christmas came early

11:13 PM

This year Christmas came a week early. We would be heading to Florida to be with family on Christmas Eve, so the weekend before Kevin and I stayed up past our bedtime wrapping gifts and planning a big celebratory breakfast. This was the first year that Birdie really understood what "kwissmas" is so she had been bursting with excitement all week. Every day she would wake up and ask me "So, is Santa still workin' on my pwezents?" And so it was with great fanfare that morning that we announced that Santa had paid us a visit and delivered all the gifts!
This poor kid about died of happiness. She hurriedly went through her stocking and even assisted Teddy with his, at one point exclaiming "Wook Teddy you got a school bwus!!" Finally it was time and all we could hear was the sound of paper ripping and gasping. It was everything I ever dreamed it would be!
We went even more simple this year but still sticking to the "something you need, want, read and wear" rule. Birdie got a book, new hair bows, a big tub of crafting supplies and a ukelele. She loved every single gift even if she will happily tell just about anyone that her "kelele" is her "favwit." I don't know why it still surprises me but it really is shocking just how much more lovely, warm and peaceful Christmas is when you take the focus away from the presents. We had the fireplace channel on (my one dream gift for years now has been to live in a home with a fireplace), my favorite Christmas station playing on the radio, all the spruce and pine scented candles going and the smell of fresh pancakes and coffee wafting in from the kitchen. We all wore pajamas and ate wayyyy too many cookies. Kevin and I cuddled on the sofa watching the kids play well into lunch time and we watched not one but two Christmas movies! It was low-key, cozy and lazy and my kind of perfect.
After breakfast/brunch we headed to an ice rink as we had been promising Birdie the chance to break in her new skates for days. Unfortunately our foray into an ice house was a total disaster (too many teenagers, too much thumping from the dj and just downright scary for a little girl). But we told our brave girl not to fear and with it being Christmas and all we drove instead to the same outdoor rink where she fell in love with ice skating. And even though it was significantly more crowded than the first time we came our sweet girl was in heaven! She must have "skated" for almost an hour and yet still would dissolve into tears at the mere mention of having to leave. We were finally able to lure her away with the promise of dinner and some time to play at the Pottery Barn Kids store (my kids can play there for hours on end). We had arguably one of the best restaurant experience ever with both kids - an extremely kind and gracious waitress and the best fajitas I've ever had. Both kids passed out before we even got on the highway and provided us with a festive and romantic drive home.
Later that evening as we were tucking our babies into bed a part of me wanted to keep them up forever in an effort to ensure that this day wouldn't have to end. So as I lay in our own bed drifting off to sleep I looked at all the photos from the day and my heart just swelled with love for this sweet family of mine. Without the distraction of many ostentatious gifts the best gift of all shone brightly and purely - my people.

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