Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Two more family Christmases today...two more...and then Christmas 2014 will be in the books. We have had such a great holiday this year. The kids never want any of it to and dad might just be ready to drop. :)

Today we're rewinding it back to Christmas Eve to share a little bit of our family time and festivities. This year was lovely, because it was the first in very many that neither Eric nor I had to be completely tethered to a child. All of our kiddos were old enough to run and play and go up and down stairs by themselves. Wonderful. Totally forgotten what it was like to have some freedom! Of course that will be short-lived as we will be back to square one again next year, but it was really nice while it lasted, haha.

Eric always works a half day on Christmas Eve, which means it is down to me to get all of the kids ready as well as myself, and get gifts together and prepare the food we're taking and make sure the kids eat and the house stays clean and all of that other good stuff. It is always an insane morning. And I am always cursing under my breath that "Next year he IS taking this day off!!" By the time we are walking out the door for our first stop of the season, I am already exhausted. But - no time to rest! We hit the ground running this year.

Reagan wouldn't pose for a single picture the entire night, the little stinker. :)

Every single one of the cousins were in town on the Robert family side, which means we had a night of complete pandemonium and chaos. Perfect - Christmas as I remember it. :) When we are all together we push the limits of grandma's house!

There was a lovely appetizer spread, as usual. This wasn't all of it...or even the best of it, haha. Hot wings and smokies and other warm delectables were on another counter. ;)

And when it was time to open gifts there wasn't a single place to step. The entire floor was covered with kids and boxes and wrapping paper was FLYING. Much different than the years all of the adults sat around and opened presents one at a time. All of the moms and dad's were asking, "Whose is this? Who gave that to you? Is that yours or hers or his?" Yep, pure chaos.

Once again the family was much too generous and the kids received many wonderful things. Reagan was the recipient of a family tradition - his very own rocking chair. Now each of the kids have one. :)

After we were all completely over-stimulated, it was time for another party - huzzah! :D 

It was time to go to my parent's house, where the kids made a beeline for the arcade in the basement. Nothing like hearing a booming video game voice announce "TOTAL CARNAGE!" through the house on Christmas eve. 

Reagan was playing pool in his own special way....

No clue how he even got up there!

For the past couple of years my mom has made tacos and fajitas for Christmas. So yummy!

Bean face. I think Reagan was channeling Clark Griswold with his shirt back there, haha.

Of course, the kids were excited to open presents! I was excited to give gifts this year. I had fun putting together some things and going more of the home made route for the adults. I think my hands were numb from a wreath making marathon, haha....

Photo calendars were also a hit this year!

Shannon wasn't able to be with us for the holidays - boo, and somehow most of my brothers are mysteriously missing from any photos. :) So strange that MY family's Christmas was the quieter one.

Soon it was time to gather our things and get home in anticipation of a certain someone's arrival. I have no idea how our kids still look so awake and happy in this picture, haha. It was late!

For as much fun as we have getting together with our families, I always look forward to the quiet time on Christmas Eve when all of the children are finally asleep and I'm able to move around and do my thing. I dream about those quiet moments all year long. Probably one of my favorite things about being a mom. :)

Eric and I always debate about how much to give our kids. He thinks we do too much while I think we have a very modest Christmas. We'll never agree, because he grew up getting just a couple of presents each year, and this is about 1/3 of what I got. :) We try to strike a compromise, but I think this sight still gives him a mild panic attack on Christmas morning, haha. When I'm given a budget I will spend hours and days and weeks researching and shopping and trying to get the most for our money. But Eric's mind thinks completely differently. Just because we have the budget doesn't mean we have to spend it all - one or two nice things is good enough. I don't think either way is right or wrong, and we're lucky that it's one of the ONLY things we ever disagree on. :D We'll have to wait and see what we decide on next year...still figuring this one out for our family!

I hope that you all had a great holiday...and maybe you're like us and it's still not over yet! In just a few hours we are off to my grandma's and then it's the annual Simpson family Christmas party. Should be fun! We'll share our Christmas Day soon!

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