Sunday, January 02, 2011

so very blessed

I think this Christmas can go down in the history books as one of the best. We did SO much, received SO much and did our best to make Christmas special for our loved ones. I have already touched on a few of the holiday activities we love to do each year, but we still had a few more things to check off our list before the big day.

For the second year in a row Olivia has visited what she calls the, "Christmas House". Some family friend's have what we consider to be one of the most decorated houses we have ever seen. There are more battery operated Christmas toys than I can count and each year they invite Olivia over to gaze at all of the magnificent keepsakes! She loves pressing all of the buttons to see what each gadget does and of course they always spoil her with a snack and a gift. The Christmas house has now been added to our list of Christmas traditions.

We also squeezed in our annual trip to visit Santa. Each year Olivia's puts on her Christmas dress and we drive out to Jefferson Pointe. She has caught on the to fact that there are multiple Santas out there during the holidays and she realizes that some of them look different. This year and last she has sat on two different Santa's laps leading up to Christmas and she wanted to know which one was the real one. We decided to explain it this way...all of the Santas that you see leading up to Christmas are Santa's helpers. They are the ones that talk to all of the children to find out what they want for Christmas. Then they report back to the "real: Santa at the North Pole so he can add their wishes to his list. She seemed to buy that explanation so that is the one we will stick with. Although I do not have the actual photo of Olivia sitting on Santa's lap to post, I can show you how cute she looked that night.

This year we thought we would try doing a gingerbread house with Olivia. I bought a kit at the end of last year and thought it would be a good holiday activity on a cold day. She ended up working on it primarily with her Dad and it turned out pretty well for a first try. It was a little frustrating for her because it had to be done in stages as she waited for the icing to dry, but she did pretty well with the waiting and loved nothing more than sticking candy all over the house at the end. Here is her masterpiece...with a little help from Dad of course.

We took many trips downtown this year to see the awesome Santa lights. We went down one last time the week of Christmas to take a look and stop into Coney Island, right around the corner. After waiting in a very long line for Todd and Olivia to get their coney dogs we ended up eating in the car, since the restaurant was too packed with all of the holiday light gazers. We jammed as much as we could into the final days before Christmas.

So, after all of those pre-Christmas activities the day Olivia had been waiting for had almost arrived. Before heading to church on Christmas Eve, we let her open one special present...just like we do each year. A few weeks earlier she had spotted a "Rudolph" stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear and decided that she had to have it. I made her think I blew it off, but we surprised her with Rudolph that night. She was beyond thrilled and hardly put him down the entire night. His nose lit up and he said a few phrases from the cartoon. He instantly became her Christmas buddy.

That night we attended the children's service at our church. Olivia was front in center for the sermon. We were sitting close enough that I was able to snap a couple pictures of her listening intently to the pastor. This year we were asked to assist by bringing up the manger in the nativity scene. Olivia was thrilled to have a "job". It was a great service and it made for a very special Christmas Eve.

Olivia awoke on Christmas Day ready to go! While I was still sleeping she ran downstairs to see if Santa delivered what she so very nicely asked for. She found 3 specially wrapped presents under her little tree with her name on them. She immediately came upstairs and woke me up because she could not wait to open them up. As you can tell by the look on her face she was very happy that Santa listened to her requests and brought her exactly what she asked for!

After opening our stockings and some presents at home we leisurely hung around the house for awhile before getting ready to head to my Mom's for more Christmas fun! Olivia wanted some time at home to play with her newest treasure...her Olivia the Pig playhouse! She has played with it everyday since getting it and was so happy that her good behavior leading up to Christmas paid off.
There were more wonderful presents waiting for all of us at my Mom's house. This year Olivia went shopping for Todd and I and picked out special presents for both of us. She was so excited to give them to us and so proud of what she picked out. Todd got some new slippers, which he desperately needed and I got some beautiful silver earrings...picked out by Olivia alone.

Santa made a delivery at Nana's house as well this year. He brought Olivia an Olivia the Pig tea set. She was equally excited about this gift and has had a tea party each day since Christmas. So far all of Olivia's gifts have provided her with a great deal of enjoyment. There was a lot of gift giving and receiving on Christmas morning and everyone was pretty happy when it was all said and done.

We finished out the day by celebrating Christmas with Todd's side of the family. There were more presents and of course more family time. Olivia always spends family gatherings running around with her cousin Ella. They are best buds.

Overall I'd say it was a pretty prefect Christmas and such a fun holiday season in general. We did so much and had so much fun as a family. Hard to believe that next year at this time we will be juggling a 5 year old and a 6 month old! It will be interesting to see how our new, expanded family is settling in to a new routine. With 2010 behind us, I am more excited than ever to see how things will pan out in 2011! Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Olivia really made the holidays special with her enthusiasm. I loved every minute.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Olivia sure had a fun and exciting Christmas. I miss those Christmas mornings when the boys were little, super special. Next year will be even more fun with your new addition.
Love Aunt Sue Sue :)

Wormie said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

She is getting so big and is adorable! I am glad you had a good Christmas! Elise would have loved that Rudolph too. She has one, but it's not Build A Bear. It will be so fun to have a new little one around, esp. at Christmas. It's amazing how you can't imagine your family without four once the newest one gets here. How exciting! Congrats again!