Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This has been the best Christmas EVER!  It has been so much fun having all of my family here with us, and I am sure that I am going to be a big blubbering mess this time tomorrow after they have all gone back home to South Carolina. But for now, I am still loving having everyone here together, all under one roof, to celebrate my favourite holiday of the year!

This year was no different in many ways, as our family has a few traditions that we make sure always happen.

Reagan and Ryan are a team when it comes to putting the toppers on our two Christmas trees...

Reagan and Ryan are also a team when it comes to making the gingerbread house.  The did a spectacular job again this year, as Reagan tried very hard not to eat all of the decorations...

I must also give credit to the most amazing gingerbread house that I have ever seen.  Reagan's boyfriend's family goes ALL OUT when it comes to their fabulous creations.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo below, but their gingerbread house is literally about twenty times the size of ours and it weighs a ton!

It's just wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Santa!  A family about 10 minutes from our home decorates their entire front acre of land with millions of Christmas lights. In the center of the grand display is a giant blue fairy-tale type castle where the most magnificent Santa sits on his giant throne to welcome the kids. This Santa is FABULOUS.  Each and every child that enters his kingdom is made to feel as if he has been waiting to see them for the entire year that has passed since the last Christmas.  This year was no different.  Reagan was ready to climb up into his lap to tell him her biggest wish... a pink Barbie camper.  Myers, on the other hand, was a little unsure about the big man in the red suit!

Reagan also makes sure that everyone, meaning Santa and his reindeer, all get fed on Christmas Eve.  She and I bake cookies for Santa, and then we whip up a batch of reindeer food.  This year, we made a big enough batch of reindeer food that Reagan was able to share it with our neighbours, her cousins, and of course her boyfriend's family.  Those reindeer were well fed this year for sure!  Our mixture of food is made up of goji berry oatmeal, glitter, and sequins.  The oatmeal is obviously for the reindeer to eat while Santa is in our house, and the glitter and sequins help them to easily find us!  Myers even joined in on the fun of sprinkling the reindeer food all over our front yard this year.

A new tradition was started for us this year.  At least I hope it will become a tradition because both of my children were thrilled that it happened.  I guess it will all depend on Nokee, as he was the one that allowed it to begin with...

Yesterday morning, when the kids came downstairs to find Nokee, they discovered that he was sitting inside of Reagan's stocking, and he once again had a little note.

Dear Reagan and Myers, 
I am so excited for today!  SANTA comes tonight!  And guess what?  Santa has agreed that I can ride back to the North Pole with him in his sleigh, so that means that I will not need my Christmas magic to get back home tonight.  Please, please, please will you and Myers give me a great big hug tonight before you go to bed?  I won’t get to see you again until I come back to your house next year, so I definitely want to be able to give you a proper goodbye.  Don’t worry, you won’t hurt me by hugging me.  Like I said, Santa has promised that he will take care of me!  
I have had so much fun the past few weeks hiding in different places in your house each morning.   And I have loved every minute of every day, watching you two play together.  It is very obvious that you both love each other very much.  That makes me and Santa both very happy! 
I will miss you until next Christmas, but I will be back again next holiday season.  
Don’t forget my hug when you get ready for bed!  And be sure to get to bed on time tonight for Santa! 
I love you both! 
Nokee, Your Elf

All Reagan could talk about all day long on Christmas Eve was how she was going to get to touch Nokee and give him a hug before she went to bed.  She was VERY VERY VERY VERY excited!  The moment was truly priceless and absolutely precious when she and Myers told Nokee their goodbyes for this year.

Reagan (obviously not Myers yet) has not begun to question the magic of Christmas, and I hope that time doesn't come for many more years.  In order to help keep the magic alive for my kids for as long as possible, I decided to get a little sneaky with Santa this year.  I needed picture proof to show them that he does exist!  With a little help from Capture The Magic,  I was able to do just that. Here is picture proof that Santa was here, in our living room, delivering all of our Christmas goodies.  GOTCHA SANTA!

It was so much fun to watch the kids opening their gifts this morning.  Reagan was thrilled to get her requested Barbie camper, as well as a whole bunch of Barbie accessories to go with it.

And Myers was way more interested in opening presents this year compared to him sleeping through Christmas morning last year!  He was most excited about his big ride-on/push-along Caterpillar dump truck.

Because of the fact that we open presents one by one, each person taking a turn and then enjoying watching everyone else have a turn as well, Christmas morning stretched into Christmas afternoon for us this year even though we were up before 7:00.  But we prefer to do it this way instead of everyone tearing into all their gifts all at once and then no one has a clue of what happened!  So after our marathon morning, we were all ready for the delicious brunch that I had prepared... a breakfast casserole with eggs, sausage and bacon, a pecan swirled coffee cake, a casserole of breakfast potatoes that my sweet friend Stephanie gave us, and lots of tropical fruit.  We were all fuelled up for an afternoon of playing with our new toys!

It seems crazy that we needed to eat that much food for brunch when you consider that we had just each consumed what felt like double our body weight the night before when I made Christmas dinner for all of us and the rest of Ryan's family too.  Deep fried turkey, cranberry stuffing, party potatoes, squash casserole, green bean casserole, Crock Pot macaroni and cheese, devilled eggs, corn, biscuits, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie... all made from scratch!  It added up to be close to a $450 feast for 15 that was over faster than you can say Merry Christmas!  

The last present that we opened this morning was actually my favourite present of all.  The big Santa bag was labeled as "Open Last", and when I opened it up we realized that it was stuffed with one present for each of us. Auntie Anna, Pops, Momsey, Reagan, Myers, Ryan and I all simultaneously opened up our gifts to find matching pyjamas for the entire family!  Reagan and I have been wearing matching pyjamas for years now, so that must be how Santa knew that we would get a big kick out of the whole family being able to do so as well.  The girls will all soon be going to bed tonight wearing our pink dog tired pjs while the boys are sporting their pirate attire.  TOO CUTE!

We finished off the evening with one last tradition... our family portrait!

It's been a whirlwind couple of days, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Like I said at the very beginning of this post, it was the best Christmas ever!

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