This Christmas is one I'll always remember. It was our first Christmas as a family of four. It was the first Christmas where we stayed home to celebrate--just the four of us. It was the first one where Lilly was really excited for Santa to come. It was the first Christmas that Jim and I didn't feel like kids anymore--we are officially grown ups who get to see Christmas through the eyes of our children.
Lilly's nativity scene
Santa's beard is very bare.
On his chin there is no hair.
So each day add a puff of white,
Whey they are all on, he'll come that night.
Lilly came into our room and woke us up at 8:15. Even though she was excited for Santa to come, she still didn't really know what to expect on Christmas morning, hence the sleep in. Jim asked her if she thought Santa had eaten his cookies and Lilly was very excited to go and check. She didn't get far before she saw her kitchen, and she was thrilled! I wish we had pictures of her face but we couldn't get there in time. She kept saying, "I have my very own kitchen!" She opened all the doors and gave the kitchen a once over. Jack woke up a few minutes later and she ran over to his bassinet and said, "Jack, are you soooo excited? Santa came while I was sound asleep!"
Lilly opened her presents over the course of the morning, so our Christmas morning really lasted until 1:00 in the afternoon. Most of the presents were things for her kitchen, so she'd open something and decide where in her kitchen it belongs. Then, she'd play with it for a little while before opening something else. As much as she loves the kitchen, Santa will be sad to learn that he's not getting any credit for that this year. Since Lilly asked her Uncle Edward for a kitchen, Lilly tells everyone that the kitchen is from him. So, Edward may not know it yet, but a bill for the kitchen will be arriving on his door step shortly. Thank you Uncle Edward!
She also got a few other things--puzzles and instruments--absolute necessities when you're two and a half. We did each puzzle as she opened it and the drum became part of her attire for the morning. She opened Ariel (from The Little Mermaid) pajamas and said, "This is beautiful! Thank you Santa!" Lilly is at such a sweet age where everything is so genuine.
We had snowman pancakes for breakfast, watched a movie, drank too much coffee, took naps and played with toys. We talked to lots of family over the course of the day; Mum, Dad and Ells in Florida, Edward in Austin, Jim's parents, Liz, Duane and the kids in Villanova, and Joseph in Houston. We had a delicious dinner complete with lovely champagne. Our day was comprised of everything we love.
The next day, we realized that we forgot to wrap a present; wings, a crown and a magic wand. So, we put that under the tree for Lilly to discover, which she did pretty quickly. As she opened them, she told us, "Thank you Santa! This is all I've ever wanted!" Note to Santa: next year, save your time and money and do all your Christmas shopping at H&M.
We spent the day after Christmas much the same way. Lilly cooked up a storm in her kitchen, Jim and I enjoyed coffee and a lazy morning together. Jim's mom, Liz and her little ones stopped by for a visit, giving the cousins some time to run around and play together, which they adore. I went for my first post-pregnancy run, sporting my new Newton running shoes (which I love). It was amazing to get out and exercise without a giant belly leading the way. Although it was hard for me to imagine that I did an Ironman three years ago, I enjoyed every minute of my three mile run/walk. And I'm still enjoying it, as my legs are clearly recovering today.
Christmas 2011 is one for the books. I look forward to all the Christmases we will have together as a family, knowing that each one will be special and will come with its own stories.