Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Morning

This year, we had a house full! For the five days before Christmas, my little sister, Janelle, and her adorable family stayed at my house.They brought this darling little guy with them, prompting Ashlyn to ask if we could go get a baby at Target! If only it was that easy!...On Christmas Eve Eve they moved over to my mom's house to make room for Jason's sister, Danale, and her adorable family and Jason's youngest brother, Skyler, who would be spending Christmas morning with us. (I guess it was really Christmas Eve morning.)
Jessica is always the first person up on Christmas morning. She often wakes up long before the sun comes up and wakes everyone else up. Jason said he heard little feet running up and down the stairs somewhere between 5:30AM and 6:00AM. I was out like a light! Jessica tried to wake Austin up, but he knew he couldn't open any presents until we were all awake, so he went back to sleep.

Here are Jessica and Lauren trying to wake Ashlyn up.

All the kids on Christmas Morning Ashlyn was so much fun this Christmas! Here are some of my favorite Christmas morning faces...

The "I'm so excited" faces

Yes, those are feet jumping for joy, when Jessica realized she was getting a hamster. I had to pull a picture of her from the video camera because she wouldn't sit still after that!

The "I am so happy" faces...

The "Look what I got!" faces...

The "silly" faces and the "I really love my daughter" faces...

yes, that's lip gloss!

The "I wonder how long it will take me to clean all this up..." face

And The "I'm totally content" faces...

It was a fun Christmas morning at home. Then we piled in to the car, still in our jammies, and went over to my parent's house for more Christmas!

We had yummy cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole
We opened more presents while we drank hot chocolateLauren practiced taking LOTS of picturesMy dad is THE best grandpa ever! Cousins in their new BYU gear

I'm sure the neighbors wondered what we all were doing when we finally emerged from my parent's house around 2PM, still in our jammies and morning faces, carrying our new gifts on Christmas Eve morning.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve

When I was growing up, we spent almost every Christmas Eve at my grandparents house in Davis. We played the present game and ate lots of little hour'dourves and ran around will all of the little cousins. We would go to our own homes at night and wait for Santa to come. After we opened presents in the morning with our families, we all headed back over to Grandma's house to have another gift exchange with the extended family.

Once I was grown up, with a few children of my own, my grandparents moved to be closer to their kids (and me!) who lived in Elk Grove. With my grandparents in a smaller house, and with an extended family who had nearly doubled in size, we moved the holiday festivities to my aunt's house in Elk Grove on Christmas Eve and my uncle house in Granite Bay on Christmas day.

My family had moved down to Clovis, but they still made the drive up on Christmas Eve and stayed until Christmas day. It was hard to spend Christmas away from home, so that eventually tapered off and they would just come up on Christmas day after they had opened presents. They always felt a little rushed Christmas morning to get through opening presents so they could get on the road for the three hour drive to Sacramento. It just wouldn't feel like Christmas if they weren't with all of the family.

With more of my mom's children getting married and splitting the holidays with their spouses side of the family, my mom had a great idea. "Why don't we just do Christmas a day early?" It was perfect! We would celebrate Christmas Eve on the 23rd at my mom's house with all of her kids that were around. We could all open presents on Christmas Eve morning and then Christmas Eve we were free to go to our in-laws or to continue with our tradition of getting together with our extended family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day without the Christmas morning rush. I think it's been that way for at least 10 years. Maybe longer? Jen? Mom? How long has it been? And do I remember it right?

So, Christmas Eve Eve at my parent's house...

Some traditions have remained the same. We don't have a big dinner for Christmas Eve. Instead we have a huge spread of hors d'oeuvres. The tradition started when my mom was little and thought they should have a "grown up party" for Christmas Eve. (Don't you know? Grown up parties have hors d'oeuvres.)I didn't take any pictures of the food, but I stole this one from my little sister's blog. Thanks Janelle!

Some of my extended family comes down to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve with us. You can never get enough Christmas.

Grandpa can almost always be found playing with the kids. Or telling one of his grown grandchildren his secret. (I love you)

We still pose for pictures just because it's Christmas Eve and we are all happy to be together

A new tradition that we have started is having the kids act our the first Christmas while my dad reads it from the Bible. For the last two years we have used a script that my brother, Sterling and his wife, Katie put together using all of the scriptures. The kids are old enough to narrate, but I miss hearing my dad read it right out of the Bible.

Our costumes are kind of funny. Sheets and towels and few pieces we have picked up here and there. I keep thinking I will buy some or make them, but I kind of like the tradition of it being a little crazy.

Another tradition that we have started with our Christmas Eve Eve at my parent's house, is riding on a horse drawn "sleigh" through my parents neighborhood to see the Christmas lights and sing Christmas carols. Their neighborhood has evolved into a "Candy Cane Lane or Christmas Tree Lane" over the years. I borrowed this picture collage from Janelle too. :-)
Waiting for the horses...

Its always a little crazy, it's always fun, and it always leaves us looking forward to next year.