Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas Day

Christmas 2011 - 7:10 am - two eager boys bounding down the stairs anticipating what Santa may have left! Grady pulled the reins on diving into gifts because Nana hadn't crawled out of bed yet and I wanted to wake Annalyse before all the excitement was over.
Grady Lee and Micah dove under the tree and began sorting gifts by name and putting them in piles. And, of course, the boys noticed Santa enjoyed his cookies and the reindeer their carrots.
Opening presents took almost an hour since Grady asked the boys to go one at a time so we could all ooh and aah over each gift.
Micah was a sneaky little guy though and would hold a present while Grady Lee was opening his. Micah would ever so quietly slide his finger under the tape just enough to pull the wrapping paper apart on one end and get a good idea of what was inside. Then, when it was his turn, he'd announce what it was before his gift was fully unwrapped. He was quite proud of himself, and Grady and I just looked at each other wondering where he learned his sneaky and deceitful ways.
Wrapping paper flew in all directions. Kids shouted and laughed. Nana and I snapped pictures left and right. Grady videoed most of the morning so that Grandpa and Grandma in Michigan could see all that happened. The room was a disaster in no time, but the merriment was bright and lasted all day.
An air craft carrier with planes, books, games, Legos, DVDs, rescue hero figures, baby dolls, piggy banks, clothes, and... harmonicas? Yes, apparently Santa thought the five-minutes-if-we're-lucky of quiet our house each day was too much and the boys needed something else to make noise.
Annalyse had the most fun with all the paper, of course, and was uninterested in her gifts since there was so much bright paper to rip and tear and toss. And, given that her brothers opened lots of toys that lit up or made noises she was way more interested in those rather than a new baby doll.
Eating candy before breakfast? Getting money - paper money? It really was Christmas!
Oh yeah, the Peeler Family has pretty cool shirts to sport together. Watch out world, we're coming and we're coming with style!
Once all gifts were opened it was the nonstop "Can you open this box?" "Do you have batteries?" "I need scissors!" "Can you read the instructions right now?" Good thing Nana was here... she took on those duties while Grady and I got breakfast going.
We kept breakfast simple. This handsome guy was in charge of bacon, and yours truly was in charge of Rudolph pancakes. (Thanks Jen for the idea!)
No sooner was breakfast cleaned up and Grady excitedly started calling for the boys to "quick come downstairs! I found a note that Santa left and we need to read it together!"
The note put the boys on a crazy scavenger hunt with clues hidden all over the house and garage. Finally, at the end the boys discovered one last present hidden under our bed: a military helicopter and boat - huge hits, thankfully, after all that work.
After all that run-around, the boys worked up an appetite for a snack. We gathered for a simple Happy Birthday Jesus party and sang to him and took time to go around a circle and pray, thanking him for something special to each of us. Grady Lee: "Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me." Micah: "Thank you Jesus for creating the planets and the trees." Annalyse: Just a loud whine to indicate that she wanted to dive into the cinnamon rolls!

And, speaking of cinnamon rolls, have I got a fun story to share! These yummy rolls were made and delivered on Christmas Eve by a dear friend and two of her darling kids. She used several hours of her Christmas Eve to make cinnamon rolls for friends and then drove all over Charlotte delivering them. That is hospitality and friendship and love and generosity and thoughtfulness is its purest form. (Thank you, sweet Celia, for your kindness to our family.)
Christmas afternoon passed quickly since there were so many new toys to play with! I tell you what, being a parent is easiest on Christmas, thanks to all the new gifts. And, thanks to Nana who was willing to play anything and everything over and over again.
Grady bought an XBox Kinect for our family and everyone had a blast playing! Our TV and living room are small, but after some rearranging we all took turns jumping and reaching and spinning and lunging. And yes, my thigh muscles are very sore still, thank you very much. And yes, my five year old can navigate the system better and faster than I can, thank you very much.
Since we were apart from extended families, we took time to Skype with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The boys held up new toys to the computer and were kind enough to give a lovely musical concert with their harmonicas. The good news is that two of their cousins on the other end also had harmonicas so there were four very loud and very excited little people blowing away (screeching away?) via the computer.
Our Christmas dinner tradition is make-your-own-pizzas. The boys love rolling their dough, choosing what toppings they want, and arranging them "in really neat patterns" according to Micah. With minimal amounts of flour dusting the floor and with just a few pepperonis sliding off the counter, the pizzas came together and tasted great.
By the time dinner was done and another round of Kinect was finished, it was time to say goodnight to Christmas. "This is the most fun day in my whole entire life!" Micah said more than once. "I think that this is my favoritest Christmas ever!" exclaimed Grady Lee before bed. 

And it was a good day. A really good day. A really good day that came and went entirely too fast. 


  1. Yes, this was most definitely one of the funnest days ever! The excitement of Christmas is amazing!

  2. We have the same "Property of" t shirts! how fun. Glad you all had a great Christmas!!

  3. What an awesome Christmas! It looks like everyone had a blast, and I love the cute breakfast ideas:)