Christmas was calm & quiet... oh wait, that was just my daydream flashing back to our pre-kid days! The kids were obviously full of excitement & anticipation for Christmas... with daily checks of what was under the tree, counting down the days & taking in as many Christmas movies & specials as possible!
Our tradition is to do gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve & Santa stuff on Christmas morning. The kids are always eager for the Christmas Eve festivities to begin & would gladly get through it in 10 mintues IF I'd let them... which I don't!
Melanie got a "rag doll" from Grandad & was happy to give her a ride in her new doll wagon from Nana & Papa.
Brandon got a lego that he had been wanting from Nana & Papa...
& a pogo stick from Grandad & Melanie got her 2-wheeled scooter (since she informed us she no longer needed a 3-wheeled one). While I worked on Christmas Eve dinner, the kids took to the basement to try out their new stuff!
Our Christmas Eve dinner tradition is lamb... this year it was lamb chops seasoned with rosemary & garlic with a balsamic reduction, twice baked potatoes & asparagus! It was a special treat to have Grandad here to join us.
After dinner, we finished up with the gifts & got the kiddos ready for bed...
... & they got the goodies ready for Santa & the reindeer!
Melanie's new PJs came with a matching set for a baby, so she got "Sissy" (her new doll from Grandad) ready too!
And sometime in the night, Santa came!
After waiting for Dad finally get up (& yes, we did have to wake him... he'd be happy if things like Christmas & Easter mornings didn't commence until about 9 AM!), the kids were ready to come down & check out if Santa came!
They quickly found their stockings & gifts from Santa... Brandon got a digital camera & Melanie got a LeapPad... they were thrilled!
Then Brandon was ready to build the lego he got the night before... & Melanie showed Grandad her LeapPad.
I sat & drank my Christmas coffee while I iced my foot (taken by Brandon with his new camera!)...
... the recap of my fun Christmas morning involved taking a slip on the stairs which resulted in a dislocated pinkie toe. Of course that was right before coming down to get Mike up for Santa stuff, so not knowing what was wrong with it but realizing it was pointing the wrong way, I just taped it to its buddy toe in hopes to coax it back to its spot & went on with our morning. After getting the Santa stuff done, my dad took a look at it & figured it was dislocated & proceeded to pop it back into place... we both heard the POP! That is one I have never done & hope to never do again... a good month later & that toe is still bothering me!
Around noon, part 2 of Christmas started... so we walked over to the neighbors for the Christmas dinner & festivities at Mike's folks house!
We always have a nice pre-dinner drink/toast while we wait for the others to arrive.
It was an unbelievable Christmas day for MN standards... no snow & in the 40s. Last year the kids & I snowshoed over to Grandma's house... this year Brandon rode his bike!
We've NEVER done an outdoor toast!! Crazy!!
Nora always does an amazing spread with her Christmas meal... from the table setting to the food... it is fabulous & no one leaves hungry!!
Our day after Christmas tradition is to go sledding... well, that didn't happen this year! Oh well, we also head to La Crosse every year the day after to take in the lights at River Front Park...
... it was yet another unseasonably warm night to walk around... the warmest we've ever had in the 7 years we've been doing this the day after Christmas!
The Rotary does a really nice job... & add to it every year.
Another tradition that Gram has kept up is her Christmas Tea she does with the kids...
Uncle Chris always gets to be the waiter & one of the highlights are the gingerbread cookies Gram makes & Chris decorates...
It was a different Christmas with our warm weather & no snow... but it was still a special time with family, with lots more memories & fun!