Ever since we moved to Washington to be closer to my parents, we have spent the night on Christmas Eve, to wake up the next morning and have a huge Christmas bash in the morning. I absolutely love it. The night is packed with traditions our family has practices for years and years. The grandparents give the littles each one gift to open on Christmas Eve: books and PJs. We have chili and tamales for dinner, and of course leave cookies and milk for Santa.
This year we weren't sure if we would be able to have tamales -- a Texas tradition! -- but my mom found a tiny little Mexican market where everyone spoke Spanish and the tamales were imported from El Salvador. After we heated them to have them with our chili, we cut into them expectantly to discover it was just masa -- no filling?! We have never heard of tamales with no filling. After our initial disappointment, we had a good laugh over how bizarre and surprising it was. Next year we will check the ingredients and make sure it says more than "sweet corn."
We are a family who can't take a serious picture without taking a goofy picture first, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
On Christmas morning, the adults go downstairs first to inspect the loot that Santa has brought... we make a big to-do about it, very loudly so that it makes it harder for the kids to wait patiently at the top of the stairs. We get cozy in our robes and slippers, make the coffee, and then finally when we are all set with cameras at the ready, we start the Christmas music which alerts the children they can come down the stairs, youngest first!
The rest of the pictures are from my mom. :) After taking pictures of the kids running out to see their gifts, I put my camera down and didn't pick it up for the rest of the day! Somehow over the last two years I have become in charge of handing out presents and picking up the trash... haha! Which I don't mind at all. The first born in me kinda loves organization and being in charge of stuff like that.
My family's (read: my mom's) big gift this year was a new Golden Retriever puppy! Their beloved Luke passed on just a few days before his 9th birthday. He was a part of the family, and it was just heartbreaking. He passed peacefully in his sleep though, right after trying to snatch fresh-baked cookies off the counter. Classic Luke! The new puppy's name is Samson and he has already stolen our hearts.
This was Chase's face while inspecting her Santa gifts... I was cracking up. I don't know what was going through her little head. She loves strollers and was excited to play with it after appearing very skeptical. Bahaha!
My sister got me a Gilmore Girls mug for Christmas... so did my Secret Santa from my mommy group! They know me. <3
And our grandparents in Texas wrapped up all our presents in tiny bags with tissue paper and everything, and told us to open them all at the same time... so we took a picture after unwrapping. :)
Christmas dinner was delicious! I'm sad Christmas day is over, but I don't put my Christmas stuff away until Epiphany, so I'm still high on Christmas spirit over here! I've spent all day in my new slippers from my sister and my kids haven't complained once about not going on Minecraft or watching My Little Pony... they are busy playing with their new dolls, dinosaurs, puzzles, and playdough. We are so lucky to have had such a wonderful Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours!