I think every family has their own little traditions when it comes to Christmas. Usually we have "elfie" come and bring tiny presents every day for the 12 or 24 days before Christmas. (Don't confuse him with Elf on the Shelf. My mom did this years ago, and I'm carrying on the tradition. The "elf" is actually a lion with a Santa hat on...so...).
But this year I was a bit of a loser and didn't do Elfie. In fact, for whatever reason, I wasn't in the Christmas mood at all. I'm ALWAYS IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD when it's Christmas. Usually I'm one of those weirdos that put their Christmas tree up right after Halloween.
(I know, I know. I see people comment on FB every year about how Thanksgiving is getting overlooked since people are heading straight to Christmas. It's what I used to think too. But then my friend in Australia told me one year how she was putting her Christmas tree up after Halloween, and it was the first time that it occurred to me that we get to celebrate Christmas LESS because we celebrate Thanksgiving *and think we have to wait*. So, I thought about it more, and I thought, "Gosh freakin' darnit all! Out of everything in the whole world to be grateful for, wouldn't Christmas be a big thing to be grateful for?" So, we started putting our Christmas tree up right after Halloween. And, you know what? It really adds to Thanksgiving.)
So, anyway, I've been struggling a bit with all the emotions of everything our family has gone through the past couple years, and for whatever reason, Christmas brought it out a lot more. It made my normal desire to get all ready for Christmas a lot less than normal.
When the kids started asking when we were going to put the tree up, we put it up that following weekend. We also put it up where they wanted it - upstairs between the playset slides. But hey, they liked it!
Decorating the tree was nice and adventurous when I put the lights on it. Climb up part of one slide, walk behind the tree, step onto the other slide at about half way up, try not to fall down the slide, carefully slide while standing, walk around in front of tree, climb on the first slide again...rinse and repeat...over and over...until tree has all the lights on it.
Then the kids decorated it with ornaments:
They weren't really in the mood to sit for a photo...so we're left with this not-so-good-quality of photo. (The room was super dark - darker than it appears in any of these photos, but at least I got some!)
This is how a lot of the photos looked:
We got our kitten on Christmas Eve's eve (the 23rd), and then in our family, on Christmas Eve, we open up presents from everyone. So, we did that.
And then on Christmas Day, Santa brought a few more presents via their stockings.
This is Ella (yes, she's wearing the same clothes as yesterday because she does that) mourning over waiting a few more minutes to open presents:
And then it was time to open them:
Like all people do when they receive a new present, she flung it over her shoulder to smash it on the ground. She was trying to get the plastic off of her new little lady bug sleeping bag.
Tyler meeting his favorite present:
All the girls got Frozen dolls, which, despite their expressions below, they love them:
The kids were so super duper excited. They made it a ton of fun. Seeing their looks of excitement and joy are awesome...and knowing we're making memories for them for forever is probably the most fulfilling part of it all.
Tyler and I already gave each other our presents in October. That's because we're so super cool and can't wait.
As for Emma's health, we still feel like we're at a standstill. We're really hoping that soon we'll see improvement in her immune system. We should have some detailed immune testing done soon, I think. Cincinnati wants us back for her checkup, but I think we're going to have to do it through Dallas (costs way too much to go up there to Cincy every six months) - and that checkup should include a nice rundown on her immune function.