Two days before Christmas, Jonathan and I rushed to the mall to take Brody to meet Santa for the first time. We didn't visit him last year because the line was long and the pictures were expensive. And though this year was just the same (long lines and hefty price tags), a receptionist at Jonathan's work got a part-time job working as one of Santa's elves so we got to skip the line altogether for a quick but pricey visit with Saint Nick. The pictures say it all.
The following night, we went to the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at Phil and Vanessa's church (Northside) with Shane and Jessica. We were a half hour late, so we only got to see the last 20-30 minutes, but wow! it was an awesome service for a small, new-ish church. We were impressed and I was thankful for the reminder of the only reason for Christmas, especially amidst all the pre-company, house-cleaning stress of earlier that day. I went home that night humbled and thankful for all our Savior did for us. We also went home with 4 great friends/family and celebrated this year in a manner much different than years past. Jonathan and I have both always been with our parents (on either side) for Christmas Eve/Christmas morning. But that night we had dinner and played games with 2 close friends and my SIL with her new hubby (who, in my book, are more friends than family...does that make sense?). And we woke up Christmas morning only to continue the celebration with the four of them. They were there to witness Brody coming down the stairs to find the toys Santa left for him.
And even though Santa brought him a tricycle and other fun toys, Brody chose to ignore them and play with the same train he had spent the past month playing with! UGH!
We tried to switch his attention to his new toys, but he wasn't having any of it.
So since Brody obviously wasn't into opening presents that morning, we decided to get busy making Christmas breakfast.
Monkey Bread...a Christmas breakfast tradition I started when Jonathan and I got married.
To our surprise, after his tummy was full of yummy breakfast items, Brody decided to take his new tricycle for a spin...only he wasn't quite sure how to ride it. :)
Early in the afternoon we began to see our first snowflakes.
It was a great afternoon and a very special Christmas this year. We enjoyed our "out of the ordinary" Christmas. But soon it was time to say good-bye to one set of guests...
...and get ready to welcome our next wave of guests...just in time for Christmas dinner that night.
But what a pathetic Christmas dinner it was! I'd rather not go into that detail. I'm hoping that in just a few years I will forget that small part of Christmas (and if I blog about it then I'll always be reminded of my less than domesticated mistake). So moving on. :) I was excited to have my entire family in town Christmas night! Since my brother is a pilot and out of the country 50% of the year, this was no small miracle! And, as an added bonus, he brought his friend Anna from Hungary. LOVE her!
Brody loved her too. He found a friend in her within minutes of walking through our door.
As the snow continued to accumulate outside, we got cozy inside around the Christmas tree.
Growing up, it was tradition for us to read the Christmas story from the Bible before we began opening gifts. Jonathan and I have continued this tradition in our own little family and this year my Dad opened up the Bible and read from the book of Luke.
Admittingly, it was hard to concentrate on my Dad's reading as Brody played with the train set and made "choo-choo" noises under the tree. We excused it this year as he is still a bit young to sit so still with all the excitement surrounding him. Brody received the first gift from Uncle Josh and Anna. This was the gift that stole him away from the festivities for the rest of the night.
And this is the gift that took his Daddy away from us for the rest of the night AND the following week!
It's a remote-controlled mini helicpoter meant to fly inside the house. All of the "boys" got one. When Jonathan got his he exclaimed, "I was hoping I would get something fun like this!" Josh enjoyed flying his around the house all week too...though not as obsessively as Jonathan.
Brody got his Uncle Josh another great gift (though more funny than fun).
But my favorite gift of the night was the gift we got for Chad and Alison. Footed PJ's! When Brody was just a newborn, Chad and Alison came up to visit us and meet Brody for the first time. Uncle Chad took one look at his nephew's footed PJ's and was jealous. He announced many times that he would love to have a pair. So, when I saw them for sale this year, I couldn't resist buying them matching Sock Monkey PJ's.
I'm pretty sure Alison has been devising her revenge since that night...
Though that was my favorite gift of the night, the very best gift went to my Dad. We all chipped in and bought him the iPad he had been dreaming about since they came out.
But if you asked him, he might say the award for his favorite gift would be a toss-up between the iPad and the Lincoln Logs Santa (my mom) gave him. :)
We were finally able to attract Jonathan away from the helicopter and back to the room by giving him his last gift. Powerblocks. All he wanted for Christmas this year was a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
If you ask me, it was a gift for me too in the long run! Can't wait to start P90x again. I'll be having some extra sweet eye candy in no time! ;)
Sadly, unlike his Daddy, Brody never really came back for more presents that night. We just made him a pile of his unwrapped presents in our living room and let him unwrap them at his leisure over the next several days. Christmas has never lasted so long in our house!
Even though it felt like we were celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, time flew. Before we knew it it was time to say good-bye. Brody had such a good time with his Wynni, JimPop, Uncle Josh, Anna, Uncle Chad and Aunt Alison. It's always sad to see family go home after the holidays.