This year we decided to go with a simple Christmas. We didn't want it to be huge and crazy but simple with a focus on Christ. So.... here is what happened.
Christmas Eve we planned to visit the grandparents but Paul and Collin both complained about their stomachs hurting and after a week of the stomach bug we decided to play it safe and stay home. We watched the Christmas story videos put out by the church.They can be found here. Then, Paul and I waited for the kids to go to bed to welcome Santa. But, after Ryanne went to bad, Collin asked us the dreaded question, "Is Santa real?"
I couldn't lie to him and Paul and I had decided a long time ago that if our children asked the question then we would answer it honestly. So, I talked to him about how Santa was once real. He was a man who wanted to follow Christ's example and give to others so he gave to everyone and then he died. Now moms and dads all over the world leave gifts in the name of Santa to help bring in some of that Christmas magic. I told him he couldn't tell anyone b/c then the magic won't be fun for others anymore. That's when I gave him Ryanne's stocking stuffers and let him play Santa for her. He thought it was so fun. Paul and I have decided that when the kids know the truth then they get to be "Santa" for the other one. ;)
Okay, back to our Christmas. Christmas morning the kids were allowed to look in their stockings.
We had our traditional breakfast of monkey bread. My normal recipe is packed up in storage so I found a new recipe that said for me to leave it on the counter all night to rise... well, that didn't go so well...
Then the kids talked to Nana and Papa in Wyoming on the phone. There was no complaining of upset tummies so we went to church at 10:30 for the one hour Christmas program. Afterwards we came home to leftovers from breakfast for lunch. We were waiting for Mimi to open the gifts.
Finally, around 2pm Mimi arrived and it was time to open gifts.
Collin received a Giant Book of Cool Stuff, pajamas, a stuffed bear (from Nana and Papa), a box of science experiments (from Aunt Sylvia), a lego set, carnivorous plant kit, a couple of books - one about stars and the other about volcanoes (from Mimi), church shoes, homemade pillow mattress and a planetarium projector (from us).
Ryanne received magnetic dress up dolls, pajamas, a doll (from Nana and Papa), a weaving dress up set (from Aunt Sylvia), a first laptop, Angelina Ballerina book, a coloring kit (from Mimi), a mosaic magnetic shapes kid, hair supplies, and a homemade pillow mattress (from us).
Together they also got the game "What's in Ned's Head?" LOL! Such a funny game. A little creepy but fun.
They got a lot of gifts... more than I expected but that's okay. All the gifts are things that they'll play with and enjoy and not the type of gifts that will get pushed to the back of the closet and never seen again.
Now, for our simple Christmas dinner -- chili and cornbread. Yeap, that's it. To make it even simpler, I made it in the crockpot. I got everything read Christmas even and stuck it in a container in the fridge. Christmas morning I dumped it in the crockpot and it was ready when it was time to eat. Super simple. Loved it!! :) I think the whole family liked the simple Christmas plan. I think we'll continue with it. We also made pecan pie and the kids were in charge of the chocolate chip cookies. :)