For the first time in the three years that Caelan has been home for Christmas, we had a nurse on Christmas Eve!! We still had to get up at six when her shift ended, but so much better than splitting the night between the two of us! The girls crawled into bed with me around seven and we went out to join Daddy not long after that...
Then we headed back to Mom and Dad's room to open our stockings. Here's our traditional photo and the beginning of our day in pictures... starting around eight in the morning.
Time for a short break... As you can see Darcy has found her zebra hat that she got from Gramma and Grampa and is sporting that again, or still!?!? Both girls have on new hoodies and slippers. I'm busy getting cinnamon rolls in the oven for breakfast. Daddy is busy getting toys out of the packaging for Caelan.
This year I decided to get my cinnamon rolls all ready the day before, giving them oodles of time to rise. It was nice to have it all done so that on Christmas morning all I had to do was pop them in the oven! They were apparently just as good because we each polished off two of them! This picture is basically what was left!
My Mom and Bill spent about a month on a tour through China and Hong Kong in November. I was thrilled to open these beautiful pearls that they bought during their travels. I also received a gorgeous silk scarf and jade necklace with my tiger sign in it. The girls got pearl bracelets, fans, a jade stamp with their names carved into it in both English and Chinese, and panda key chains. Caelan got a panda shirt and key chain and Damian got a panda silk tie, kite and funky hacky sack like toy that everyone plays in the parks there... I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but it was definitely a year full of Chinese gifts!
By noon the presents were all open and we were trying to bring some order back to our house. Wrapping paper was being collected, dishwasher was being emptied, and some gifts were finding new homes...
By one o'clock Caelan and I were back playing with this cool dinosaur playmat/box that he got from Gramma and Grampa. Definitely one of the big hit toys unwrapped this year!
Caelan and Darcy spent quite a while playing with Caelan's new play d'oh ice cream shop. Ryland was busy in her room finding the perfect spot for all her new treasures.
Caelan was definitely an excited and tired little boy most of the day. He stuck close to Mom, who was happy to sit with him and let Daddy do most of the clean up/organizing. We read every single one of his new books... I think it was a total of about 18 stories!! Needless to say we sat on this couch for quite a long time! Actually by now Grandparents had arrived and the girls were showing off all their new stuff.
The whole crowd enjoying some togetherness...
This is what Christmas is about: Spending time with family.
As you can see I've barely moved from the picture above to the one below! I know that it wasn't long after the below picture was taken that things started getting underway in the kitchen. Damian had the turkey out on the barbecue and it cooked a little faster than we expected so things were kicked into high gear to get all the extras ready as soon as possible! I guess in all the kitchen chaos I forgot to snap a pic!
Sitting down to our feast... Turkey with stuffing, homemade cranberries, gravy, mashed potatoes, turnip puff, carrots, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower and cheese sauce. Can you say stuffed?
Not too stuffed to enjoy some of this absolutely delicious Triple Chocolate Peppermint Trifle. It was soooo good, if I do say so myself. However, I would never say it was an easy recipe to make! Lots of steps; making a white chocolate peppermint moose, the chocolate cake layer, the milk chocolate pudding layer and waiting for all those layers to set before being able to assemble. Was it worth it? Yes, I think it was... But if I were to make it again, I might cheat on a few of those steps!
By the time dinner was done and clean up was underway, Caelan and I were done! It was a long day for both of us and we were ready to snuggle up on the couch and leave all that cleaning up to everyone else!
It was a very Merry Day! Hope everyone had a very happy Christmas with family close by. xo
p.s. Guess what I noticed about this year's Christmas Day in photos? There are a lot more pictures of me... Apparently, there were lots of times where I simply asked someone else to take the photo for me! Probably something I should do more of in 2013...