For no outlandish reason at all, this was the best Christmas ever. Just like a little kid, I slept so lightly the night before in anticipation of this special holiday. I probably freaked my husband out because as soon as his alarm went off, he opened his eyes to see my crazy face excitedly smiling at him. A few times, he'd drift back off to sleep then open his eyes again to my eagerly awaiting stare.
First things first, we read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible. Then we let Simon open his stocking, which contained a new bone, as usual. He is always so sweet on Christmas morning. He plops himself down right next to us and chews on his new bone as we open our gifts.
After our morning ritual, we got ready to go, loaded the truck up with presents and headed to Siloam Springs for Christmas with my in-laws.
Like always, we started at Nanny's house with extended family. After stuffing ourselves on delicious food and pie, we sat around the living room and opened gifts. Then we went across the street and opened presents with my husband's immediate family. I feel like every time I talk about my in-laws I have to stress how blessed I am by them. They have truly embraced me and treat me as if I'm their daughter. In the family picture above, I asked them to get together with the boys for a picture, and my mother-in-law told me to join in, too. Our time with them is always precious and we literally never want to leave once we get over to their house. But we had to cut the visit a little short this time because for the first time ever we were celebrating both our families' Christmases in the same day.
So to my sister's house we drove, truck loaded down with presents. I was thankful once we arrived that all my family members had stuck around and waited for us even though they had already opened gifts from each other and enjoyed a Mexican-style lunch.
I loved watching my nephew open his gifts. His face lit up for the toys, and he would scowl and throw down any cloth item, i.e., clothes or hats. The Veggie Tales DVD we gave him was a big hit. He had to watch it right then while the rest of us opened gifts. It was sweet to get to be a part of both my nieces' first Christmases too. They pretty much just ate and slept their way through it, but they sure were pretty doing so.
My favorite part of the night was when my mom surprised the boys with beanies she had crocheted and fingerless gloves for the girls. My favorite gifts to give were the monogram frames that hubs and I made together for my sister and brother.
This day was so special and just felt so full. Getting to celebrate with both our families on the same day was busy but perfect. Starting the day off with the focus on the birth of our Savior and a prayer really set the tone for a day where the blessings surrounding me were evident and in the forefront of my mind. I soaked in the laughter, I was more intentional with how I hugged people and I let the excitement of such a magical holiday light me up from the inside out.