Sunday, December 25, 2011

their favorite day of the year

As I have said already, my momma claimed Christmas Eve many years ago. Before there were spouses and grandchildren and great grandchildren. And as our families have grown, the pile of presents around the tree has too.

The kids all have stockings hung on the mantle.  And usually get to peek at those early.

We don't have the normal Christmas dinner - because when my momma started all this, we had turkey and dressing at Grandma Norton's on Christmas day. So it's sandwiches, vegetable trays, chips and dips, and lots of Christmas candy. Once it's all put out, we say the blessing then everyone just grazes throughout the day.

The newbies got to open my presents before the mad rush began.

Eli love opening presents.

I did really good this year and followed the rules. I bought age appropriate toys for the babies. If you have a little one, this remote control car is so fun. It's controlled with the rattle! And it can be set to just go in a circle around the sitting baby, then when crawling starts, it can go straight for chasing.

Eventually, we all gather in the living room and the younger kids pass out the presents.

If things aren't moving along fast enough, others jump in to help. And the presents pile up! We have established sitting places. Mine is in front of the TV. This year I was squished into a tiny, crowded little spot, so my pictures are not the best. I was holding the camera above my head and clicking.

The rule is to wait until all of the gifts are passed out and then someone says go. But this year, we noticed that Nannie was cheating. She opened this one while the presents were still under the tree.

It was from Dusty and Leah - a family picture from their wedding this summer.

Brother couldn't resist teasing Brooke a little bit. He replaced a picture of her with the new family picture. Then knocked a wall hanging down on one of the nativity scenes.

Once the presents are delivered we all start opening. And the paper and boxes fly. Literally. Someone always throws a wad of wrapping paper across the room, and then the battle is on.

Small children could get lost in this mess.

And Natalie always does. Can you see her peeking from under the polka dots?

After presents are opened and the mess picked up, there is time for a little cuddling.

Then we make our version of the gingerbread house. I know this picture has bad coloring and blurry spots, but it sums up the day. There's lots of love, lots of laughter, and someone is always talking about someone else's butt.

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