Our Christmas this year was really, really good. One of the best Christmases that I can remember having in a long time.
Christmas Eve we all headed into the city to go to the early church service and blessing of the Creche. It was nice to go to the church that I grew up at, everyone remembers me (though I manage to remember alarmingly few names) and everyone ooh'd and aah'd over the girls. The service went well and it was kind of awesome to see Mary doing the things I remember doing as a child at the same service. She was quite proud of the donkey she was given charge of (not a real one, of course) and happily paraded it up the isle. When the time came to set up the creche she put a lot of thought into where the donkey ought to go. She didn't make it through the whole service, but it was pretty special to see her there.
After church we ate supper at my dads place and then hit the highway home. The girls went straight to bed and we got to work cleaning up the house and helping Santa. We got to bed around 11, and everyone slept through the night. Frances woke us up at about 8 in the morning, we got up, changed and fed her and helped her open her stocking. Shortly after 9 I couldn't take it any more and woke Mary up so we could get our day started. She was thrilled to open her stocking and thought the sled was pretty great. After stockings and breakfast cooked by Ian, we went for a nice walk. It was a beautiful day, only about 5 below zero and snowing lightly. We bundled the girls up and plunked them in the new sled. Mary occasionally shouted "Faster, Daddy, Faster!" and we all really enjoyed ourselves. After the walk Mary and I played out in the snow for a while longer, we visited our elderly neighbour, Teeny, and finally took ourselves inside. I had to bribe Mary to come in with a second Kindersurprise Egg.
After a cup of tea and a nap for Frances we settled down to open the mound of gifts under the tree. It was great fun, and every time Ian handed Mary a gift to open she said "Oh! Thank you Daddy!" About halfway through the gifts Mary was pretty much done and told me "No more presents Mummy." After a short break where Ian and I opened our gifts (a squishy bathrobe, a bird book, a gardening in Saskatchewan book, The Princess Bride on DVD!) she was ready to finish off. We were finally done opening the gifts around 1:30 and Frances went down for another much needed nap. We hung out, phoned our mothers, and got ready to head back to the city.
At about 4 that afternoon we piled back in the van and drove to my Dads place. We got to open more presents (another bird book! A STAND MIXER!!!) and we had a lot of fun with my fathers wifes parents and sisters family. It really turned out to be a wonderful evening, lots of fun was had by all, supper was fantastic and the girls were incredibly well behaved. We finally left at 10 in the evening with two exhausted girls and made our way home. Mary fell asleep on the trip home and we couldn't wake her up, but Frances was wide awake when we got home. She hasn't gone to sleep before 9 since that night, which is really the only bad thing about Christmas that I can think of.
I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did. Wish me luck as I prepare for my house to be taken over by a pack of 3 year olds and their parents on Monday!
Twas the night before Christmas....
Festive Baby. She grinned all day long.
Lightening McQueen slipper, toque, mittens, pj's, signed photograph and giant plush doll. She made out like a bandit.