Nothing beats the excitement of Christmas morning with a 7- and 5-year-old.
Santa dug into the cookies and nog...
... and deposited a bag full of loot beneath the tree.
Daddy got the fire started downstairs...
... while the kids dutifully sang carols on the stairs, per tradition, awaiting the arrival of the Christ Child in the manger.
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Time to open presents!
The mad dash.
Lorelei's gifts: Cabbage Patch, Disney Princess Pets & PP Salon, FurReal Kitty, My Little Ponies, Hexbugs, charms, Legos (from Gryffin)
Gryffin's gifts: Angry Birds Telepods, Science Volcano Kit, Lego Star Wars, sticker & art books, all of Daddy's old Star Wars toys, Stormtrooper mask, Legos (from Lorelei)
The bunnies hid beneath the tree, nibbling its plastic branches.
Here's Gryffin with Daddy's Darth Vader carrying case filled with vintage Star Wars figures.
The boy's in inter-galactic heaven.
Mr. Tibbles (One-Eyed Jack) joined us in emptying stockings.
Then we tucked into cinnamon bun waffles and our traditional strata after skyping with our Canadian family and having an early dinner with Grammy & Bpop.
And Mark and I went in together on our anniversary present (11 years this December):
A specially carved moose for our backyard fire pit.
The sign will have our name when I get around to painting it.
Mark got a guitar for his Christmas present from me, and has been mastering a list of tunes to sing by the campfire this spring.
And for my present, this cute little stump table with our initials: WMLG
I adore it!
There is still such magic in the air at Christmas, with Lorelei and Gryffin anxiously anticipating where their Elves-on-the-Shelves will be hiding, opening letters from Santa and meticulously counting down the days on their chocolate Advent calendars and our hanging wall countdown. We've lit the Advent candles, boarded the Polar Express to the Luminary Walk, and hunted down Christmas lights in our pajamas. In the early mornings, we've snuggled together beside the lit tree with books and sacred music, and resumed evening snuggles by a warm fire to unwrap the same Christmas books we read each year, and watch holiday movies. There's nothing sweeter or more dear than these moments, when the air is thick with love, tradition, and our family together. I thank God everyday that I am theirs, and they are mine.