Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Memories

I can't believe it is already over. I feel this way every year. I always wish I coulda, woulda, shoulda slowed down more, built more fires (in 60 degree weather, right...), listened more to Dave Barnes and Michael Buble and Chris Tomlin, taught my girls the lyrics my all-time favorite Tender Tennessee Christmas, spent more nights at home being intentional, done more advent activities, and so on. Why always more more more? It's just the way with things, isn't it.

Once I got past my post-Christmas blues (or at least decided to try to get past them), I accepted that we had a very full and special and wonderful holiday season. A just enough season. A healthy focus on Jesus, giving to others, and celebrating love, family, and gifts. Sweet Addison tearfully admitted that she didn't understand "the joy of giving" when we were shopping for our 3-year-old angel and buying her some things that Addison wanted for herself, but on Christmas Eve she wanted to try that Berenstein Bears story one more time, and she smiled and said she thought she "finally got it." Love that sweet girl.

Before we move on completely and start gearing up to begin a new year, I wanted to document our family's celebrations of this special time of year. Bear with my photo dump.

We celebrated with the Dean Family at Opryland Hotel this year, and we had a ball! We went on boat rides, looked at all the lights, found all of the Christmas trees, and ate at the Cascades Restaurant in the middle of all of the fun. We laughed when we saw "Dean Family Christmas" on the list of the hotel's events that day, and we even got more tickled when we sat down at our table and saw our personalized menus.  I love this picture below that shows my grandparents with their 6 great grandchildren.

This one is pretty special too with them and their three grandchildren.
Here is our side of the family...

And our family of four too.
We left from Opryland and headed south to see the Crawford side of the family in Decatur. We enjoyed more presents, Andrea's yummy ham and deer meat and an abundance of homemade mac and cheese (much to my husband's delight), Beth's sweet potato casserole and fudge batches, my green beans (thanks to Lindsay's shared recipe), and Steve's chex mix that has already almost been completely devoured at our house.
The girls' something to play with from Nana and Pop was Calico Critter houses and campers; their something to wear was Tiny TOMS, and they both got Tasha Tudor books to read. Such a blessed Christmas.
Here are Nana and Pop opening their gifts.
I think they both loved this special one from the girls:

The cousins ended the night after their baths with a dance party. I've never seen Ansley shake her bootie quite like she did that night, or Addison break dance so smoothly. Thankfully we got them to pose for this picture together. Love them:

We enjoyed a Christmas Eve Party at my grandparents' house where we played Christmas Carol Pictionary and laughed at Addison and Savannah's repeated drawings of Rapunzel.
The children love this marble fireplace, and it scares me senseless with its sharp edges. They had fun singing carols there though.
 My Holt grandparents and their four great grandchildren

Then we got home, and it was time for Santa to get busy. The girls got some great treats from Santa this year!

And some more treats from Mom and Dad upstairs.

 We woke the girls up on Christmas morning and made them sit on the top of the stairs until Daddy had the video camera ready.
 Their first look at their loot...
 Addison made a beeline for her Ariel dress.
 Ans wasn't quite sure what to think--about Santa himself--but she made her beeline for her labrador Calico Critter family.

 They loved snuggling with their plush Mulan and Snow White dolls that they had asked for.
 Addison couldn't believe it when she pulled her OTHER Mulan doll out of her stocking. Santa must have thought that Rapunzel and Belle needed a friend. :)

 So excited about their Ariel and Aurora Little People.
 Then we went upstairs to do our family gifts. Here they are with their something to READs:

 Their something they NEEDs... Addison's new outfit and Ansley's new big girl room bedding.

 And their something they WANT or something to PLAY WITH.  We had an American Girl Christmas for Addison, and she is the proud new owner of her very own Kit Kittredge.  After watching the movie yesterday, she said that she can't believe that she never even knew Kit before yesterday, and now she is her best friend. Yes, I know that she is young for this, but I missed the boat growing up.  I was a little too old for them once they came out, and I was always wistful of Lindsay's Kirsten. Addison has never been into baby dolls, but she is fascinated with American Girls. There's not a look-alike one that fits Addison, so we decided to go ahead and take the historical plunge. I love Kit's story, and I think her smart resourceful creativity growing up in the Great Depression years is a good counterbalance to the overexposure of the princess culture. :) I thought that by getting Addison started at a young age, we could add to her collection and let Addison kind of grow up with her. Can't you tell by the expression on her face how excited she was!

 Ansley is WAY into baby dolls, so we got her her very own cradle to keep her most special baby doll in. She loved it also.
 Patrick and I got some loot too!

After we opened our gifts, we opened up our sparkle box and read aloud our gifts to Jesus and then read the birth story from the girls' story Bible.

When we got to Mom and Dad's for brunch, we were greeted by Santa himself and one of his elves. :)
 Daddy took a turn playing Santa too.
 Mom and Dad loved the grandparent gift that we made for them with the kids.
 Savannah opening her dollhouse camping set that we gave her.
 Addison opening her gift from Lindsay, Daniel, Savannah, and Sawyer. (It was nice to do gifts from oldest to youngest so that they could take turns, have to wait, and show thanks to the giver. Gift opening can STRESS me out. :))
 Sawyer with his Little People Superheroes from us. (Patrick wanted to keep this one for himself.)

 Sweet Ansley waiting patiently for her turn!
 Kit came with us to Christmas breakfast. It's a good thing too because she got to try out her new bed and bedding from Jaydee and Bear!
 Ansley brought her baby doll too and got to try out her new high chair too.
 Holding up favorite gifts. They loved their new toys, books, and outfits from Jaydee and Bear.
 Playing with Sawyer's heroes.
 Opening up our Crawford family stocking full of generous goodies.
Lindsay and I continued our tradition of giving each other our MomAgendas for the new year:

After we opened our gifts, we had fun playing with them--especially these two:
Both of their dolls' beds make a trundle or pull out, so they are so excited about future slumber (or "almost slumber") parties with their dolls.  

Since we had already traveled this year, we finished off our afternoon at the movie theater and took the girls to see Monsters, Inc. It was Ansley's first time at the movies and Addison's second. They both loved it.
We had ourselves a Merry Little Christmas and hope you did too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love all of the pictures and commentary! Christmas gets more fun every year with our sweet kiddos!