Well Christmas is over. All the planning and the shopping and the decorating and baking has hit it's climax and now it's back to normal life. In some ways it's so sad, but in others it is a relief to have it done. I'm especially glad the spending is done. Our wallets couldn't take much more.
Since we stayed home this year we tried to start some traditions that will hopefully last for many many years. Our Christmas eve was planned down to a T in order to get our non-sleeping, full of energy, little girl in bed so Santa could come. We purposely skipped a nap and planned on dinner at 6:30. I made a pot of chili, which I have not done in ages, it was really good. Then Ainsley got to open one gift. Clif and my mom got to open one as well. All three held new Christmas PJ's. After that we got ready and headed to Christmas Eve service at a nearby church.
I was not thrilled with the Christmas Eve service. I always try and make it to church, but things often come up and when they don't, well I'm tired and don't always feel like dragging my butt out of bed to make it. Therefore, when a church service is needed, I never know where to go. We chose this church because it is so close to our house. However, I've been there before and have not been very happy with the services. The church that I normally go to, if I make it, only had a candlelight service at 11PM and we didn't want to wait that late. The service was just very dry. The music was mediocre and it was LOOOONG. I expect a Christmas Eve service to be full of carols and Christmas stories and last less than an hour. We pushed an hour and a half on this one. I was really happy when it was over. We will have to find a new place for next year...maybe my resolution should be to actually make it to church on a more regular basis and then I wouldn't have to seek out a place on Christmas Eve.
Anyway, after church we drove around to see the Christmas lights. This was a lot of fun. We had printed a list of tacky lights in town from a local website and we created our own little tour. Ainsley was asleep 3 houses in. Everything was working out as planned.
We saw some amazing displays. I am in awe of this stuff. We can't even get our bushes lit up and these houses are incredible. I can't even begin to imagine how much time and planning it takes. The last house we saw before heading home even broadcast it's own radio station and the lights went to the beat of whatever song was playing. Amazing!
We then headed home and got Ainsley all snug in her crib. Then Santa was able to stop by for some cookies and leave all of Ainsley's gifts.
The next morning when Ainsley woke up she was a bit confused. I took her to immediately get a diaper change and started telling her how Santa came and left all of her presents and she got very excited, but when we got to the living room she was very let down. I said "Ainsley did Santa come?" and she said "Not yet!" I think she expected to see Santa in her living room. So we had to try and explain that Santa doesn't stick around, that he has lots of other children to visit. She seemed OK with it once the gift unwrapping started.
Last year, Ainsley only wanted to open gifts. She'd pull every bit of wrapping paper off a box and then move on to the next without even noticing what was inside. This time, she wanted to open and play with every present. We had to keep pushing her to open more.
At first Ainsley was not super excited with the Kitchen set she got...however, she played with it all day. Every so often she'd say "Mommy, you want more toffee?" or "Daddy, you want pizza?" then she'd go and make it. So I think it was a good call on the Kitchen Santa, thanks!
Christmas day was a very lazy day. We didn't get our of our PJ's all day. I haven't done that in a very long time. Clif and I made dinner and we ate around 5. Isn't the table pretty? We got to use our China for the first time ever.
After a very long day, Ainsley passed out on the couch...that never happens...while we watched a movie.
Saturday my mom left and Auntie Keek came to visit. We also met up with some friends for some dinner. It was nice to have a day to relax and enjoy after all the Christmas craziness.
Sunday my friend Carrie came into town with her family. She has a little girl that is 1 week younger than Ainsley. They have VERY different personalities, but they always seem to play well together. They stopped by the house for a bit and Ainsley and Addie played with the kitchen. Then later that evening we went to their hotel room where the daddies took the girls swimming in the indoor pool. Ainsley does not have a lot of experience in pools but she loved it. She had a perpetual grin on her face.
It was a busy but fun weekend. I'm so happy that we decided to stay at home, it was so great. I absolutely loved it. I wish that we had all of our loved ones closer so we could see them all on the holidays, but since that's not the case this is definitely the next best thing.