Thursday, January 01, 2009

special family christmas

Well Christmas has come and gone but we have so many great memories from the holiday. This year was much more fun for us as parents. I can't say that Olivia actually understood the concept of Christmas but she sure got into the festivities surrounding it. She loved all things Christmas...from the music and lights, to the decorations...and for the first time she even warmed up to Santa Claus. We explained to her that Santa would come to her house on Christmas Eve to bring her presents, that he would come down the chimney and leave them under her tree. We even decided to leave Santa milk and cookies. And according to Olivia Santa would be traveling to her house with the help of Rudolph. We read lots of Christmas books, leading up to the holiday and we sported a few different Christmas dresses as we attended different holiday parties. We really enjoyed sharing the Christmas season with her. What was most special about this Christmas was that it was the first time since Olivia was born that we have been able to celebrate with both sides of our family. This is the first year since Todd and I have been married that his parents have been back in Fort Wayne since moving to Hawaii. Now we both sides of the family in town we had a very busy Christmas day!

The festivities started on Christmas Eve with a few presents. It is a family tradition that we each open one present on Christmas Eve. We choose to give Olivia a nice comfy blanket that she could sleep with that night. As you can see she liked it. Oh, and the fact that the plush blanket had Elmo and Cookie Monster on it didn't hurt either!

That evening we went to a Christmas Eve party that we attend each year. Our close family friends have hosted a party for many years and we always look forward to seeing everyone. Now that Olivia is older she really enjoys playing with the other kids. She received one gift but spent the rest of the night playing with everyone else's toys. Most of the toys were noisy and big so I was pleased that we were not taking them home at the end of the night! Olivia's friend Simon did help her open her one present. It was Olivia's first set of dress up clothes. Once Simon saw what was in the package he responded with a big, "YUCK!" and quickly walked away. So far Olivia has not shown any interest in her princess dress up clothes but I am sure she will change her mind one day.

We got to bed pretty late that night but not before Olivia had a chance to leave Santa milk and cookies. As soon as that was out of the way we all hit the sack, knowing that we had a very full day ahead of us in the morning. We slept in a bit in the morning and had our quiet little family Christmas. Santa did leave Olivia a few little presents under her tree. She had the most fun pulling all of her goodies out of her stocking though. Check out her cute Elmo jammies. Todd's Mom got those for her and she just loves them!

Next it was off to my Mom's. That is where things started to get a little overwhelming for Olivia. My grandmother and uncle were visiting from Michigan like they do each year. Not only did we have presents for Olivia to open but she had many from my Mom as well. Olivia's idea of opening presents is to rip off the paper and immediately play with what is inside. It was difficult to convince her to set each present aside while we opened more. I mean she is two. She finally gave up and went off on her own to start playing with newest goodies. I think it was all just too much for her at one time. She did get some nice things though. Todd and I got her some different Melissa & Doug wooden toys (our favorite) and my Mom got her some beautiful clothes.

After the present opening was done we waited for the guests to arrive at my Mom's for her annual Christmas Day brunch. While Olivia was napping we enjoyed some yummy food and good company. Eventually we had to pack everything up and stop home before heading to Todd's parents house to do it all over again.

The fun continued as Olivia had even more presents to rip through at Todd's parents. Even though she may not be totally thrilled with what is inside of each gift her excitement never wavers. She reacts with a loud, "WOW!", followed by, "Look at this!" cute! The best reaction came when she opened her big gift from Todd's parents. They got her the latest Elmo doll that moves and talks. It does just about everything! As she was ripping off the paper and noticed that it was something Elmo related she said, "good Gangy...very good!". Everyone cracked up! It was as if Olivia was giving her grandmother praise for choosing such a perfect present for her. It really was priceless.

As we look back on our special family Christmas we realize just how blessed we are. Not only because we received so many wonderful gifts (thanks for the Wii, Mom), but because we were so lucky to be able to be with both of our families. I could not have asked for a better Christmas. Watching Olivia experience the joy that is the Christmas season was by far the best present we received. I am sad that Christmas is over (it is my favorite time of year), but I am already looking forward to next year! We hope that everyone enjoyed a special Christmas, no matter where you were or who you were with.


Kim said...

It always gets better as they get older. Looks like she had a nice time and got some great stuff!!!

Anonymous said...

How much more special the holidays are with Olivia to share them with. She sure enjoys herself.

Anonymous said...

I love the elmo P.J's..and bed looks like she got a ton of stuff...good for her.
Love Aunt Sue Sue

Uncle Larry said...

Also, any idea how to use the computers telecamera? I would love to see you and Olivia and have her see me. Any of your buddies know? I have Windows Vista 20089. Love you guys and Thanks.