The kids, especially Lorelei, asked about a dozen times from 5pm onward on Christmas Eve: "Is it time for bed yet?" It truly was one of those magic years when the kids are at just the right ages to soak in all the magic of Christmas.
We let them go to bed a little early, after much begging. But first, we left out the eggnog and fresh cookies we had just baked for Santa.
The house grew quiet. Not a peep was heard upstairs.
And sometime in the magic hour, Santa arrived down our chimney. I hope his pants were flame-resistant.
But Santa's not the main attraction on Christmas.
Baby Jesus is.
And until that manger is cradling the little God-child come to earth, the kids await his coming with carols, beckoning him near.
Lorelei rushed down the stairs so quickly the camera only caught a blur.
And the unwrapping begins...
Lorelei wrapped up some Legos for Gryffy in a little styrofoam bowl, since he loves building with Legos. She was so excited for him to unwrap them.
The kids collected so many from both sets of grandparents and us that we had to transform our train table into LegoLand.
The neighbor kids are over playing legos with the kids downstairs AS I TYPE ;o)
Here are some from The Hobbit Mines of Moria from Grandma & Grandpa Connelly:
Hogwarts from Grammy & Bpop.
Some Legos Meaghan passed to them, including the Weasley's home, The Burrow; Hagrid's Hut and the Knight Bus.
And from Santa, Gryffy's big gift: Helm's Deep
Lorelei and I began a new tradition of a "Mommy & Me Journal."
She writes the most darling things, but I can't tell you about them...
it's a Mommy/Daughter secret :)
Arnold Lobel books, our favorite author right now. Lorelei's a fantastic reader and loves these books--they're just slightly beneath her reading level so they don't challenge her too much, but they really help with her fluency and use of fun voices to mimic the characters. Gryffy himself has memorized "Shivers" from the Frog and Toad book. We also got them the rest of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, which is rather spooky but gets Lorelei reading! Those ones have a few challenging words and are right at her level. Sometimes we sneak off into the woods at night with headlamps and read those scary stories!
Kids found assorted gifts in their stockings: lip balm, bubble gum, Star Wars pens, nerf bullets...
... and the ball Lorelei so desperately desired. She asked for a "rubber band ball" and we searched high and low, but couldn't find a rubber ball with rubber bands inside (how she described it). Fortunately, she seemed pretty excited about the one she got.
Gryffy's and Daddy's favorite gift: Bow and arrow.
He's a natural Robinhood with his aim.
And Lorelei's favorite gift: A new scooter.
She rides it all around the cul de sac with the neighbors, who also have Razor Scooters. And just as soon as I saw that helmet for my girl who adores purple and cats, I knew it was hers.
She didn't take it off.
I got Mark some Scandinavian games (Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries, Kubb (like Bocce Ball meets chess), and a 1,000 piece puzzle we're working on now) and a Duke shirt, and he got me two PhotoShop classes. His gifts are always thoughtful.