This is the post that I always find the hardest to write. I always feel like I've cheated and left out majorly important components of what makes Christmas so special. I always, ALWAYS, feel like I've left out the important little details that made our Christmas unique from the years before and from the future years. I never feel like I have conveyed how special these little moments are or were in the grand scheme of this sometimes very chaotic holiday.
I try. But I always leave this post with a feeling that it lacks all of the things that I want it to bubble over with.
So, again, I am trying. And, because I hate how I have written every post in past years that I have written before about our Christmas, (well, not every one, but I have always been so disappointed with my inability to paint the picture of our Christmas holiday to you), I thought I might try something a little different. I'm taking notes from one of my favorite bloggers. ;)
Dear Bailey and Jake,
This Christmas had to be one of my favorite holidays with you yet. Both of you are at the perfect age, 5 and 3, to really and truly believe in the magic of Christmas. It doesn't come as easy for adults to have so much faith in things, so watching both of you eagerly trust in something so simplistic is just incredible.
Each year, we travel to eastern Kentucky for the holidays. Trust me, it is no easy task. There are so many presents to take back and forth that we have been known to take two vehicles. Ridiculous? Yes, it is. However, it is true. It doesn't help that I always insist on taking half a kitchen so that we can bake and cook over our vacation. I could easily buy supplies there, but why purchase things I already have? Anyway... this year, your dad was able to take some extra time off (some of it was because of an unpaid furlow, so not exactly the vacation we would have liked to had). I was so thrilled to have him home to help pack everything up and get ready for our trip. It helped that we were able to travel a day before Christmas Eve. Taking our time to get settled in, cook some food, and allow your Mimi and I to make our plans for the next few days. Oh, yes, planning is a big component of everything we do. :) As if either of you will find that a surprise.
We spent Christmas Eve traveling between my grandparents' homes. Early in the day, Big Poppa took you both to Granny Dale's house to play during the day, which gave your dad and I some time to get a few things done and ready for Santa to arrive. I can't even begin to explain how much stress this took off of us. We were so relaxed when we made our way to pick you up and take you to Papaw Lenox's house to celebrate. You both were incredible at Papaw's house. I couldn't believe how well-behaved you were. There were ten kids there and you all played nicely and quietly. We were all in shock. Of course, there was no shortage of electronic gaming systems, which probably explains a lot.
Back on the road (our holidays have always been filled with lots of running between homes), we made our way back to Granny Dale's (who I have learned you all love to hang out with - no surprise there). Watching your eyes light up over the sheer mention of Santa Claus and hearing the real wonder in your voice when we looked out the car window for Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve might have been one of the top experiences in my life. That might sound dramatic to you. I can understand that sounding dramatic. But, you need to understand...
Every year... for as long as my memory can recall, I have spent searching the sky between my Papaw Lenox's house and my Granny Dale's on Christmas Eve, watching for any sign of a red nose or a sleigh. Every year, I would see the same red dot in the same spot (most likely a tower of some sort) and I would be convinced that I had seen him. So, you have to see how fun it was for me to see you both looking in that same sky, on that same curvy little road, seeing that same red dot, and hoping with all of the same hope and passion that I had used all those years that you were seeing Rudolph pulling the sleigh.
After we spent a short time with Granny Dale and the gang, we had to make our way to Mimi and Big Poppa's house for our time with Cory, Angela, and the boys. They had to spend Christmas Eve night with their dad this year and Cory had to work for part of the day, so we opened gifts late (around 10 p.m.). Again, we couldn't get over how well you were all playing together and how good you were being. All of you were just incredible.
When Cory, Angela, and the boys left, we started getting ready for bed. We didn't have cookies to leave out. I know... what kind of mom am I?! We decided that Santa really would be tired of cookies anyway and would probably really rather have some pumpkin pie and milk. And, this, Bailey, is where you melted your mommy's heart. I don't know what it was about this particular moment in time. I don't think I will ever forget it. Jake was curled up on the couch, engrossed in some superhero movie, and you were sitting in the computer chair with a paper and a pencil, writing a note to Santa. It hit me that you were no longer my little baby, but a big kid. Maybe it was because Colt was there and I could remember him being your age so easily. I could remember him with all of his belief and faith and it really seemed like yesterday to me. And, here he is in college, a full-grown man... and here you are, my little girl, who will all too quickly leave your passion for doing everything just right for Santa Claus to thinking that he doesn't even exist and rolling your eyes at little kids who do. I had that moment of realization that I needed to take it in, because it was one of those fleeting moments in time. My heart hurts just thinking about how fast you are growing... and how quickly you have gone from being my little baby who would prefer a box to a little girl who writes her own notes to Santa.
As we crawled into bed that night, I couldn't help but smile when you were both saying you couldn't go to sleep because you were so excited. And, then, about 2 minutes later, you were both snoring. Thankfully, you didn't wake us up at 4 a.m. I know those days are coming, at least if you are anything like me and Cory were. Instead, I woke you both up at 7:30 because I was too excited to wait any longer. :)
Your reactions were priceless. The American Girl twins were a major hit... as was the Blizzard Maker. Jake, you loved your Batman cave, as predicted, and you spent more time with it and your new Batman DS game than just about anything else. You enjoyed the other gifts... later. All the focus was on Batman. Later, you told me that Santa forgot to bring you any bad guys. Poor Santa had no idea that you expected bad guys. He won't forget next year. You've told everyone you know that you loved your gifts, but that you would have really liked to have had some bad guys. If you weren't just 3, I would consider you the most ungrateful child in the world. However, I'm giving you this time to soak it in. Later (as in like three months from now), you will be told that if you aren't appreciative, you won't get anything else. :) And, in all honesty, while you wanted bad guys, you were really sweet about everything you got... and you loved it all.
After we had breakfast that morning, we made our trip to Mamaw Kathy's. It was a white Christmas this year... something that I rarely remember happening. It was nice. We always spend Christmas Day with Mamaw Kathy, Uncle James, Ryan, Jennifer, and Rianna each year. This year, like all the others, was great. It is one of the few times each year that we get together without feeling like we all have to rush back to our normal, everyday lives, working, playing sports, or cleaning. There were more than enough presents, delicious food, and a nice, warm fire. We spent the entire day there, late into the evening, playing the Wii, the Kinect, and watching different shows. It will probably go down as one of my favorite Christmases.
You are both growing up so fast. It won't be long until the only thing you care about on Christmas is presents and getting to see your girlfriends and boyfriends. While I know that I will love that age as well as I do this one, I feel like it is going by way too fast. I hope you both know how much we love you and that you always have the sweet innocence that you have right now.
Thank you both for making our world complete.
Love, Mom :)
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