Christmas Part II

Our final activity for our Advent celebration was to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church. BUT…we had a full day leading up the service.

We started out the morning at my parents’ house for a gift exchange. I absolutely love watching my family open the gifts we picked out for them AND watching the kids’ open their presents. Christmas is so magical when enjoyed through the eyes of your children 🙂 We also tried something new for our stockings this year. In the past, my parents have filled our stockings and my sisters and I do their stockings. At our Thanksgiving gathering this year, we each drew a category (technology, hygiene, wearable, accessories, chewable, novelty, gift cards, and office supplies) and then bought a $5 item in that category for each person. It turned out great and we really enjoyed it! I think we’ve found a new tradition. After our gift exchange, we enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch.

Brynlee is so fascinated with Gabriella. I love it!

You can tell how much Gabriella cared about her stocking gifts. Maybe by next year she’ll start to understand.

I love this picture because when Reuben unwrapped this gift, he exclaimed, “A BOX!” I love that he was so excited about a cardboard box before he knew anything was inside 🙂

We managed to surprise my mom for the first time in a LONG time and get her a new digital camera. It was so fun!

LOVE the Tiny Toms!!!

Reuben gets to be just like Daddy now with his new guitar! I think Daddy might even be a little jealous of Reuben’s Lightning McQueen guitar strap…

Our church had 3 Christmas Eve services so Nick had to leave shortly after lunch. I hung around my parents’ house with the kids because I didn’t want to go home and be all alone (besides Reuben and Gabriella) on Christmas Eve. It may seem silly, but I’m really sentimental about and attached to time with my family on and around the holidays. I wanted to savor every last minute!

We went to the last of the 3 services at our church. Reuben was thrilled to see all of his buddies!

After church, we headed over to my in-laws to do our gift exchange with them. The spoiling of Reuben and Gabriella continued at their house. We are so blessed by both of our families. We have already agreed, however, that next year, the opening of gifts needs to be spread over a few days, because Reuben was a bit overwhelmed by the end of it all!

Reuben wanted to stop and enjoy each gift. I loved that!

Uncle Chris hooked Gabriella up with a stock pile of diapers. Yes!

I wanted to do something extra special for Nick this year to thank him for being the hero of our family on October 16th. As I was mulling it over, it hit me. I decided to get Nick a WWF Championship replica belt. Nick grew up watching wrestling and still enjoys watching it sometimes as a guilty pleasure. He’s mentioned several times over the years how much he would love to have a belt of his own. When I’ve asked what in the world he would do with something like that, he’s responded the same way, “I’m going to come home from work, change into comfortable clothes, and wear the belt while I watch TV…EVERY NIGHT” Ha! Anyway, since Nick is the champion of our family, I felt it only appropriate to finally get him the belt to prove it. Needless to say, it was a big hit! Now we have a 5 pound and 4.5 foot long belt taking up space in our home 😉

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