Friday, December 27, 2013

Scenes from our Christmas

When Ellie walked down the steps Christmas morning her first reaction was, "Wow, lots of presents!" I think she was a little overwhelmed. She first noticed the doll table and chairs and slowly took in the sight around her. Her first gift to open was her new bathrobe, which she has been obsessed with. She even wore it out to Christmas brunch at my parents. She definitely loved her dollhouse the most and exclaimed, "Let's open it! Please let's open it!" Summer's favorite gift was a toy that spins, lights up, and plays music. She actually helped me pick it out at Barnes and Noble. It's nice to have some new toys for her to play with.
I got my favorite J.Crew socks and this bag I posted on my wishlist, but it was a lot bigger in person so I am going to exchange it for the leather tote that was also on my list. Nick also gave me new tall gray Uggs so my feet will be very warm on cold days at the playground. My parents gave us the Cutco knives I had picked out. I am very excited to use them!

After we opened gifts from Santa we went to my parents for brunch. I look forward to this every year. My mom makes the most delicious breakfast. Nick and I brought cinnamon buns we bought at the Reading Terminal the day before. A sweet treat. Afterwards we went home to relax and nap Summer before going to Nick's parents to see his side of the family. We also took a few family pictures. Looking back I wish we did something to get Ellie to give more a smile!
Then, we continued on to my parents for Christmas dinner. Another delicious meal. My Mom is an amazing cook. Presents at my parents was a little crazy with all the kids, but lots of fun. My parents gave Ellie a microphone and guitar and she wasn't shy about putting on a singing and dancing performance after dinner. She did not inherit these skills from me. My sister was on Face Time with us in England- the closest she was to being there with us and her first time not being home with us so that was tough on all of us. All of us received another great gift- I will be an Aunt again this summer as my brother and his wife announced they are expecting their 4th (yes, #4!!) baby. We are so happy and excited for their family. Here is a picture we took at the end of the night. My parents with all of their grandchildren:
My favorite thing about Christmas is not about the gifts, but about spending time with family. As long as I can remember my parents have been doing the same Christmas traditions and it is by far my favorite time of year. Now, my brother and I have families and we have still continued these traditions. Every year on Christmas Eve we would watch It's a Wonderful Life in black and white. My Dad still recites lines from the movie often. And, it seems like yesterday that I used to sneak up to my brother's room in the attic to share our favorite candy (Sour Patch Kids) in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. I only made it up maybe once since the hardwood stairs were so creaky my parents usually caught me.

I had fun shopping for Ellie this year. I did give her a lot of gifts for a two year old. But, I often say "no" throughout the year. When she wants a new toy at a toy store I say, "no." All year long the only things I buy her are new arts and crafts, books, and clothes. I don't buy her a new doll or the new popular toy. Her big gift was a new dollhouse and it's definitely big. I didn't realize how tall it actually was, but she loves it. She got a bathrobe and slippers because she wanted to "be like Mommy." She has been wearing them everyday. Santa gave her a few games (Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and Go Fish) and puzzles- one of her favorite activities these days. She loves putting the pieces together and literally will do the same puzzle over and over again. The girls also got new bath toys. Another favorite gift of Ellie's were her big girls sheets I got from Pottery Barn Kids. She was very excited when we told her we would be putting together her big girl bed. She also loved the princess wand I put in her stocking and even used the words, "abracadabra!"

Christmas Eve after we sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn, left a plate of cookies and carrots, and read to Ellie I was up late wrapping gifts for our parents and for my husband. I also thought I would have to put together the doll table and chairs, but I just had to attach the table legs (luckily). I couldn't stop laughing to myself over the size of it. I assumed it would be bigger, but it literally is doll size. Tinier than I envisioned. It's still adorable. Next time I should check measurements. My husband wasn't feeling well so it was just me and Christmas music. I love wrapping and I really enjoyed putting out the gifts and filling the stockings and writing a letter to the girls.
On Christmas Eve as I previously mentioned we joined the rest of my family downtown for our annual tradition of shopping at the Reading Terminal Market, a viewing of the Macy's light show, and lunch at Maggiano's. It was a fun and festive afternoon.

Christmas 2013

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