Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Day Like No Other {Christmas 2015}

I remember what it felt like to be a kid on Christmas.

I remember the anticipation that built up and built up and built up until I felt like I might burst...the excitement of getting presents for others and wrapping them and imagining the reactions the recipients would have as they opened them...the wondering about what was in the gifts with my name on them...the fun of going to sleep with a Christmas candle in the window of my bedroom...the love of all things Christmas-related: the music, the decorations, the food...the feeling that this--oh, THIS!--was the pinnacle of the year!

And so, because I remember those emotions so vividly, even though I did get up to shush David and Tobin about 5:50 a.m. on Christmas morning when their exuberance got a little too noisy, I delight in seeing the intense joy of my children as Christmas Day approaches and dawns.  It is a wonderful time.

As usual, I took an abundance of pictures; but I've managed to narrow it down to a few.  Well...cough, cough...maybe more than a few.  ;-)  But you only get one chance to celebrate the Christmas of 2015, right?  I'll try to keep my comments about the pictures to a minimum, but you know how that goes.  ;-)

Happy, eager children...
Jeff read the Christmas story to us...
This was the funniest gift.  Weeks ago, before we had even really gotten started with our Christmas shopping, we were grocery shopping when Tobin suddenly said, "Look, that would be a great gift for Josiah!"
It was a package of toothpicks.
You see, Josiah loves toothpicks; and many times after dinner, he'll ask, "Mom, can I have a toothpick?"  Well, goodness, of course he can have a toothpick!  "You don't have to ask," I'll remind him, and we'll laugh.  And now, thanks to Tobin, Josiah has plenty of toothpicks--his very own toothpicks.  He was thrilled.  ;-)
This was David's gift to Moriah; and since it was so big, it had gotten a lot of attention in the days before Christmas.  Moriah was a little hesitant to open it--and not just this gift, but other ones--but once the boys got a corner started for her, she was ready to dive in and tear it open herself.

A shopping cart!
Moriah loved it and promptly put it to good use.  :)

The next pictures are the only ones taken of me on Christmas.  When I was handed this package to open, Josiah grabbed the camera and started snapping, without me asking him to.  At the end of the day when I realized there were no other pictures of me, I was even more grateful that he had done this.  A young man after my own heart.  :)
Jeff delighted me by giving me...
...a gift that will benefit him, too.
A new electric blanket!  :)  It's been warm enough that we haven't suffered too badly so far this winter; but surely the weather will turn cold soon, and we'll be SO grateful for a heated blanket.  It is one of the indulgences in life that I appreciate immensely.  :)
Josiah gave Moriah two flashlights...
...and when she opened them, she said, "I don't need two!"  Then she came over and gave one of them to Jeff.  :)

Tobin gave Shav a pocketknife--a delight for a young boy's heart!  :)

We gave Josiah my favorite kind of journal, a Q & A a Day journal.
Tobin showed Grandpa the Star Wars book we gave him on Christmas Eve--a book that he can read by himself.

A Ninjago LEGO flying ninja for Tobin...

...and some kind of Star Wars mask for Shav from David, but don't ask me the name of it because I can't remember!  ;-)

A knife for Josiah...
...and a flying LEGO ninja for Shav.  I LOVE his face in this picture and the next.  :)

A flying LEGO ninja for David, too.  He and Tobin and Shav each got a different ninja.
This was a big gift for Josiah.  He had only asked for two things for Christmas--contacts and a laptop--and as it turned out, contacts didn't work because it was too hard for him to get them in his eyes (I think he'll be ready to try again in a year or so).  Jeff decided that rather than getting him a regular laptop, it would be better to get him a tablet with a detachable keyboard, so that's what he did.  Josiah has used it a lot since Christmas, and I'm guessing he'll get many more hours of enjoyment from it.  :)

Josiah gave David a dartboard with darts, except rather than being traditional darts with sharp points, they are magnetic.  :)

We gave Tobin and Shav each a LEGO base to make their creations easier to put together.  :)
We gave David a skateboard, something he had been wanting for quite a long time.

This was a big gift for Shav...
...the game Ticket to Ride.  Ever since we had played it with friends, Shav had been wanting a set of our own; and now he has it.  And we have played it many times since Christmas Day--earlier this evening, for example, as we awaited the new year.  :)
I didn't plan for us to give Benjamin anything this year; but when Jeff was shopping one day, he found a nutcracker ornament, and we thought that would be a good gift for Benjamin's first Christmas.  :)

David had already gotten the shopping cart to give to Moriah...
 ...but when he was shopping with Jeff and saw a stuffed animal Peppa Pig...
 ...he knew that Moriah would be DELIGHTED with it, and so she was.  She's a huge Peppa Pig fan. :)

 Shav gave David...
 ...a blow pipe with darts...
 ...because we just don't have enough weapons around here.  ;-)
 By the way, when David opened a gift, he would then run to the giver and give them a big hug.  In all my pictures of those hugs, he is so blurry because of his quick speed, so I didn't include those pictures in this post, except for the hug he gave Shav.  But trust me: there were many hugs given that day.  :)

 We gave David a set of CDs--In Freedom's Cause--about William Wallace.  Because, of course, David's middle name is Wallace.  :)
 Some Star Wars pencils for Tobin...
 ...and throwing knives for David.
Somebody thought Grandpa's lap was a pretty relaxing place to be.  ;-)

No celebration for Moriah is complete without...
 ...a new doll.  :)

 Every so often, I would hear hoofbeats and look outside the window to see another horse and buggy run up the neighbor's lane on their way to Christmas service at their church.  Such a pretty sight.

 This was a really special gift for Moriah...
 ...her own personalized mug for hot chocolate.  :)

 Josiah gave Tobin an automatically retracting yo-yo.

 Moriah wanted some help to get this package started...David to the rescue!  :)

 Paint with water books for Moriah...
 And the last gift.
 Paintball guns for the boys.  Their faces don't reflect their true state of excitement.  ;-)
 Like last year, we were so happy to have Doris, a long-time friend of ours, here with us for Christmas dinner.
 Dad went in the mid-morning and got her and Mother from the nursing home and brought them to our home.

 We were so glad to have them both here.
 Jeff showed Josiah how to use his new tablet.

Moriah helped me by putting a festive napkin at each place...
 ...and Doris held Benjamin.
 And then, the feast...  :)
 ...and the post-feast relaxation.  :)
 Games are always a part of our Christmas celebration...
 ...and we were glad to have Todd, Julia, and their daughters Sarai and Abby with us.
 Kevin the Painter was here, too.

 When evening came, we snacked some more and continued to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of fellowship.  The kids had fun playing a new game we gave them, Blink.  It's very simple and quick to play, but challenging--meaning, my kids beat me every time.  ;-)

 Benjamin didn't exactly suffer from lack of attention or arms to hold him.  ;-)
And so we spent our Christmas Day, eating, laughing, talking, relaxing, playing with new gifts, remembering THE gift.  The greatest gift of all.  A baby loved even more (is it possible?) than our dear little Benjamin.

Thank You, God, for the gift of Jesus.

Before I end this post about Christmas, I want to add two things in the interest of "keepin' it real."  First, although I truly enjoyed Christmas, I felt like my joy was filtered through a haze of fatigue.  With being up in the night with Benjamin, I have stayed continually tired--no surprise there--but sometimes I have felt foggy and a bit disconnected.  Because of that, perhaps I didn't feel the emotions as intensely as I have sometimes.  I'm expecting next year will be different without a baby to nurse in the night (and yes, I'm sure I'll miss those night cuddles).

Second, I LOVE to give gifts to my children; and I enjoy thinking about what they would especially like.  My process of getting Christmas gifts for them happens long before Christmas; in fact, all throughout the year, when I find things they would appreciate, I get them and tuck them away.  This year, I did a poor job of that; and with Benjamin's birth, I didn't put much effort into gift-getting until fairly close to Christmas.  It was a little of a scramble to get gifts for everyone (but I did get them wrapped well before Christmas Eve, so hooray for that!) ;-), and I hope to do better in this area next year.

With those things confessed, my heart is clear, my photos are shared, my words are captured, and I'm ready to wrap up Christmas so I can turn my attention to the next big thing.

A brand new year!!  :)

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I LOVED looking through these pictures! I'm glad the tired you took them. I did a poor job of taking pictures this Christmas. I think I took about 20?! What is wrong with me? :) So much more to say, but one handed typing is just too cumbersome.