Our best Christmas yet

by Katie on January 6, 2015

So, I realize that at this point, Christmas was two weeks ago. But our Christmas was so good this year that I think I’m still floating on a high from it. Really.

In fact, this pretty much sums up how we all felt about Christmas:


I was looking forward to this Christmas so much already, since last Christmas was pretty fun with Leyton and I know it will only get better as she gets older. But it exceeded any expectations I had. She was so incredibly cute about everything, and we just enjoyed every second of all of it.

First, we went to a family dinner at Grandma Mary’s and we all went to a Christmas Eve service at our church, since that is the reason for the season. I had a hand-me-down Christmas dress from a friend, and our girl stole the show in it. Of course, in true Leyton fashion, she revolted at the thought of taking a decent picture for her doting mother so the following is the best sample of the approximately 47 pictures I took before we all sat down to eat. Mercy, I can’t imagine what her teen years will hold…



IMG_0530And it only took two packages of fruit snacks and one package of Teddy Grahams to get through the church service, where she insisted upon holding her own lit candle (don’t worry, Daddy helped her, but believe me, Girlfriend had a death grip on that candle for fear someone may take it).IMG_6482

We thought she might sleep in some Christmas morning, since she was out late the night before, but apparently all children, toddlers included, have a sixth sense for Christmas morning, because she was up half an hour earlier than normal (6:30).

Since she’s not big enough yet to realize that Christmas morning means Santa! Left! Presents! we were able to sit with her while she had her cup of milk (because it is always imperative that she has that before the day can actually begin) while we read (most of) The Christmas Story in one of her baby Bibles.

Then Daddy was hungry, so we all dug in to the breakfast casserole and breakfast cheesecake waiting for us before heading over to the Christmas tree.IMG_0540

It was kind of nice to be able to ease into the morning, and I’m sure the years we are able to do that are severely limited.

We eventually showed her the tree, and she learned what a present looks like this year, and how to open them all by herself, so we were able to just sit back and soak it all in.

We do three gifts in our family (representative of Jesus receiving three gifts for His birthday), plus a stocking. This year, she received a step stool for the bathroom, since we’ve had a potty trained toddler for a couple months now, a toy broom (before you feel sorry for her, please know she has been obsessed with brooms lately, and since you can’t really let a toddler have her way with a six foot broom, a good one for her to play with was overdue), and a pair of shiny, red wellies (rain boots).



The stool was unwrapped, of course, so Leyton had fun climbing up and down a few (thousand) times before we were able to redirect her attention to unwrapping another gift.IMG_0542



To prove I wasn’t joking at all when I said it was our best Christmas ever, Leyton opened her boot box next. When she got it open and uncovered a boot from the tissue paper, she held it up and exclaimed, “It’s a new boot!” And we both died. Right there.IMG_0551


And she immediately made her daddy help her get them on her feet: 


Little did we know, that this trend would be the story of our morning. (I’m sure seasoned parents know this all too well.) Next up was the broom. And she was just as thrilled, and had the exact same reaction once the wrapping paper was successfully demolished:  “It’s a new broom!” And we died. Again. And also realized we had no idea she knew the word “new” until right then.




And because Santa made the mistake of leaving the broom in its packaging, Daddy had to solve that problem right away.



Once she finished sweeping our entire house, we were able to move on to the stocking. I am not even joking when I say I have no idea how long it actually took us to get through the gift opening process. Beyond our well-thought-out reasoning, let’s just say I was thankful we are a minimal-gift family.



She found some Minnie Mouse bracelets she successfully counted to four (but then refused to do when I tried to record it, of course), and got two of the four colors correct. At under two, I’ll take it.  IMG_0569


She then proceeded to put the Minnie bracelets on and off her hands – and feet (don’t ask me, I have no idea) – no less than 17 times before we could interest her in the stocking again. And then the next thing she found was one (of the SEVEN) pair of new Sofia the First undies that were scattered throughout her stocking. Which I immediately discovered was a bad idea when she insisted upon dropping her pants and putting them on RIGHT.THEN. Which explains the lack of pants in the next series of pictures…IMG_0574

Because every good girl gets new bows in her stocking: IMG_0575

The final product: IMG_0577

Until she found the Sofia slippers in the bottom of her stocking: IMG_0580

We had a little bit of time left over before Brandon’s family made their way over to join us for a late brunch. Which turned out so good, if I can say that myself. We basically had a full breakfast and snack bar out, then a full lunch brought out once they arrived with the ham. Everything was so good, I had done enough ahead-of-time prep and selected easy dishes, so it was all so fun and relaxed. We had quite the spread of foodIMG_0585


And drinks (mimosas, whiskey ciders, coffee and hot chocolate bar): IMG_0586

And I think everyone had a good time.

When bellies were full, we made our way in to open more gifts. Ideally, we would have done these family gifts the night before, but Brandon was crazy busy trying to get wheat planted so it just didn’t work out. But we’re all about improvising over here, so everyone was kind enough to pack up their gifts and bring them over this year.

Of course, this mostly involved seven adults sitting around watching one toddler go bonkers over everything, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. IMG_0592




This right here is Aunt DeDa’s infamous moment where we all heard her tell Leyton, “Look! It’s a…plastic toy!” Which I’m sure enthralled her to no end. IMG_0602



Leyton, proudly showing off her precious craft with MeMa they jointly gifted me for Christmas: IMG_0612


And last but not least, Leyton discovered her tiny red tricycle from Ga-Gan (Grandma Mary). They were both pretty cute about it. IMG_0632




And then we all parted ways for naps. Well, most of us anyway. Brandon had to go back to the field to finish planting, and I had a kitchen to clean.

We ended the evening by singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and blowing out a candle on His cake. Still wearing our new boots, nonetheless. A perfect ending to a perfect day, even though the captured image is far from perfect, due to Mama having the camera on the wrong setting in the dark. IMG_0648


Happy Birthday, Jesus.

We are so glad you came for us. And so thankful for the blessings we enjoyed celebrating your day.



















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