.

This year, we literally had almost a week of Christmas. Even though the weather wasn't your typical December weather (no snow on the ground practically) and it didn't feel much like Christmas, it worked out that we did about 4 days of Christmas with different groups of people. I guess that's a great perk of having Christmas on a weekend.

Christmas 1: Before Christmas, we got together with our friends, Adam and Abigail, and their daughter, Eden, for some dinner and exchanging of presents. Adam and Andrew were roommates back in their freshman year of college and have continued their geeky friendship since then. We ate some yummy food from the Olive Garden and played several rounds of Bang!, which is a great group card game if anyone's ever interested in looking into it.

Christmas 2: We went over to my parents' house for some dinner and another round of exchanging presents. This is where we met Jake, Selina's boyfriend, for the first time outside of Skype. My parents bought the kids a little Mercedes Benz powered car that they can ride around the sidewalks in. I guess it was nice there wasn't any snow out because they were able to take it out for a spin around the block. Jadon got a hang of steering and Isabelle was content just sitting next to him. It will be fun when spring comes and they can ride in it more often.

Christmas 3: We got to open up our Christmas presents to each other on Christmas morning. The kids woke up to lots of goodies from Santa. He brought them both a kitchen and refrigerator set. It's so cute. Jadon got the Thomas the Train Misty Island DVD and a Misty Island track set from Santa as well. He loved those. They both got some other toy goodies from us as well, including construction toys for Jadon and a 3 in 1 tricycle for Isabelle.

I tricked Andrew this year with his gifts. The only thing he said he wanted this year was the XBOX 360 Kinect and even went so far as calling up local stores to see which ones had them in stock. He then called me when I was out to tell me where it was available "just in case" I wanted to stop by and get it for him. Apparently he felt bad for only wanting a hard to find item this year so he wanted to make it easier for me. Sure. This coming from a guy who forbids me from picking out my own gifts. Anyway, I got it for him, wrapped it, and hid it somewhere. When Christmas came, all he had under the tree was a single shirt sized box under the tree while I had a bunch of random boxes from him. When he went to open his box, he found pajamas, several DVDs, and a card game. Not exactly anything he really wanted. He admitted later that he was definitely was a little disappointed. While I kept opening all my goodies from him (loads of DVDS and crafting stuff), Andrew was totally sulking about what he had gotten. Finally, when all the gifts were open, I got the last present out from its hiding spot and gave it to him. His mood definitely picked up when he opened it.

Christmas 4: Andrew's family does a gift exchange every year. This year, the people who had us were out of town so we didn't get to open our gifts until later (another Christmas event now that I think of it!), but we were able to sit around and enjoy everyone else opening gifts. The kids were once again spoiled and we went home with lots of fun, new toys to play with. With all the kids, everything was so chaotic but the kids shared really well and we didn't lose anything in the midst of wrapping paper by the end of the night. Jadon got more construction toys to play with and Isabelle got more cute toys and dolls to take home.

Christmas 5: Christmas with my family is always a huge event because I have a huge extended family and we always have a mountain of presents to sift through. It usually takes us a couple of hours to open all the gifts since we like to do it person by person. We also do a gift exchange within the cousins each year as well as a white elephant. This year, we added something new... An ugly Christmas sweater contest! A lot of us had handmade sweaters and it was far uglier than I ever thought it would be. Aside from the gifts, it was lots of fun spending time with the family and eating all the yummy food. By the end of the night our car was loaded and our kids were spoiled beyond belief with clothes and toys from family members once again.

Christmas 6: I forgot about this, but this would be when we were able to exchange gifts with Andrew's brother and his wife when they were in town. The kids got some fun stuff, we were given our gift exchange gifts, and I was able to give my gift exchange gift to Andrew's brother. It was fun to hang out with their family and catch up.

Whew!! And that concludes our Christmas festivities for this year. This holiday has been super busy for us, but it's also been lots of fun. Our house is still recovering from the aftermath but hopefully it will fully recover sooner rather than later. I love having family in town around the holidays. We had a very busy couple of weeks, but it's been totally worth it!
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