We started at about 6 am. Leaf stayed in bed because she'd had a rough night puking and was finally asleep. Here's our traditional "line up on the stairs" picture that everyone hates for me to take (they're anxious to get to those presents!) These pictures are such an important piece of family history though. Someday they'll thank me for them.
Here's what we came downstairs to. This is such a great "Christmas morning" house. I love it.
Frog got a rocking moose. It was instant love.
Opening stockings... at our house, you can usually count on tangerines, chocolate, and Schleich figures in your stocking. There might also be nuts, or jerky, or other small items such as lip balm or warm socks.
Then we start on opening presents. We open them one at a time, so everyone can watch. We start with the youngest opening one gift, then go up in age order, going around as many times as there are presents.
There were lots of hugs and "thank you"s.
Small, inexpensive things brought tremendous happiness, like this little dollar store mirror the Rabbit bought for Peanut. That's the great thing about Christmas. The very nature of the day is so exciting that, for the little ones, even the smallest present brings so much joy. That fact has been a great blessing for us during years when we didn't have much money. This year, money wasn't so tight, which was really wonderful for me when shopping, but an increase in money doesn't really bring a corresponding increase in happiness and excitement.
I do like to buy my children high-quality toys though, and I'm grateful when I'm able to do this. I always have a running list of neat things I've found that will feed their imaginations and develop their brains, and it's always a joy for me at Christmas to select a few of these for them. This year, I really wanted to get them Magna Tiles. I watched for a sale-- they were still expensive! But they were worth it because they will be well-used for a long time.
Okay, I just love Lego Elves. I guess I should say "loved" because it looks like Lego may be phasing out the Elves line (BAD! BAD! BAD Lego!) I would have died to have these sets when I was a kid. They have so many cute little pieces like squirrels and baby dragons in eggs, as well as pretty sparkly jewel pieces. My brother and I spent untold hours playing with Legos as a child. Most of my bricks were very plain in a hodge podge of basic colors. However, we had a couple of space sets and a couple of castle sets, and we really treasured the fancy pieces from these... these Elves sets would have blown my mind. I can't resist buying them for my girls, who want them even more badly than I want to buy them for them.
I decided we needed to beef up our collection of Little People for our pair of two-year-olds, so that's what they got both for their birthdays and for Christmas. We have enough now for lots of toddler imaginary play.
The Badger bought the boys fancy cockpit posters to hang on their walls... the kind of awesome stuff you get when your dad's a pilot.
Grandma and Grandpa Badger are always so sweet to send individual presents for the kids. Grandma watches the fabric stores for remants of the really pretty fancy fabrics and sends them to the girls. They just love these.
Our collection of toy food was getting very worn, and a lot had been thrown away. A lot of toy food/kitchen stuff is very cheaply made and doesn't last. I read about this stuff from Learning Resources that is very high-quality and durable, so I had to get some. Peanut and I are both very pleased with it.
Bean bought Frog a knight set just like the ones we bought for Bean and Fish when they were small (oh, the memories!) He was thrilled!
It was a bountiful Christmas and I am very grateful for that. I'm also very grateful for my children, and for their gratitude and appreciation for their gifts. I don't know if it's all the hard years we've had and the material loss and lack they've experienced at times, but somehow they haven't developed the entitlement mentality that is so easy to get in our affluent culture. I am very grateful for that, however it happened. It was such a joy to be able to shower them with presents and have them be so happy and grateful.