I love to decorate for Christmas, I love the smells of Christmas and I love what Christmas does to people. People become friendly, smile more, are courteous and I believe it is due to the season.....granted I do live in North Carolina and the excessive heat can turn even the happiest of folks grumpy BUT I would like to believe it is due to Christmas!
This year did seem to run smoother then previous years, maybe it is because the kids are getting older, maybe it is because I no longer work, maybe it was because my mom and dad are here and that in it self always makes my holidays joyous, maybe it is because my mother in law got her storage shed built and has been able to move her stored items out of our basement and was ever so kind to give me a table and dresser to "do crafts on or to wrap presents at" and the dresser is to store ribbons, tissue paper, gift bags and tape. That was a wonderful gift and I had never thought to do such a thing as store these items in a dresser....then again with 8 children who has "an extra dresser" to use to store these types of things.
Like decorating the entire Christmas tree with a 22 months old only to move the ornaments to the top of the tree, you also can not put presents under the tree before Christmas eve.
On Christmas eve day while little Logan was taking a nap we redecorated the tree and formed a human chain and passed presents from the adults in the basement and on the stairs, to kids at the top of the stairs through the dinning room, the kitchen and into the living room where our newly beautifully decorated tree sat and awaited Santa's arrival. This was huge for the kids because in previous years they were not allowed to touch and I would purposefully place gifts under the tree in a way that you can not see the name tag so it makes them wonder even more. When we were done we piled the 10 of us in our little Prius' and mom and dad and Braxton in their RV and we drove to my husbands parents house for dinner and gifts.
Around 7 we left to come home and get ready for Santa, we asked the children what the meaning of Christmas meant to them......
Savannah 9 years: "Jesus giving birth, being born, sacrificing himself, and dying"
Avery 8 years: "giving"
Gavin 7 years: with a shoulder shrug he says "family?"
Emily 8 years: "we all get together and have fun and decorate the tree"
Tyler 11 years: "getting presents and Jesus being born"
Makayla 12 years: "the birth of our Lord and Savior"
Annie 9 years: "getting out of school"
With that it was time to read T'was the night before Christmas.......
I was wakened almost 3 hours later, yes you heard me right at 4am I hear kids running up and down the hallway giggling and whispering, I come around the corner to 6 of our 8 kids sitting in the middle of the living room floor gazing over the presents. I put my hands on my hips and said "are y'all crazy? go back to bed" and I went back myself!
Everyone reawakened at a decent hour so we had no choice but to roll out of bed. You know it is funny to me I try really hard to get a decent photo of these kids for a Christmas card and I beg them to pleeeeeeese cooperate so its quick and painless I never thought all I would have to do is stick a bunch of presents under the tree and VOILA...........first shot!
It is a pretty decent photo! Then the chaos began.....
Avery got a "really awesome army tank"
Savannah excited about her scrapbook kit
Makayla got a little something from M.J.
Surprise Annie it's "Puppy Surprise"
The quilt I made for my little man
Emily's puppy surprise surprised her with 5 puppies!
and there were game room games for their future game room.
Nope it is not puppy surprise......Grandma got special surprise earrings from grandpa
M.J. got paper between her toes
And now onto Gavin's 7th birthday on December 27th.......Jenn