Writing a Christmas post seems so daunting to me. I sat down several times today, each time I failed to type a single word. There is something about the magic that surrounds Christmas, the fact that it only comes once a year, that we are celebrating something so sacred, that makes it unlike anything else we experience. I want so badly to do it justice, I want to look back in 10 years and read the words I have written, look at the accompanying pictures and trigger memories that have been tucked away. I want to remember vividly the image of Braylen waking up on Christmas morning, the first year she really got it. Her unruly curls, her sleepy eyes, her polka dot pajamas, I don’t want to leave out a single detail.
We spent part of Christmas Eve with Allen’s family and for dinner, we spent time with my family. Both times, Braylen stole the show, or made it a show, rather. She sang loudly, her version of her favorite Christmas songs. Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is one. She sang Jingle Bells and got stuck on a never ending loop, each time. And the Hippopotamus song was the crowd-pleaser, by far.
I stopped her just long enough to get an obligatory family photo.
Her excitement level was at an all-time high as she opened her gifts.
And I even managed to squeeze in a picture with my favorite girl.
We talked about Santa on the way back home from Nanny’s house. How we would leave out milk and cookies, and leave out reindeer food for the hungry reindeer. When we got home we quickly changed into Christmas pajamas and left Santa some cookies and milk. Of course, BK tried to sample one before she went upstairs to bed.
We talked about the story of Jesus’ birth, the real Christmas story, and quickly spread the reindeer food in our front yard. Snuggled up, in front of the fireplace we read ‘Twas The Night Before Chrsitmas and she was clear about one thing, Santa does not need to be on our roof. She said goodbye to her elf, Lucy, even though she was a little sad that Santa would be taking her back to the North Pole.
She has been sure about one thing this Christmas, a pink Barbie jeep. It is the one and only thing she asked for and she started asking for it around Thanksgiving. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she never wavered. She never changed her mind and made sure to let Lucy know each day about the Barbie jeep.
This was the first Christmas we didn’t either stay with my parents, or head straight to their house when we woke up. So my parents came over and stayed with us. I was adamant about not wanting Braylen to be rushed on Christmas morning, I didn’t want to spend the day on the road, traveling from place to place. But I still felt a little sad about not spending the morning with my parents. I was so excited when they decided to stay the night with us. My dad and Allen cooked breakfast on Christmas morning for everyone. And family stopped by throughout the morning.
Christmas morning brought tons of questions and funny comments from her inquiring mind, Did Santa take my Lucy? I guess he just used his magic powers to come down the chimney. Why didn’t those reindeer eat all that food? And she thought it was too funny that Santa ate all of the cookies and drank the milk.
Later that day, we had one last place to visit, my other grandparents (my dad’s family). Braylen was without a nap, but she did really good, considering all of the excitement.
And the best picture we could snag of our family on Christmas day.
This Christmas will be one to remember. Allen spoiled me with so many things I’ve had on my “wish list” all year. But most importantly, I felt incredibly thankful and blessed to spend it with my family. To cherish each and every precious moment. To see Braylen’s sweet heart in action and to watch her light up the room with her infectious laugh. Our girl is growing up and I couldn’t be more proud of the person she is shaping into.