I pretty much knew that we wouldn’t be able to make it to Georgia for Christmas this year to see my family. For a while I pretended that I would rather stay home anyway but when I dropped my little sister off at the airport for her flight back to Georgia, I couldn’t help but feel homesick.
Not so much homesick for my home because, truth be told, Utah is my home now. More homesick for the magic of Christmas I felt as a child; for the ease of being a kid and not having so many responsibilities. But as it turned out, my little Christmas here with Christopher and Evelyn (and Oatmeal) was perfect. In fact, I couldn’t picture a better Christmas day.
Our Christmas week was packed with holiday parties (read: two family events) culminating in the big Christmas Eve dinner on Wednesday with just our intimate little family. It was a minor remake of the Thanksgiving day feast and I realized how much more I enjoy ham than turkey. I don’t think I’ll ever cook a turkey again.
Evelyn feasted solely on candied yams and (surprisingly) green beans.
When dinner was done, we opened our one present on Christmas Eve…always new pajamas. I have been dying to give Chris this present all month. I decided to make him pajama pants. It’s the first sewing project I’ve done on my own from scratch. I even made Evelyn a matching nightgown! They are far from perfect but I got so much satisfaction out of the whole project that I don’t think it will be the last thing I sew.
Then we read the Christmas story in the Bible, put Evelyn in bed and set to work getting things ready for Christmas morning. Chris had to put together Evelyn’s new car from my parents and I basically just had to set all the presents out and get the monkey bread ready to pop in the oven on Christmas morning.
Chris woke up at 6am Christmas morning to inform me that the white Christmas I was hoping for was actually here. The snow was falling steadily and he had to go move my sister’s car from the street to the driveway to make way for the snow ploughs. I didn’t bother looking out the window but I did fall back to sleep very excited.
9 o’ clock rolled around and a cute little voice called, “Dada.” (We can overlook that). When I pulled Evelyn out of bed, I stood her up on her changing table so she could see the snow out the window (we live in a basement, remember). She just kept saying ‘SNOW’ minus the S over and over. It was precious.
After a quick breakfast we let her wander into the living room to see the pile of gifts that materialized under the tree over night. It’s my favorite when her tiny voice says, “Wow!” She picked out her first present and Chris helped her open it and she was ecstatic. And that’s how it was for each gift she opened.
^^Oatmeal loved the wrapping paper pile
We face-timed my family and they watched us open all our gifts. I love that I still got to spend the morning with them from the other side of the country. Chris went above and beyond for me and got me some incredible presents. I honestly was a little nervous with what he was going to come up with this year since I didn’t give him any idea of what I wanted. But he went back into his little brain bank and remembered some things I had mentioned in passing. He never stops surprising me.
^^One of my gifts from Chris–a nail polish rack
Evelyn’s favorite presents were her plush Backyardigan pals and her Cozy Coupe from my parents. She just kept putting her new friends in her new car and climbing in and driving (backwards) all over the living room. It was too cute!
Then, in honor of our white Christmas, we decided to go down the road to a great hill and go sledding. I’m not sure if it was the over stimulation of all the gifts AND snow or just a plain disdain for zooming down a hill but Evelyn was not impressed. Cute. But not impressed.
She spent the rest of the day pretty fussy. I’m assuming from teething and the over stimulation. But she wouldn’t even take a nap. And we ended up having to hide her car because she wanted to play with it so much but it was just too overwhelming. Poor thing.
She fell asleep Christmas night hugging all three of her Backyardigan friends in her teeny little arms.
It was the perfect Christmas day because I was surprised by my loved ones with gifts that showed their thoughtfulness. It was perfect because I got to watch my loved ones faces light up with the gifts I so carefully purchased or made. It was perfect because I still got to be with my family on the other side of the country without leaving my living room. It was perfect because I got to watch my toddler learn about the world and I got to re-experience the newness of things through her eyes.
It was perfect because at the end of the day it was a chance to be with the people I love most in the world and celebrate the best gift any of us have ever been given, the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope I can keep the happiness and joy of this holiday season with me all next year and remember what’s most important and follow Christ’s example to love and serve.
I hope everyone’s Christmas was as fabulous as mine!