Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Eve and Day

What a wonderful Christmas we had! We have had a ridiculous number of Christmas "celebrations" this year but I am so grateful that we were able to share the holiday with so many members of our family. We are so blessed. Bear with me, I am going to divide up the events so there will be a lot of little posts and lots of pictures! If you don't want to read about it you can skip the next few posts!! 

I actually had to work on Christmas Eve. We had a very busy morning at work but I got off around 1. When I got home I was so tired but I still had a lot to do. 

I showered and cleaned and then I remembered I still had one gift to get. It was for a child so I actually decided to brave Wal-Mart! Oh my! It was horrible, but I got a great parking spot and had good luck. I had a few other things to get but it really wasn't bad. I got in and out fairly quick. 

Last year, we started the tradition of having Derek's family over for a Christmas Eve dinner. So this year we wanted to do the same but decided to change up the menu. I had several ideas but eventually settled on doing breakfast for dinner so we could all wear our pajamas. Then with the time constraints from working I simplified and decided on breakfast casserole and biscuits with chocolate gravy for dessert. I have a recipe in my Paula Deen Cookbook but I altered it a bit. It's so good! I layered shredded hashbrowns, french bread cubed, sausage and cheese and then poured an egg mixture over. Yum! I made two casseroles so that we would have some left over for breakfast! I normally would have made biscuits from scratch but I knew that I'd be working and would need all the time I had to clean and get ready so I bought frozen biscuits. I used a Paula Deen recipe for the chocolate gravy too. That was my first time making it and really my first time eating it. It is so good! If you have never made it, you need to! 

We were ready so we decided to try a family picture! 

After dinner, we watched Elf. It's one of my favorite Christmas movies. Second to all of the claymation movies of course! 

When everyone left we put Thomas to bed and then let Anna-Kate help us set the cookies out for Santa and the carrots out for the reindeer. Then we let Anna-Kate throw out the reindeer food she got at school. It was so cute! This year has been so fun with Anna-Kate. She got so into Santa! Once she got in bed it was time for us to get to work! 

Every year so far Derek and I have stayed up on Christmas Eve and wrapped all of the gifts except for one or two things and then set the gifts out and filled the stockings. We always have a lot of fun doing that. I had wanted to wrap the gifts sooner but Derek wanted to stick with tradition. So we played Christmas music and wrapped everything! I think we were more excited than Anna-Kate! 

Anna-Kate woke up around 8 and came into our room saying "I think we need to go in the living room and see if Santa came." It was so cute. So we let her go in and see the presents under the tree. She was so excited! Derek grabbed Thomas while she checked out her changing table and her pillow pet. 

We did stockings and then let Thomas see his gifts that were sitting out. He got his first Thomas the Train set and big box of wooden blocks! He immediately pushed the train along the tracks and made the motor sounds! Ha- it's amazing how he knew to do that!! 

I love how he squats down now! 

Oh and as you can see, Thomas is now walking all over! :) He walked around so excited for the gifts! 

We finished opening gifts and then played for a bit before getting ready to do Christmas with Derek's family. 

When we got to Derek's grandmother's we played for a bit before getting started on the gifts. There were 11 people so there was a lot to go through!

Thomas decided that this was the coolest place. Every time I turned around he was standing on that bench! 

Derek got a nice sports coat

Thomas wasn't so sure about how to open gifts but he had plenty of help! 

Thomas loved this glow worm! He would hand it to me and let me push the button and then he would rock  with it. So sweet! 

I got a Pandora bracelet with a treasure chest charm. I love it! 

Anna-Kate got pretty tired- we opened gifts for a long time! 

After we opened all of the gifts we went outside and let the girls open their new cars! haha! Anna-Kate was so excited!

We even got some snow flurries on Christmas day! I just wish some of it had stuck! 

After we got everything cleaned up, we ate and then visited and let the girls play with their toys. 

This is a horrible picture but I thought Anna-Kate was so cute in her dress up outfit! She's even got the little shoes on!

We got home and were all worn out! The kids went to bed and then Derek and I got things cleaned up. We had to pack for the Franklin trip too. We got most everything in order but still had a few things to do so we decided to hold off on leaving for Franklin until Monday morning.

We had a crazy Christmas day but it was wonderful! 


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