In Lilly's eyes, Christmas means cotton balls on Santa's beard, counting down the days until Christmas. It means Christmas concerts (well, actually, if you asked Lilly, it was NOT a concert, it was just some songs) and special Christmas snacks at school. It means visits from Gigi and Papa and Joef. It means parties with her cousins and aunts and uncles. It means cutting down a Christmas tree and singing Christmas carols (at the top of her lungs) while decorating it. It means letters to Santa (this year's edition was comprised of 1 letter, with 3 pages of addendum, as new thoughts came to mind). It means decorating a gingerbread house with Dad and Uncle Joef and making a shrinky dink Christmas tree. It means Christmas movies and Christmas books and looking for Christmas decorations on peoples' houses every time we're in the car. It means pogo sticks and monster feet and art projects.
For Jack, Christmas means chocolates from his advent calendar every night after dinner (which was definitely the highlight of Jack's Christmas season). It means putting out (and eating) the milk and cookies for Santa, and the carrots for the reindeer. It means Santa books that go "Ho Ho Ho" and learning the words to "Jingle Bells." It means playing with his trains with Uncle Joef--a true Thomas expert.
For Hannah, Christmas means wrapping paper--her favorite thing to play with on Christmas morning. It means her very first Christmas tree, with ornaments to touch and eat. It means that there is more singing and dancing around the house than normal, providing Hannah with many opportunities to use her newly discovered talent--clapping her hands.
And for me, Christmas means looking at Hannah's eyes when she sees the lights on the Christmas tree for the first time. It means watching the joy on Lilly and Jack's faces, when they realize that Santa knew exactly what they had asked for this Christmas. It means sitting back, taking in Christmas morning while trying to savor as much of it as I can, because I'm not sure how life gets much better than this.
Here is Christmas 2013 in photos.
|looking for the perfect Christmas tree|
|So much fun having Uncle Joef come to visit!|
|A card for Mrs. O'Connor and Miss Reilly|
|having a very important chat with Papa|
|A cuddle with Gigi (and unbeknownst to Hannah, there is some point holding going on here!)|
|A Christmas party with all the cousins|
|Uncle Ross, Meme, and Hannah all meeting little Julia|
|eating the reindeer carrots|
|trying to snag one of Santa's cookies too!|
|Lilly's rudolph ornament that she made at school this year.|
|lots of carrots for the reindeer, some milk and a few notes for Santa.|
|Lilly's note to Santa for Ellie: "Come to Guatemala. Pogo stick please."|
|Waiting to go downstairs to see if Santa came!|
|See you in 2014.|