Saturday, January 5, 2013

Merry and bright.

Christmas is so magical when you're a little kid.  All the anticipation while helping to decorate the tree, wrapping presents, and getting cookies and milk ready for Santa is something that's hard to match in adulthood.  But these days, all of the pressure to find the 'pefect gift', all of the commercialism, all the of the stress- they tend to suck a little bit of joy from the holidays for adults (or at least for me).

But then, you have a kid and you watch this cute little guy with the head full red curls fall in love with all the things that Christmas brings.  And you feel twinges of that childhood Christmas excitement.  It's so awesome!

Henry was fascinated and full of anticipation.  He loved looking at the Christmas "flashlights" when we drove through our neighborhood.  He loved looking for "Shelf" the elf every morning, and getting a piece of chocolate each day from his advent calendar sent to him by Uncle Andy and Auntie Cheryl.  He loved helping Mommy make shortbread cookies (kind of like the ones Henry's Grandma Zuill made years ago).

There was a lot of cookie making going on around here last month.

And what better way to keep yourselves occupied while the cookies bake than to have a cousin dance party?

Will and I were as giddy as a couple of school girls on the night of Christmas Eve. Henry really got into the Santa preparations. Including the part where his Daddy had him "practice" for Christmas Morning. He would tuck Henry into his bed, Henry would pretend to be asleep, and then Will would say "Wake up Henry! It's time to see if Santa came!". Then they would both dash into the living room and check under the tree. This, believe it or not, is a Zuill family tradition that Will and all of his siblings grew up with. It's so sweet to see Will and Henry do the same.

Once an adequate amount of practicing had been done, we set out goodies for Santa and the reindeer. Instead of cookies, Santa got mince pie this year at the Zuill house (which I'd never had before this year and is amazing!).

Not five seconds after we got Henry in the bed, we excitedly started our first real night on Santa duty.

The next morning we heard Henry stirring in his room, so we went in, and all the "practicing for Santa" suddenly was the real deal! Henry's excitement was palpable. But before we could check out the gifts, we had to see whether or not our visitors enjoyed their treats. For the record, "they" really did.

With that being seen about, he dove straight into what was waiting for him under the tree.

{mmmmmm, selection boxes!}

Henry also got to open his gifts from the UK. He loves his new (loud) drums from Granddad and his new books from Auntie Lizzie and Uncle Stuart. Uncle Andy and Aunt Cheryl hit a home run with Henry and Will with the TARDIS tent.

After a little bit of play time, we packed up in the car and headed to our regular Christmas hot spot- my brother's house. It's such a laid back, relaxed and non-hurried day with our small family. We love hanging out with my parents and this crazy crew.

A delicious country breakfast is followed by everyone hanging out in the living room, opening gifts. We always start with the youngest and go to the oldest (although I'm almost 100% sure that it was just the opposite when I was a kid- it seem to take ages for it to ever be my turn).

Things eventually rolled around to the "older" half of the family.

(it really wasn't just a box of cereal)

By the time we got done opening our gifts, the first half of our group mysteriously disappeared (caught watching PBS kids on a hijacked iPhone).

Later that day, one of us was particularly pleased with his Mii development and a little Wii gaming commenced.

It was a wonderfully full Christmas season, on so many levels. I hope each of you had a joyful Christmas as well, and are looking forward to what 2013 has to bring!

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