Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One Crazy Day

Ah, Christmas. The one morning that I actually look forward to all year long. My whole family gathers in my parents' house to see what Santa brought the kiddos and, of course, exchange gifts. And eat. Oh, and when I say "my whole family" I mean my parents, all five of their children, two spouses, two kiddos, one aunt and her child, and one grandmother. That's 14 stockings and a pile of gifts under the tree. Christmas is no joke.

Yes, Craig and I did give Canon a drum and cymbol for Christmas. No, we aren't crazy. Yes, they are part of a full set that we got {FOR FREE!!!} that he will have complete access to once we have a house that they can actually fit in. He loves them and we are excited that he does.

Notice the lack of focus on a lot of these photos. My camera lens was shot {no, not literally}, but no worries. As you will see in later photos, I got a replacement lens from my dad for Christmas. Oh yeah, best dad ever.

Please disregard the completely awful capture of my face. My dear, dear husband is so good at catching me in the moment. I haven't actually thanked him enough for this, so gee, thanks honey. You sure know how to make me feel beautiful. *totally sarcastic tone* Seriously, hands off the camera if you are going to point it at me. Love you boo.

Now pay attention to what I am holding. This was Canon's gift to me. He found this scrap of wood in the garage, drilled all of the holes in the places he designated, wrapped the wire, and placed all of the nails and washers where they belonged. He made this for me for Christmas. He was so proud of it, and I was so proud of him. This piece of art now sits on display in our living room while I figure out where it should go. Note: Canon just walked over, looked at this photo, and said "Hey look! That is your present! I made it for you!". Case in point.

My favorite part of Christmas is actually giving gifts. I put so much time and energy into choosing something that I believe a person will love and cherish. Something that means something to them. Given our current one-income status, we decided to make almost every single gift this year. Craig created an original painting each for my brother and aunt. I made a box of Harry Potter treats for my sister who is a huge fan. It included fever fudge, floo powder {bath salts}, every flavor beans, dipped pretzel rod wands, a Harry Potter hand-painted peg doll, a coffee mug with a HP/Dr Who reference sharpie design, and a handmade golden snitch ornament. I made string art guitar art for another brother. I also made some bath salts, dry rub, hot chocolate, dipped pretzel rods, peanut butter balls, and a couple of other sharpie-designed coffee mugs for my sisters-in-law. Now you know why I was absent for the month of December - I was so busy creating that I didn't have time to write a blog!

My favorite gift this Christmas, though, was for my dad. He had been asking for years for a collection of my sister's writings, my brother's drawings, and my photography. I coordinated with my two siblings to get their works together and created a book for him through Shutterfly. He has always encouraged us to follow these passions so it was my way - our way - of saying thank you. Let's just say, I will never forget his response. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

I absolutely LOVED making all of the gifts this year. In fact, I will likely continue this tradition even if we don't "have" to because each gift meant so much. I am already thinking of things that I create for next Christmas! And yes, next year I will actually try to take photos of these things like a good little blogger.

Also, because I think it's fun to hear, I gave Craig a camping trip, for which we are currently planning. He gave me some camera gear {he's a keeper}, and we as a family got a Wii that I bought off of my cousin, and Apple TV, which we got from my aunt. My parents gave us a year's pass to the local zoo {field trips!}, and my brother gave us a movie theater gift certificate for date nights! We definitely got a ton of amazing gifts that I can't even list on here. It would take too long. All I can say is, our family is awesome.

After all of the presents were opened, Canon wanted to go outside and drive his "super fast corvette!".

The adults took turns running alongside him trying to keep up walking outside with him because he stayed out for so long. The big man did good I do believe. Thanks Mom and Dad - I mean Santa and Mrs. Claus!

As things began to settle down at my parents' house in preparation for their lunch, we headed to see Craig's family. In years' past we have had to travel pretty far to see everyone. This year was amazing though. Craig's mom and step-dad moved to the same town where my parents live so our drive time is roughly 15 minutes. Score! We purposefully didn't take any of Canon's new toys to their house because we wanted the focus to be on their family {and we knew that even more toys were in store for him}. Take this Buzz Lightyear, for example. Canon got a lot of play time with it...who am I kidding?! The adults played with this thing more than Canon because we were amazed that it actually interacts with you.

We received camping gear {for the aforementioned camping trip I gave Craig}, an amazing huge candle, a St. Jude bear {a Christmas tradition from my MIL to me}, and some jewelry, a scarf, and a cosmetic bag. Those were mine, obviously. 

After a delectable Christmas lunch, Santa made another surprise visit and brought a three wheeler for Canon. Is that what these things are called? In any case, he loves it and I love the fact that it stays at his grandparents' house! Reason number 1: we have no more room at this house for these things. Reason number 2: he looks forward to riding it every time we are there so it is the gift that keeps on giving. Whoop whoop!

Now this post seems that we are the most materialistic family and that all we care about on Christmas is stuff. Not true. The "problem" is that I put my camera down that day. I didn't take a million pictures of us laughing and playing and eating together. I didn't take pictures of us reading the real Christmas story in Luke or Twas The Night Before Christmas, as is tradition. I didn't take a picture or video of Canon saying "Happy birthday Jesus!" several times that day. I didn't take a picture of each person that we saw that day, though I will admit now that I am regretting that.

I do have the memories though, and they are beautiful.

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