All week long we debated going "home" for Christmas. The last of us had the stomach virus on Wednesday, so we didn't think we'd be contagious, but we couldn't decide. Then on Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, Thomas woke up with a slight fever (he already had a cough) and Steven Joseph fussed all morning about a tummy ache (he hadn't gotten the bug yet, but ended up being fine). So our decision was made, we'd have to stay here, and we told the kids. Many tears were shed, but we tried to stay positive and offer this quiet Christmas as a little sacrifice to the baby Jesus.
I got right to work on making stockings! We were looking forward to Christmas with my parents and planned to use the stockings they had there. It was time for me to make the denim stockings that had been on my mind for years! I got to run to Confession (the last one before they ended at 3pm), and then got some fabric to top them with. I already had the denim and the inside fleece and fabric, which I cut and quilted on and off all afternoon.
The kids baked Christmas cookies.
And we let them open a present that night, one for the girls to share and one for Steven Joseph.
The girls loved their Nutcracker paper dolls book and they all loved the little fishing game.
Finally at about midnight, after the kids stayed up late and the baby fussed on and off, I finished the stockings! I'd still like to add some appliques and embroidery.
Santa came with a special big toy for each, and some overflowing stockings, including their age in 2-dollar bills! Santa may have to rethink that one as they get older!
It was just enough but not too much. Steven is always impressed with my ability to keep it simple. I am always worried about going overboard. I was also planning on a houseful of gifts at NeNe's, so that helped me keep things here at a minimum. Next weekend should be another big Christmas!
At 6:30am we finally let them get out of bed and go see their gifts!
Oh, the joy of Christmas morn!
A knight costume
A St. Therese rose petal rosary. Ellie has a special devotion to the rosary and loves praying it. That was on her list of 3 things she wanted and got for Christmas (Rosary, rollerblades, and a Leapster).
The kids love picking out gifts for each other and watching them open them!
I was very proud of the way the girls were gracious about their gifts even though there weren't a lot. They were even reminding each other to be thankful, and I don't think they whined or complained all day.
I love Thomas' bed head here!
Bath toys from big sisters
They gave Daddy some posters about honeybees that they got at 4-H class.
I think SJ's favorite gift was the little set of western guns and holsters that the girls picked out for him. "This is the best Christmas ever," he kept saying. He is so happy about everything :-)
Thomas liked his phone!
Thomas was still under the weather but we decided to venture out together to a non-crowded but beautiful mass at 12:30pm at the Cathedral downtown. I was able to spend most of the mass in the empty cryroom in a rocker nursing the baby. It was a really nice mass.
A quick photo by the nativity!
and an attempt to take another one. Somebody didn't want his picture taken anymore!
We came home and rested some more. The kids played with their toys. Ellie and MC rode the rollerblades, played with the Leapster, and MC spent a lot of the day putting together her Playmobil school building. Steven cooked a nice dinner of pork loin, broccoli, potatoes, and bread, and he even bought an apple pie and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream! I was with Thomas a lot of the evening, but the rest of the crew ended the day watching The Sound of Music DVD, which Mary Clare got for Christmas, always a favorite!
It wasn't quite the Christmas we had in mind, but we tried to be mindful of the blessing we have in each other, and in the gift of Our Savior, born this day to save the world!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!