Oh the fat man was good this year! Like I said before, this Christmas was one of the merriest that we have ever had. Nobody was sick (#miracle) and we were mostly prepared (#miracle) and for the most part it played out exactly how we had planned (#miracle).
Before I tell you all about our festivities, I should note that we always plan on doing Christmas morning at our house and also the number of our ‘traditional’ Christmas morning are probably going to come to an end in the next few years so I am milking it for all it’s worth. Not that we don’t love the idea of waking up, taking photos, seeing the gasp on the kids faces when they see the gifts under the tree, or staying in our Christmas jammies most of the day…it’s just that we feel like this is a uniquely special time to serve others. For some, Christmas is all twinkle lights and happy times…and for some, it’s excrutiatingly hard…and for some, it’s just another day to get through. When I was younger, my parents would make chili or sack lunches on Christmas morning (us kids helped put oranges in the brown paper bags and slather peanut butter on bread) and we would all pile up into the ole white conversion van and we would head downtown to hand out food to the homeless. Sometimes we would drive around and find an individual pushing their possessions up the empty Atlanta street…ask if he was hungry and hand them a sack. Other times we would park near the closed soup kitchen and have a line form down the block. We handed out socks, gloves, whatever we had and every single Christmas I cried.
I wish I could remember what I got from my parents on Christmas mornings but to be honest…I don’t. I do remember the eyes of the men who thanked us for the hot chili and the feeling that we never did enough. that we never gave enough. and that we needed to go back home, return all the gifts we were going to receive and do more. And I hope that some year soon, we can serve on Christmas morning with our boys. Will is getting close to that age where it will make sense. I want the boys to know that true meaning of Christmas…sharing love, having a servants heart and giving hope. This year we picked out items from a catalog (very successful activity) and we created a couple shoeboxes for other kids (harder for Will to understand why I let him pick out toys that he loved just to give them away).
Now let’s get to the festivities! 2013 Christmas! Will at age 3 and Weston at age 1….
and yes, it was a complete unplanned miracle to get a family photo on Christmas morning. I thought this would be impossible…but apparently I can also reverse the rotation of the earth…
a little morning wrestle session…
Every Christmas morning we always have waffles…and every Christmas morning Jeremy and I laugh about how awful our Christmas waffles really are. This year at least they were edible 🙂
Weston has learned how to scale the kitchen bench, the baby gate, the stairs and the couch and chairs…it’s the worst thing ever. Oh and he still doesn’t understand when I say NO. Here he is stealing oranges.
Will on the other hand is obsessed with sharp objects and being a big boy. I love this stage. Even with the emotional breakdowns on both of our parts, three might be my favorite age yet. Here he is practicing cutting his imaginary waffle…monster truck remote control within reach.
Weston didn’t get it.
he did however love climbing on top of the presents.
I guess these are LJ’s first presents…I can’t believe I will get to meet him in less than two months. It’s crazy to me.
Will LOVED the fact that he got matching jammies to his brother. He kept on pointing to them both and saying SAME SAME! SAME SAME!
We got each boy clothes and a book and one bigger present. I picked out the scooter for Will and a dump truck for Weston.
Jeremy also got Weston a ramp thingie…I think he felt like he missed out on the gift buying experience so he got this and their BIG present (an inflatable jumpie). I honestly think that Jeremy has an obsession with inflatables….I should clarify that…inflatable SLIDES AND HOUSES.
See how terrible the camera focus is?! Crazy bad. I’m sending it in to Canon this week. Thanks for all your input!
Okay…now this is completely self-indulgent and probably laughable to most…
I cooked my first large piece of meat…and had a photo taken of it. Yes…it is a ham…and yes, it is already cooked when I cut it out of the package…I get that people…but garshdangit, I put it in the oven for three hours, I glazed it and it was delicious. Consider me officially an adult now.
My sister Norn, Boots, Cole and Clay came over to join us and my mom and dad that afternoon for lunch…ahem…HAM that I cooked 🙂 That’s when we did our little gift exchange among the adults.
My mom bought Will a kitchen with 28.53 bazillion pieces. I’m still trying to figure out a way to convince Will that the pieces never actually existed and that it needs pretend pots and pans 🙂
After presents and eating, we all vegged. It was really low-key and relaxing. I didn’t wash the pots and pans. The boys napped. The Christmas cookies slowly got devoured. My mom and Jeremy spent the better part of the day putting together a kitchen. It was really quite peaceful and nice. Like the calm after a tropical storm.
Some folks asked that I make sure to share what we all got.
Here’s what Jeremy and the boys gave me…a happy mug that I picked out at Pier 1, a fitbit (because I mentioned it a couple times), a camera pencil sharpener (he knows that I am obsessed with photography themed items), a wireless Apple tower (is that what it’s called? it backs up photos?) and a new card game (because I am also obssesed with card games…yes, I am turning into my grandmother). I also got some Cutco knives from my parents (total happy surprise!) and a scarf from my sister.
LJ got his fair share of presents too…considering. Will picked out a new hooded towel for him, he got new clothes and of course…Angel Dear lovies. We decided on lions for LJ…which is appropriate because Leonard means brave as a lion. Will knew exactly what these were when he unwrapped them for LJ…and practically danced in excitement for his little brother.
Speaking of Will, he had a very themed Christmas. I’ll let you guess what that theme was. Besides clothes, he got the Look n Find spiderman book (Goodwill find!), new shoes, a spiderman doll (do I call it a doll?), a dollar store bopper (which actually has been the best dollar ever spent), and a lunch box. He just started eating lunch at school and is SO excited that he has a lunch box like the other kids. And of course…the scooter…not pictured.
Weston also got clothes but he got the dump truck, his Little People ramp thing, two board books (that Will has already claimed), and a mini monster truck.
And last but not least Jeremy got a lot of Crossfit stuff. He asked for Crossfit clothing (not pictured) and that weightlifting belt, wrist guards and the waterproof bluetooth speaker. I stuffed his stocking with the manicure kit (it’s sort of an inside joke because he is always stealing the baby nail clippers) and a bottle opener. I would like to mention that I don’t know about anyone else…but I kinda hate that my boyfriend’s birthday is in December…because DANG it is hard to shop for him. And DANG it is even harder to shop twice for him in the same month. I think I might start just celebrating his half birthdays instead. Can I do that?!
Overall…it was just exactly what I wanted. Everyone together. Everyone healthy. Everyone eating a non-burned piece of meat that I heated up. And yes…I am very proud of that fact if you can’t tell.
Now tell me…what gift did you receive that was your favorite? maybe you are a gift-card lover? or perhaps you wanna share how you and your family serve on Christmas? I’d love to hear whatever made you merry this year…
Till next year old St. Nick.
My husbands birthday is also 12th dec, so i find it a pain to get Christmas presents after I’ve sorted his birthday ones. I usually buy him an xbox game & take him for dinner, then Christmas he gets the big stuff.
I was so lucky this year and was spoilt rotten, I did a blog post with all my goodies yesturday if you wanted to take a peak 🙂
I also LOVE yout sharpener, need to get myself one!
Joy T says
This year I decided that I am officially an adult. I asked Santa (aka mom and dad) for a shredder, and it’s the best thing ever. When you’ve been married for five years with no shredder, you accumulate a LOT of paperwork!
Theresa W says
I have the same mug and LOVE it! Just be careful – the handle gets hot in the microwave after awhile. That mug is the color scheme for my house accessories. If it goes with the mug – it gets purchased. If it doesn’t, it’s cute but wasn’t meant to live in our home. LOL – my husband thinks I’m crazy but I think that makes perfect sense 😉
Thanks for sharing!!!
Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Glad the ham was a success!! I agree with you about getting your children to understand the “true” meaning of Christmas. It’s not all about what Santa leaves under the tree. This year I was not feeling the Christmas spirit and then decided that our family was going to do the “12 days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness”. It was amazing. The best thing our family has done yet. Our kids (ages 9, 7 & 6) really got into and saw what a ripple effect it had to do one act of random kindness for someone. I also learned some lessons from it as well. It is our new Christmas tradition and we will continue to do Random Acts of Kindness throughout the year. Thanks for all your posts – I love the humor and inspiration all in one!
Katie Bower you look so cute on Christmas morning! My eyes are filled with tears (not sure why!?) when I see your sweet boys and know that another sweet boy is on his way! You have a very sweet family!!
And I TOTALLY get why you say you are an adult now that you have cooked a BIG piece of meat! I haven’t done that yet – too scared!! But one day!
Wendy @ New Moms Talk says
My hub’s birthday is the 30th of December, our daughter’s is the 5th, & the hub’s mother’ s is the 27th.
We celebrate half birthdays for all of us (hub, me, our daughter) & it’s great! Just a little something, a big something, or a night away.
It adds a bit of joy for my hub & I love that my half b-day is my beloved Grandma’s full b-day so I think of her all day.
My husband’s birthday is also in December – the DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. So I definitely know where you’re coming from with celebrating a December birthday and Christmas. Luckily, my hubby’s pretty good about asking for gifts and he’s okay with combo gifts when they’re expensive so I can usually come up with a couple surprise gifts to go along with his suggestions. I haven’t heard any complaints yet anyway.
Come on Katie, Spiderman ACTION FIGURE. My son would lose it if I called his Spiderman a doll. Not that he has an issue with dolls (he plays with hi sister’s), it’s just Spiderman is EPIC, therefore, not a doll! LOL! I love the story about your Christmas mornings with your family, definitely will be incorporated into our Christmas this year!
That camera pencil sharpener is pretty nifty. Have you used it yet? Is it annoyingly loud?
My favorite gift is a toss up between a Fitbit Force (from my in laws) and my Beats Pill from my husband.
I feel your pain on the December birthday – my hubs birthday is December 28th. UGH. He is already impossible to shop for and three days after Christmas, really? To make matters worse, he is the BEST gift giver ever (see Beats Pill above?!?). My dream is to someday get him something that totally surprises him, is something he really wants, and completely knocks his socks off.
Every year our kids love helping the Salvation Army Angel Tree. When they were little, we chose a child their same age but opposite gender -which made it so much easier for them to pick out clothes and toys and then give them away to their “angel”. Now that they are old enough to really understand the purpose, they choose a child that is the same age and gender and cheerfully select presents. We keep the names of the children and pray for them throughout the year. It has been one of our favorite Christmas traditions and helps our kids appreciate the joy of helping others!
I got a 50mm lens for my camera and I’m super excited to use it and take more pictures!
caroline [the diy nurse] says
I adore your idea of serving on Christmas. We will be traveling cross country [hopefully this year after selling our house]. I think that will be a great tradition to start then. Your kids are so lucky to have such a wonderful and giving family to learn from. And I really like that you didn’t go overboard with gifts. It makes what they get more special in my opinion!
What an awesome tradition your family had! I would like to start every Christmas with a hike but it does not always happen since we are never at our house and usually working around someone else’s schedule. My two boys got one joint gift from us and stocking stuffers. They only got one because it was Lego Mindstorm! That thing is expensive! It is pretty awesome though! My husband and I have given up the guessing what each other wants and I make a wish list on Amazon for him to look at and he usually ends up buying his own gift because there is something he really wants and it is too expensive otherwise. So I have it easy!
Congrats! That is my favorite lens!
Kristin Jones says
My husband’s birthday is December 28th and it is super hard to shop for Christmas and birthday and have everything ready in the same week!!
Hi Katie, can you share you ham recipe please?? I have one in the freezer I am trying to figure out what to do with and yours looks awesome! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family! Thank you for sharing it with us! xo
My husband and our two nieces were all born in December, the first two respectively on the 19th and 23rd!! Making their birthdays special is a feat! My husband usually wants big things (think power tools and moped) so he usually gets a combined present. 🙂
My husband’s birthday is Dec 22nd and we always celebrate is half birthday! It’s so much easier! I started doing it while we were dating and now it’s a tradition of ours 🙂 I get him a present in June and then we just have dinner together or with friends for his birthday in December because I agree it.it.stressful! plus he always grew up with his birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper and hated it! p.s. love you blog I read it while we are living over here in Nigeria 🙂
Yay! I love seeing how you all do Christmas! That is great what your parents raised you all to do for others on Christmas. I too wish for my family to serve in some capacity on or around Christmas. And oh man that kitchen……we have it and yes it was a nightmare to put together. Ours came from Freds of all places! My son still enjoys playing with it though!
Mary | Lemon Grove Blog says
You have a beautiful family, Katie! Hope you all have an amazing new year! 🙂
-Favorite waffle recipe. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/03/again-with-the-pining/
-Love the pic of Will being a big boy with the knife. I taught a kids cooking camp, and had a 4 year old come over and say, “I heard you get to cut stuff with a knife here.”
-A fun card game is Anomia. It gets loud fast. And funny things come out of people’s mouths (nothing dirty or inappropriate, though I’m sure you could make that your own version.)
My husband’s birthday is on December 30th and I say the same thing every year that I would love to start celebrating his half birthday instead!
This sounds lovely. Also, I LOVE Happy Hippo Angry Duck. Best. Book. Ever. You should try the Little Pookie series if you haven’t yet. ALSO my entire family and my husband’s entire family has birthdays in January (including both of us and the one scheduled to arrive this January 29th–the only one not in January is our daughter and she was born February 2nd :)). I feel ya, homegirl.
Kathy Gates says
YES do the Half-Birthday. It’s so much more fun for both him and you. My hubs is Dec 27, and we have always done the June 27 birthday – we have fun with it, half a cake, half presents (like shorts are half pants, and one year I got him one of those tool totes and he still calls it his ‘half a tool box’). Do it! A card and a kiss and a little gift on his ‘real’ bday, but make the fun party time in the summer.
LOVE the sharing on Christmas. The ones I remember are the times we spent helping and caring for those less fortunate as well. Your boys will thank you. But they are still very young, might need to wait a few more years. Don’t rush it, there will be plenty of time. Enjoy the home time now, it’s just as important!
Anna @ Gone Banannas says
I love looking at all these pictures, your family is just too darn cute! I practically leapt out of my seat in euphoria when we got the complete surprise gift of a Keurig from my boyfriend’s parents for our new apartment. So thoughtful and soooooo wonderful 🙂
Nicole B. says
My mother in law made a collage of pictures from when my baby boy (who is now 15 months!) was just a newborn. I call it my Levi shrine & just love looking at our tiny little squishy baby. Makes me melt & want more, but then I remember how he just screamed for 15 minutes because it was time to come inside for dinner. Def. don’t think we’re ready for #2 yet.
AGREED!! My husbands birthday is December 21 and it’s so hard to find one gift for him, let alone gifts for two different events (birthday and Christmas)!! And to make it even worse, when we started dated, our anniversary was in December too!!!!
My husband’s birthday is December 16th and so it my son’s! (He just turned one.) I officially made holidays even more crazy for the rest of my life! 😉
Kristen @ LoveK says
Sounds like you had a beautiful Christmas! I love the idea of doing something for others as part of your tradition. My hubby got me some beautiful bangle bracelets I’d been hinting at (by showing him my Pinterest board once a week) and a Tom Brady jersey.
I gave my sister a 101 Dalmatian plate to replace one she had as a kid, and it was the best moment Christmas morning.
Oh, and congrats on cooking the big piece of meat! I’ve tackled ham and felt pretty proud of myself. Still trying to work up the courage for a turkey! Yikes!
What a lovely Christmas Day. THANK YOU so very much for sharing…
I especially like the ham. 🙂
Make these waffles next year for breakfast. They are the BEST!!!!!
seriously??!! there should have been a warning! i cried! what you did with your mom was just amazing! my daughter is too young still, but i would love to do something like that with her also when she is able to understand. i read this article http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303773704579270293660965768
(i hope you get the link) and want my children to have gratitude for the things they have.
Happy New Year!
Our twins are December 26th-I know all about the b/day and x/mas run together!
What I used to do was shop all year -every time I found something awesome, I’d stash it away.
My “kids” just turned 28, and what they dislike is when someone combines their b-day and x-mas gift into one. No one with a May b-day ever gets that treatment, LOL.
Hubby and I don’t do individual gifts -we do an “experience” like a trip.
In every school district there is usually a homeless liaison( sadly); when we lived in OR we would ask for their list and fill it as best we could. Most of the time it’s shoes/boots/coats that the kids ask for, and we’d add a gift card so they could buy something fun, too.
As a December baby (14th) with a boyfriend with a December birthday (23rd) I say you can absolutely celebrate half birthdays! As long as you make at least a little bit of a big deal about the real deal! Mine we can usually squeeze in, his is harder so I like to plan a nice dinner or something in June just to make up for the fact that everything gets all smooshed together.
I also don’t believe in combined gifts EVER! I mean you would never do a combined gift for someone with a birthday in June! I think it’s fine if the big gifts are for Christmas (or birthday) but there should be at least something for the other one! And never use Christmas wrapping paper on birthday gifts! (My love language is gifts though so that changes my perspective, I think the bf could care less….)
More importantly the W’s are about the cutest boys ever, I can’t wait to “meet” LJ!
Diane Taylor says
Hi Katie – can I just say how georgous you look on Christmas morning? I love any tradition that speaks to you and helps you connect with others. My son and I used to go with some dear friends to a tree farm (a different one every year) and find the perfect tree. Said tree would get cut down while we all sang the Lumberjack song 🙂 This was my second Christmas without him and it hurt like hell. The holidays will never be the same for me – but I surrounded myself with what mattered most: my family I did get one gift from Santa hubby: a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet – my first generation IPAD was giving me fits! I have a true love/hate relationship with Apple products. So now I have switched – we shall see how it goes.
I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2014 !!!
xxooo – Diane
I love that tradition. Especially the song 🙂
xo – kb
Oooh I need an ‘experience’ next year 🙂
xo – kb
My kids are also obsessed with Angel Dear lovies! My daughter got one before she was born as a gift and has always loved it and would not be able to sleep without it! So when my son came along, we picked another one out for him (he was about 6 months old) and within a month he was just as attached! Those things are amazing! 🙂
oooh…my birthday is coming up…I think I might need Anomia 🙂
xo – kb
My recipe was following the instructions on the ham package. yeah. not really anything fancy.
xo – kb
Half pants sold me 🙂
xo – kb
I have used it. It’s manual…so there is no real noise.
xo – kb
I love the opposite girl boy thing…this year we packed a boys box and a girls box and the funniest part was Will cried over one of the girl toys…a little pink jumprope. He apparently thought it was a ‘cowboy rope’ (aka a lasso).
xo – kb
We got a new stove! It’s shiny, happy and wonderful. I hinted to Santa for a long time. And we had the pennies to spring for it. 🙂 Because Santa spends our money, ha ha! My parents got us a Lowe’s gift card that we used to buy a programmable thermostat. It’s awesomesauce. And the first time I “made a ham” for Easter, I was so excited and proud too. I mean, we didn’t burn it! I made my first whole chicken yesterday (well a roaster chicken, no head). It was traumatic and it took awhile but it finally was cooked through and juicy and good!
Amber S says
My birthday is on Christmas and my husbands is on the 27th! It is HORRIBLE. We actually celebrate our birthdays in July. 🙂
Melissa Lewis says
Looks like you guys had a magical Christmas. I love the story you told about your childhood tradition. That is so touching!
I know exactly what you mean about the birthday/Christmas same month thing, my boyfriends birthday is December 27th. It’s so hard to separate Christmas presents from birthday!. Especially when he likes to tell me he doesn’t want anything.!! :/
Who is the family member with the Missouri, Gateway to Awesome shirt? I got one for myself a while back on a kickstarter site. They had the funniest videos. Do you have family in Missouri?
So every year we are trying to save money, because I was at home with my kiddos. And although I went back to work this year we kept to the habit of trying to make our gifts. But this year, my husband did most of the gifts for our family. We also bought a few things too. I also just do a book, clothes, and a toy from us and then a toy from Santa for each child (and my husband felt left out a bought a few extra things).
My husband was the real star though. He found some materials under our old house (in the crawl space) and used that to make a table for his mother. He used the leftover butcher block for our recent kitchen renovation to make two cutting boards. He made a drawing of an owl for his sister, and a tool box for his nephew. I also made a teepee for our nephew. I usually get so excited to give the gifts away. That was definitely my favorite part!
my birthday is dec 22 and my husband’s is jan 3, we TOTALLY celebrate our half birthdays. we also do small christmas gifts to each other, instead of multiple things. it helps cut down on the excess, we have more to spend on others and an adopted family, and generally, we just really like it.
I must start doing the half birthdays too, my hubs is the 19th and it is impossible to find stuff for him- let alone decorate the house amidst the Christmas things!
Quick question on where you bought your light fixture above your table, I have been looking for one above my dinning room table with not much luck. Also, do you like it or have you found that is looks/gets dusty and hard to clean?
Thanks and let the countdown to LJ begin, I’m due in May!!
My two girls both have Angel Dear lovies, too! My older daughter has the bear, my baby the duck and now I’m expecting my third! I think I will wait until s/he is born and get either the pink or blue bunny. So soft!
I have been reading your blog since before you announced you were going to be a “mummy” when pregnant with Will and I have to tell you this is my favorite blog post to date. What you did on Christmas mornings and what you will lead your boys to do is so beautiful. What a wonderful, giving gesture. Thank you for sharing that with your blog readers.
Others have commented but I have to ask. How do you look do cute and put together on Christmas morning?
I love that Scrabble card game – so much fun! I had something else I was going to comment on, too, but I forgot it once I got to the husband-December-birthday part and couldn’t think of anything else but share in the frustration that is the impossible-shopping-month.
Is it strange that my husband and I don’t get each other gifts? Usually if we need something we will buy it when we need it. Our vacuum broke right after Christmas so I bought a new one in January and called that our gift to ourselves. I am not one of those people that thinks a vacuum is a bad gift. I absolutely love the one we got and can’t believe how much my old vacuum missed.
Don’t tell anyone that I told you this but what you did for the ham, is pretty much what you do for any big piece of meat. They are easy. Super, duper, disappointingly easy.
The side dishes are always a ton more work but it is the big piece of meat everyone oohs and aahs over. For once, I’d like to get more attention for my spinach and artichoke casserole!
What a lovely tradition your family had and its nice to see that you are passing on those values to your boys! Also- I am expecting twins in about 7 weeks and I have never seen these Cuddle Twins before but must get them for our guys!
Tammy Roe says
My kiddos picked out a box grater for me (which I really needed), my hubby got me new slippers (hooray!!) and my bestie sent me an amazing new purse… pink and bling! 🙂
I loved this post! The pictures of you sitting on the floor are gorgeous. The joy on your face and the twinkle in your eye is unmistakable. It made me smile. It sounds like such a fun day. We had a casual lovely Christmas too. I think that’s the best way to go. And , yes I hear you on the December birthday! My husbands birthday, father-in-law and nephew are all the week before Christmas, argghh!
Vicky Sweet says
I just adore your Christmas posts & photos! My present from my husband was a bike helmet. Considering I don’t have a bike I got a bit too excited because it meant that I was also getting a bike!! Yipee
Be careful with that yellow truck. We had one and my son would let it run into the walls. It ate up all my trim and the bottom of the walls!
I was hoping for a picture of Norn and Boots little guy! Was he napping?
Kala M. says
My husband’s and mother-in-law’s birthdays are both in December. Andrew is the 31st and my MIL’s is the 26th. It is such a pain in the butt double shopping. I helped out a few people this year for Christmas. I’m part of a Young Professionals group and we did one of those pick an ornament off the tree things; where each paper ornament said girl or boy, their age and something they wanted for Christmas. It was like a Paper Angel tree, except this was for mostly older kids. I picked a boy and a girl – both were 16. The girl wanted matching gloves, a hat and a scarf and the boy wanted light blue Full size bed sheets. Then we did a Toy Drive with the Salvation Army at one of the car dealerships I work for. My boss and I wanted to donate something as well so we went shopping for toys one day during work. We bought a bunch of things that were on sale. Target was offering buy 1 get 1 half price at the time so we saved some money and were able to buy more than we originally thought we could. If felt so great knowing that everything I bought was going to someone who was in need and hoping for something special on Christmas morning. I think the only thing that could have made it better was if I had been able to hand it directly to those little boys and girls.
Yep…he had a really rough time the night before and they were headed out for a ten hour drive after lunch…so we put him down for a much needed nap 🙂
xo – kb
One thing that we used to do when we were all geographically closer and had holidays and parties regularly for 30 or so was that we had to prepare massive amounts of food anyway.
We would prepare more than normal and then package up all the leftovers in pie tins as plates. The littler kids would prepare paper bags with utensils, napkins, drinks and any other goodies like socks if appropriate.
Some of the adults would prepare the plates (pie tins) and the kids that were a bit older would wrap them with foil.
Everyone would help load up the biggest vehicle(s). We’d fit as many people as possible (whomever wanted to go) and find people to serve. Whoever didn’t go would clean the kitchen!
It was always lovely and a cherished memory.
Your kids are just too cute! My boys are 2 and 4, and every Christmas Eve, they get new matching jammies–it happened by accident the first year, and since then, I have loved searching for cute ones! This year they were red with moose on them, and the shirts were button down, which damn, is cute on little kids.
If you are having issues with a gate climber on the top of stairs (scary), we have had some success with an extra tall gate, that was later modified by my dad with a smooth piece of ply wood to prevent climbing expeditions. good luck!!
Happy belated Christmas and New Year, from an avid reader.
I don’t think that is strange. I have a friend with two little kids and all her and her husband do for each other is stockings with little things like fancy candies and little things like a new guitar pic or comfy socks. We absolutely call ‘needed’ items Christmas gifts! In fact, I told Jer that I wanted carpet cleaning for Christmas.
xo – kb
HA! I put on the hat!
xo – kb
The one above our kitchen table? It does get dusty and you can see the dust but a monthly cleaning does the trick.
xo – kb
That’s my brother in law – we call him Boots 🙂 He and his entire family are from Missouri and are loud and proud about it 🙂
xo – kb
Love! My sweet little guy, Carter, (born the same week as Weston!) woke up on Christmas morning in those very same reindeer jammies, opened the very same dump truck and Little People ramp, and enjoyed a few new Sandra Boynton books of his own! He calls all of the books “moo baa” (after “Moo, Baa, La La La!”) and it is just the cutest thing ever. All that to say… I think our kiddos might be faraway twins! 🙂 Keep up the great work!
Katie – I cried reading this post. I love your family and the idea of serving for Christmas. I hope when I’m a mother I can remember to teach my children about the true meaning of Christmas in this way. Amazing.
Lynne Wesenberg says
Um, yeah, don’t ever call them dolls…they are action figures!!! My 22 year old still has a lot of his. And you can NEVER refer to them as dolls! As for Christmas, we get together with my family on Christmas afternoon, so Christmas eve and morning are all ours. This year may have been the last with the 4 of us (me, hubs and 2 college kids) as we don’t know where the oldest will be living…wherever he gets an engineering job! And so don’t know if he will be home. The youngest will be doing study abroad in the fall, but she will hopefully be home by Christmas. Every year just changes as they get older. I am trying hard to accept and embrace that change instead of being like my mother who insists on everything staying the same. As our kids have grown, we have enjoyed every stage, never wishing to go backwards or go forwards too fast. Enjoy them where they are and you will always have something to celebrate! Your boys are adorable. Thanks for sharing with all of us 🙂 And Happy New Year! It’s gonna be a great one!!!
We found out on Christmas morning (from a note left from Santa) that we are expecting a little girl at the end of April. Best gift EVER!
What a cozy Christmas morning! Also, I love Boots’ shirt — Missouri IS the gateway to awesome!
Cosmic Christmas twins!
xo – kb
xo – kb
xo – kb
Jennifer I says
What a nice day! We had that kitchen, I liked it for my boys. Gender neutral, took up a small footprint, easy to move around. Good stuff. You will have lots of good pretend food soon!
Loved this post and the idea of serving… this year my oldest (4.5) had the opportunity to pick out presents for a few area children in need and it resonated so completely with her!
Random off-topic question… when you send your camera in, how do you manage? 2nd camera? iPhone? Mine’s all beat to hell and needs a pick-me-up but I can’t bare to be without it for a month!
Emily @ My Love for Words says
I’m so touched by your family tradition of giving to those who are so frequently forgotten. This is a great reminder that I need to do more for others, and I want to teach my kids the same.
Love that you all spend Christmas Morning at home. I think that’s a great tradition. As we are now a family of 5, I think I would like to do the same. Although my husband doesn’t think so.
As far as the camera focus. Have you thought about your lens? I thought my camera was messed up, but it was in fact my 50 mm. Which I found out after is common for that lens. Just a thought.
Jerri C. TN says
LOL, like Jeremy, all my husband wanted was Crossfit “stuff.” CF has become his little cult; but what a great obsession to have. Love your cute photos.
This is just the sweetest! We’re hoping to go the same route as you guys – serving others on Christmas and modeling for our daughter what Jesus was all about. She’s 2.5 so this year we did a few presents and played with the nativity set for hours each day. That baby Jesus is pretty exciting, it turns out. And my favorite gift was a tripod from my hubby so now I can finally be in some family photos. Yay! I always enjoy your family posts so thanks for giving us a little peek into your every day and a huge standing ovation for cooking a ham. I can barely handle sandwich meat so you have my full respect!
I love the “wrestling” picture! My two are two years apart and seeing this picture reminds me how I couldn’t keep my oldest from wrestling around with the baby. So sweet you captured that.
I’m pretty certain there are issues with both…so they both are being sent in for rehab 🙂
xo – kb
iPhone right now but I am hoping and crossing my fingers that I can get a Mark III for my birthday (it’s a business expense that I can write off but whatev…it’s awesome).
xo – kb
What a beautiful family! This year instead of getting a tag off the tree at the store I called up one of our local rehab/nursing home facilities and asked if they had any residents without family who needed some Christmas cheer. They gave me two names and I went shopping for new lap blankets, slippers and socks (plus a little bag of candy). I figured that since I don’t have any children to take care of me in my old age that there’s probably others out there in that same situation. I wish I could have seen their reactions on Christmas morning.
Natalie Royall says
Always love your blog. Your family is just precious. Wanted to let you know… to try Krustez Belgian Waffle Mix. It’s delicious. My 18 month old and I have a Saturday morning tradition every week. I throw the ingredients in and she stirs and then will usually eat a WHOLE waffle. I think she thinks its more like cake 🙂 Anywho, they are super easy and delicious.
[email protected] says
What an amazing tradition to give food and gloves to the people that need it. That teaches kids so much about humanitarian work and compassion. I want to do this.
We are the same way! We do gifts throughout the year for stuff we need or a nice sweater here and there.
I love that idea! I kinda think that Will might be ready for that situation (more than something with more toy involvement) and it would be a lot safer and easier to wrangle the kiddos in that setting! Hmmmm….
xo – kb
Looks like it was wonderful. I have a special place in my heart for the angel dear lion lovies. My 2 1/2 year old daughter still carries hers everywhere. “Nonny” as she calls it is practically a family member… Best wishes for the upcoming months!
Maybe you should just get something you already owned spray-painted and re-gifted to you, it was good enough for your youngest sons very first birthday.
I don’t think that it is recommended that you ever spray paint a camera 🙂
Lisa L. says
Any chance you can do a post or include tips in here about indoor photography. I have Lumix GF2 and am seriously struggling with indoor photography without using the flash. I have a 7 month old and he’s always blurry and if I increase the shutter speed it just makes it too dark. Argh, bane of my existence.
Action figure! 😀
We have that kitchen also. It took me FIVE hours to assemble!
Beautiful Christmas! Thanks for sharing!
My favorite gift was a resized and retouched photo of my grandparents (from 1953- the Christmas before they got married) from my husband. There were 2 copies, one for me and one to give to them. I cried like a champ! But, really, it’s beautiful. 🙂 Glad you all had a lovely Christmas!
Kate Craig says
My daughter got that same ramp and Sandra Boynton, too 🙂 And my husband’s birthday is Jan 4, hate it! So does he for that matter
Where did you get the curtains/fabric in your sitting room? They are gorgeous. Thanks
The fabric was from a discount fabric store in Stone Mountain and unfortunately they don’t have any more (they get large remnants and that’s it!).
xo – kb