Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Belated Christmas greetings

Okay, so I'm a little behind. We just returned Saturday from a week-long ski vacation with my family (photos forthcoming), and perhaps you've heard about Nora's little sleep issue, so I've been remiss in reflecting on our wonderful Christmas. Greg and I were both raised Christian, but we're now somewhere between agnostic and atheist. Still, we have fond memories of our childhood Christmases—the communion with family and friends, the lingering meals, the holiday traditions—so we celebrate. On the other hand, we're not big into commercialism, which seems to be the common alternative to a Christian Christmas celebration. These first few Christmases, we're working on formulating our definition of the holiday and how to create our own traditions. The kids are a perfect age for it, too: They're way more excited about the activities and all the close family time than they are about the gifts, which are just the icing on the cake

But oh, how they love icing! Christmas Eve was spent at our house for a casual meal with Grandpa, Great Grandma, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Chris, and Scarlett. Greg made a gingerbread house for the kids to decorate, but the frosting I bought didn't provide strong enough mortar. Instead they decorated cookies with icing and candy—and believe it or not, most of the candy made it onto the cookies and not into the bellies.

Then we squeezed everyone around our small kitchen table, with the two big kids at the kiddie table, for some yummy lasagne.

The lasagne took too long to cook, and the kids were super-duper wired after dinner. Not easy to get a good family photo, but here was our attempt:

Nora passed out before the first gift was opened—which was OK by Sidamo and Scarlett, because that meant they got to open Nora's gifts too.

Grandpa gave Sidamo this snapping alligator game that continues to be a big hit—though Sidamo would rather use someone else's finger to press the teeth.

Christmas morning we had a lazy breakfast, opened stockings, played with toys, and eventually made it through most of what was under the tree. Sidamo would get so enthralled with each new thing that he didn't want to open anything else until he had thoroughly explored what was in front of him. We loved that he was truly appreciating each gift, so we didn't rush him. Nora was just delighted with all the packaging.

The toys are all BPA-free, but I never thought to check on the packaging.

Daisy and Saffy opened their stockings. I know it only comes once a year, but I swear they know all about Santa and his generosity in treat/chew-toy department. They see those stockings come down, and they can barely contain their excitement.

Later in the day we went to Lisa, Chris, and Scarlett's house for Christmas dinner with the whole fam (and forgot to bring the camera). It was warm and wonderful, and it made us grateful to be blessed with such a loving family. A family so loving that one member of it would feed a certain 6-month-old her first taste of ice cream (with sprinkles) in the two minutes it took for mama to get up and refill her coffee. Grandpa, you shall remain nameless.

I hope you all had similarly wonderful winter holidays, whatever they may be.


Julie said...

Our dogs know too. We are the same 'religion' as you guys. Great pics. Hope Nora's sleep issues are resolved soon.

rebekah said...

Ditto here on the same 'religion.' We've been working every year to figure out our own deal and it's not easy what with all the traditions already set. Sometimes I want to scrap it all and go to somewhere warm and away and just the 4 of us.

I recognize that peg perego high chair. We have a hand me down and Matthew is the 5th child to use it. It will go to the dump soon. Good riddance, although it is a tank.

Hope you're getting some sleep.

Mark and Sarah said...

I love Christmas at this (our boys) age. Ashen also was enthralled with each gift...felt cruel to ask him to open another when he would have been satisfied with just one.

Your kids are so darn cute!
Hope you had a good night last night.