Christmas Eve is a lot of work when you’re the parent of four kids! This was our first Christmas season as a large family and we were so excited to celebrate with the kids. The big kids had a basic understanding of the holidays from various movies, but it was so fun to see the delight in their eyes as they discovered what it’s all about. I wish I had some eloquent post for you, but this one is all rambles about the various parts of our holiday.
We decided not to do Santa. I never believed in him and don’t feel like I missed out on anything, and I just think it’s hard to remember what’s important this time of year if one of the main goals is to impress a fat guy into bringing you gifts. I straight up told the kids “Santa is not real. He’s pretend. Don’t tell anyone else.” I was really surprised at how much they wanted to believe! We took the obligatory Santa pictures and Smiles thought he could get out of his responsibility points by getting Santa to bring him a phone. On Christmas morning when they saw the presents they said “Wow! Santa came?” I repeated “No. Santa is not real. Mommy and Daddy gave you presents”. They scowled at me until they started opening.
We did an Advent calendar and it was so cute. We weren’t great about doing it every single night, but when we did it we would tell a little more of the Christmas story. Now my three big kids can all tell you that the reason we celebrate Christmas is “Jesus Happy Birthday”, that his mom was Mary and her husband was Joseph (except Smiles often gets confused and says Mary was Jesus’ wife), that they travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey, that all the hotels told them “Sorry no room” and that they slept in a barn next to a “cow a horse a pig and a donkey”. They know that Jesus was born that night, a “big giant star” appeared in the sky, and that “smart guys” brought Jesus three gifts. Wiggles has been walking around all month saying he “wants to talk about Christmas” and it’s all so very cute.
I did more baking this past week than I have done at any point in my life other than maternity leave. I have found baking to be so good with kids because it keeps them occupied, it’s a practical thing for them to learn, it’s relatively cheap, and you have yummy goodies afterwards!
A friend of ours needed help with childcare on the same night we had Christmas scheduled with my parents and sister. We brought them along and it was so very chaotic and wild. We didn’t get a picture of the whole gang but here are my parent’s grandkids- my kids and my sweet niece. She lives 3 hours away and we don’t see her nearly enough.
For as long as I can remember, my dad has given my sister and I $50 on Christmas. But he doesn’t do it the way a normal person would. One time he gave us a block of wood and we had to hack into it to find our money. Another time he somehow rigged one of those parachuter fireworks and we had to go outside and watch our $50 sail away on the parachute guy and then try to go find it. Another time we basically had a wrapped bomb that we had to detonate and then collect our cash from the yard. Another time he buried it in the yard and gave us GPS coordinates to find it. Another time (when I was young and bratty) he gave us a rubber ducky and I threw a fit because I was too old and cool for rubber duckies and thought that was my whole gift. This year he gave us an extension cord. Then he used a 2 wheeler to bring out a giant box. Then he plugged the extension cord in and told us to stand back. We watched as some kind of something started inflating in the giant box, eventually bursting out the sides and filling up the entire room. It was a GIANT rubber ducky. Somehow there were 24 miniature rubber duckies that rained down and we had to find the 2 that had our cash in it.
And that wasn’t all. He continued the tradition with Smiles and Diva. They got these fireworks, which twisted and sent a flood of confetti and dollar bills all over the room (look at the floor in the duck picture).
My dad’s retiring next year and I’m thinking he may be able to turn this into some sort of business. Message me to schedule your consultation.
We really struggled with how to plan Christmas this year. On the one hand, we were so excited for our big kids and wanted to spoil them rotten. On the other hand, we didn’t want them to get so caught up in the gifts part of Christmas that they lost sight of what’s truly important. We also didn’t want to set a precedent for future years. I got onto Smiles specifically several times throughout the season for getting the “gimmes”. We did a sibling name exchange and when I took Smiles shopping for Wiggle’s gift the only things he picked out were things he liked! It got to where when I started railing on him he’d say “I know mom. Annoying.” Ha! In the end we really emphasized the Christmas story and family gatherings, took them with us to delivery presents to a family we helped adopt, and talked a lot about wants vs. needs. But, they did get spoiled rotten. They got new bikes and shoes and several toys from us and holy cow the grandparents and extended family went crazy. We came home with so much stuff I had to reorganize the playroom!
Isn’t she cute? She turned 9 months a few days before Christmas and boy does she flirt with her eyes.