Emma woke us up bright and early Christmas morning (um, at 8:15) with a, "Mom, Dad, Santa came and he brought me . . ." Then she ran in to wake up Ashlyn and told her, "Ashlyn, Santa came and he brought you . . ." It was rather hilarious. Next year we'll have to explain a bit better to wait for Mom and Dad.
Christmas Eve we kept pretty simple. We ran some last minute errands, ordered pizza for dinner (which I enjoyed for simplicity's sake, although I don't think it was Nick's favorite), and drove around looking at Christmas lights. When we got home, we checked Santa's location by radar, talked about Baby Jesus, read The Night Before Christmas, prepared a plate with chocolate chip cookies for Santa (Emma says they're his favorite) and carrots for his reindeer, and called it a night. The girls were asleep in seconds. It'd been a busy week.
The girls got new jammies from Grandma and Grandpa Millar at our family Christmas party, and they get new crayons and coloring books every year. They're always a hit.
Here is the much anticipated camera! Most of our Christmas pictures were on it, complete with video. However, we need a bit of practice, so I'll spare you the sea sickness. The camera has several features to make silly pictures and also has games. It's been a lot of fun.
You know how you never know which gifts will go over the best? Santa brought spinning toothbrushes complete with stickers to decorate them! They were the most fascinating thing Christmas morning. They spent a lot of time personalizing their toothbrushes.
Emma did get her doll. She is much loved and goes everywhere Emma feels is safe to take her. She sleeps with her at night and is careful to dress her appropriately (as deemed by a 5-year-old).
One of the best gifts this year was a bunch of games. Emma had outgrown the previous ones we've had, so we've been playing a lot of games. Her current favorites are Sorry, Guess Who, and Operation.
And yes, Ashlyn barely escaped getting coal in her stocking and got Barbie Bell, complete with a Barbie car!
Christmas this year was a success. It's taken a while for us to learn a few tricks to make it a positive memory. 1) Simple is better. Our little ones get over-stimulated easily. Keeping it simple kept everyone calmer and happier. They didn't receive countless nor large gifts, but they love and play with everything they did get. 2) I made a breakfast dish of monkey bread the night before. All I needed to do was put it in the oven. Easy. 3) Nick's family always went snowmobiling or did something active on Christmas, so he tends to get a bit antsy after all the initial fun is over. This year we drove to Rexburg and sent Nick snowmobiling with my dad. The boys had fun, we had fun with Grandma, and my sisters and their families came over for dinner. It was wonderful.
Most importantly, Emma kept reminding us of what the day was truly all about. We are so blessed to be able to celebrate Christ's birth. That sweet baby is what it is all about. I am also grateful that Emma has the inner ability to know of that importance and remind us. I feel so blessed to have my family.
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