We went through the motions of Christmas, but it just didn't feel like Christmas. Maybe it was the swim suits next to the Christmas displays in the stores, maybe it was the lack of Christmas lights on houses because electricity is too expensive, maybe it was that the sun goes down at 10 pm which made it impossible to watch for Rudolph's nose before bed, maybe it was that we went super simple with only three gifts each instead of the mounds of presents (which was such a good thing), maybe it was the non traditional homemade pizza for Christmas eve dinner since we did our big dinner on Christmas day with the missionaries, maybe it was that I spent all Christmas day cooking, cleaning and packing instead of lounging in pajamas, maybe it was that Christmas got overshadowed by the amazing trip we had planned for the day after. Maybe it was a little bit of everything. It wasn't bad, besides a few bouts of homesickness it was a really good Christmas. It was just....different.
The Christmas jammies were not so much christmasy since they are impossible to find here, but they were happy and Ryder's new one eyed smile whenever I pull out the camera definitely makes me happy.
the nativity was just about as reverent as it looks
Jayden tried so hard to spot Rudolph's nose. He wants so badly to still believe and I hope he holds on for as long as he can.
Her glory days are almost over. She was good to us.
These cookies came from the Chinese Church welfare basket we found on our porch. Now I know money is tight, but we're not that poor. Maybe they're just trying to recruit us?
Christmas morning, the excitement is tangible.
Christmas crackers in their stockings. When in New Zealand....
the package from my parents was the main event. I can't explain how exciting it is to get a piece of home. Deodorant, mascara, children's tylenol, ramen noodles, beef Jerky and so many other novelties, it really was the best. Especially the zip drive filled with stories of my dad growing up that he would tell us as bedtime stories. Priceless.
I thought the mess would be small since we had so many fewer presents this year. Nope.
the remote control helicopters were a hit, and sometimes quite literally. Case in point: Kylie in the picture below.
Ryder is obsessed with firemen. More particularly, Fireman Sam.
He thought he was big enough for a pocket knife so that he could whittle some wood. Mostly I just like to say the word "whittle". He's only cut his finger once, so I'd say we're doing good.
And one of Maddox's favorite presents was this framed self portrait that he requested I make. He was helping me work on a gift for Judy and was so jealous that she got a framed cross stitch. He tried so hard to cross stitch a picture of himself but after about the 16th knot he gave up and dropped some not so subtle hints that he would really want it finished for a Christmas present. I mean, how could I not. He loved it. Loved it so much it already broke, but no worries, scotch tape is like magic to him.
I made our traditional cinnamon roll breakfast that we shared with Judy and Pete then it was off in a tornado of cooking, cleaning and packing as we headed off on our next adventure. A very merry Kiwi Christmas!