There was something special about this Christmas. Maybe it was because Santa took a trip to the states earlier in the year for their favorite toys, maybe it's because we got to participate in collecting food and toys for those in need that Jason had organized with the young men, maybe it's because we're learning to embrace summer and Christmas as one, maybe it's because we're used to the sun still being up when the children are nestled all snug in their beds at 9:00 at night (merry and bright takes on a whole different meaning here), maybe it's because the kids were so excited to do Secret Santa for each other and the pure joy that came from that, maybe it's that Jayden made us all sing The Twelve Days of Christmas every morning as we counted down, maybe it's because we lucked out to get an overcast and rainy Christmas morning, maybe it's because we're all embracing the simplicity of a low key Christmas and really appreciating all that we have. Last year it just didn't feel like Christmas, but this year it somehow did. Everyone was happy, everyone was grateful and everyone seemed to just bask in that special Christmas spirit that was heavy in the air. After spending Christmas eve day at Willowbank we came home to start the traditional festivities. We usually do a big Christmas eve dinner but since the missionaries were coming over the next day to call their families we decided to do our big dinner on Christmas day like we did last year. We had a pancake bar instead and the kids didn't mind. "Open first" pajama gifts were next, followed by an enthusiastic reading of the Polar Express and another very irreverent version of the nativity (one of these days maybe they'll take it seriously. Maybe?), then tracking Santa on-line, setting out cookies and milk and finally reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas before they whispered and giggled for what seemed like hours in the same room before finally falling asleep. The perk of only getting a few gifts is that Santa was finished pretty quick and Jason and I got to watch Christmas movies in bed. The next day was spent eating cinnamon rolls, laying around in pajamas, cooking and baking to Christmas music, roast dinner, legos being built and a nerf war that lasted for two days straight. It was a very merry Christmas and I hope the same was for you!
(I know this doesn't look like the carnage of a simple Christmas, I swear we stuck to our guns with the three present rule, I'm blaming Judy for spoiling the kids :)
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