Wednesday, December 31, 2014

♪ On Christmas Day in the Morning! ♫

So far, I've written about Christmas Eve, our second Christmas celebration, and one small part of our Christmas Day joy.  But tonight, as 2014 ticks away, the time has come to finish Christmas and kiss it goodbye, stored away safely in our memory banks.

Warning: there are many, many pictures in this long, long post.  :)

Our Christmas morning began with just the seven of us together, listening to Jeff read the nativity account from Matthew before we began to open the gifts.

Josiah had asked to be the one to pass out the gifts...
...and the gift-opening began.
Tobin opened his gift from David: a set of wooden letters that spell his name that he can paint and hang on his door.

Shav and his gift from Tobin: a super-soft puppy dog robe/costume...
...and a notebook.

Jeff opened his very romantic gift from me... undershirts.  ;-)
We gave each child a new Christmas ornament to add to their collections.

Then it was time for Moriah to open a gift, which she was strangely reluctant to do, so her big brothers jumped in to help until she got the hang of it.  :)

A doll!  :)
And a blanket to wrap her in.  :)

Josiah and David opened a gift together...
...a set of Jonathan Park CDs.
Tobin and his gift from Shav: The Incredibles movie.
David was so happy (about Tobin's gift) that he hugged Shav.  He did a lot of hugging that day.  :)
Moriah loved her snuggle time with her daddy and her new doll.

We gave Tobin a pair of roller skates, something he had REALLY been wanting.  :)

We gave Josiah a Settlers of Catan game.

Shav being silly.  :)

Shav with a wooden build-and-paint model of a ship.
It works great because Jeff does the building and Shav does the painting.
Jeff just loves gifts like that--the more pieces, the better!  ;-)  Or not.  :)
Tobin gave Moriah a new pretty dress.
We gave Tobin a build-and-paint wooden dragon.

David got a couple of fun Q&A books about sports.

A group gift for the boys was a set of eight puzzles that are from Disney movies and are all 3-D puzzles.

We gave David the movie Hopeful Notes.
Shav got an art set in a red storage box.

Tobin got a remote-control car...

...and so did Shav.
Jeff wrapped his gift for me so elegantly.  ;-)

It was a set of new frying pans, which I had asked for because I was SO TIRED of trying to scrub clean our old, lousy set of cheap nonstick pans.  They were so messed up that you really couldn't get them all the way clean, and I felt like I had wasted enough minutes of my life exercising my arm on them; and if Jeff didn't mind, I sure would like some new ones.
Apparently, he didn't mind.  I was really happy.  :)
David got an art set.

Tobin got a wallet--his first real wallet.
Moriah gave her new doll to Jeff so he could snuggle with her.
He did a great job.  ;-)

As the morning wore on, the living room floor got messier and messier.  :)

We gave David a couple of books in the Imagination Station series.
Shav gave Josiah big drawing paper, which was one of the very few things Josiah had requested this year.

David gave Josiah a paint-by-numbers snowman scene.

All four boys opened a gift together, but I can't even see--or remember--what it was!
But I love seeing them together like this!  :)
Josiah gave David a K'Nex roller coaster set.

In return, David gave Josiah a hug.  :)
Jeff had gone shopping the day before Christmas and came home with a dragon for Shav from the How to Train Your Dragon series.
David opened his gift from Tobin--a new football...
...then tackled Tobin in a thank-you hug.  :)
Josiah gave Moriah a mobile to replace the one that broke a while back. She really loves her new mobile and looks forward to hearing its music every time I tuck her in bed.  :)
Shav gave David a pack of mechanical pencils, something David had specifically asked for...
...and David hugged Shav.  Remember how I said he did a lot of hugging that day?  ;-)
Shav opened his gift from David...
...a set of wooden letters that spell his name, just like Tobin got.
Tobin opened his art set...

...and enjoyed looking at its beautiful contents.
Moriah's last gift...
...was a doll stroller...
...from David.
She had to see if her new doll could fit in it.

It did.  :)
I know this picture is blurry, but it reminds me of one of the sweetest parts of this Christmas for me.  Both Tobin and Shav had cut hearts out of notebook paper, then colored them for me.  What's more, they--all by themselves--got out gift bags, tissue paper, gift tags, and wrapped them up for me, even writing my name on the tags.  In addition, Tobin gave me a heart sculpture that he had made in his summer class at the community college back in July.  It was precious, especially the fact that they took the initiative to not only make a little gift for me, but also to wrap it up...and they figured out how to do it without any outside help.  So, so sweet.
Shav opened his gift from Josiah...
...a wooden castle that opens up and can be painted...
...and used when enacting various scenarios with LEGO figures.
David opened a brown robe from us, a special request of his.
We've seen this robe on him a lot during the past week!  :)

Moriah had fun giving her doll a ride in the stroller.  She's such a good little mama.  :)
I didn't get a picture of all the gifts that were opened that morning, but most of them I managed to snag a photo of before the kids moved on to the next present.  This year, I felt like the boys did a particularly good job of giving gifts to each other.  We've moved on from the years when we could just go to the dollar store and pick any ol' thing out of the toy aisle for the boys to give to each other, but now they give each other gifts that they genuinely appreciate and enjoy.  Josiah and David even contributed financially to the gifts they gave.  They're growing up!  :)

After a little while, we got the living room cleaned up (for the first time, the boys did most of this job themselves!) and ready to welcome guests... of whom was our friend Doris who, about a year and a half ago, was lying in the hospital at death's door.  When Josiah, David, and I visited her in the hospital, we left that visit, thinking that it was likely the last time we'd see her on this earth.  She had a whole list of health issues, including having a leg amputated; but she is an amazing, strong woman.  She pulled through and has astonished us all.  She lives in the assisted living area of the nursing home where my mom lives, and she's learning how to be incredibly independent using a prosthesis.  It was a privilege and joy to have her with us in our home for Christmas!!!
Of course, it was also wonderful to have my parents here.  :)
My dad had had the good idea to bring my mom's piano books along, so while I was preparing for our other guests to arrive, I had the treat of listening to her play Christmas carols!  :)

Doris looked at Tobin's new coin collecting book and helped him place some coins.
Shav had a blast playing with Doris's special walker, including riding on it while Tobin roller-skated and pushed the walker!  :)
Josiah and David taught Doris how to play Spot-It.

Our other guests arrived--Todd & Julia, their daughters Sarai & Abigail, as well as Kevin the Painter--and we enjoyed a feast of chalupas, rice with cheese and green chilis, a delicious onion dip that Todd & Julia brought, grape salad, and a variety of other foods, finishing of course with Oreo Ice Cream Dessert.  :)  And then it was time to play Crazy Uno!  :)
I think it should be recorded here that I won one of the games.  ;-)

As the day wore on, the guests eventually departed; and Jeff took time to help the boys do a puzzle...

...while Moriah checked on her baby in the stroller...
...and Josiah drew with his new art set.

And we all went to bed happy, filled with the joy of giving and receiving gifts...all because we love each other.

All because He first loved us!!  :)


bekahcubed said...

This whole post made me smile - and made me wish we didn't live so far away :-) The photos of your mother at the piano brought tears to my eyes. Music is great for everyone, but I've seen research that suggests that it's especially good for those with Alzheimer's because it short-circuits the normal memory centers.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Christmas morning!! I love all of the thoughtfulness the boys put into their presents to each other. Sammy really enjoys picking out gifts for others now too. I think next year he will be ready to contribute to them as well. Do you give your boys some chores to earn some extra money? Or do they save it from other things?

Home Instead said...

Oh my gosh, those hugs just melted my heart:-)

sally said...

Wonderful, just wonderful! I loved seeing the family togetherness, the love, and the simplicity of your Christmas celebration. I also loved the orderliness of it all. I am also reminded again how each family has a different idea of what makes a good time. For Andrew's family, in general, the more chaos, the happier they are and the better time they are having. I'm entirely the opposite, but I am learning how not to be selfish and insist on my own way, and be happy to help them have a chaotic good time! (I can always clean up afterwards and restore order another week.) I wish you many blessings, lots of good times, and days filled with happiness in the new year.