Saturday, January 1, 2011

Coolest Christmas Gift

This is how it went down at Chez Organic. We told the kids that Santa had heard about my upcoming operation and decided to visit us early (you know since we'd all been extra good this year), but it shocked them. But then, the realization hit that Christmas would be tomorrow. So wahoo!

We had the traditional "you may open one present before bed, and funnily enough it always turn out to be new pajamas" thing. This is the first year in many that I didn't sew them myself, and guess what, nobody died! Note to self: store-bought is okay.

We have a lot of Christmas traditions, like eating by candlelight the month of December, or counting down the days with fun activities. But the most important is how Christmas Eve plays out. The kids all sleep together and haul mattresses for everyone down to the basement and then they fill up on popcorn, red vines and eggnog watching movies all night. They have a tradition of watching It's A Wonderful Life and Surf's Up! I do not see how surfing penguins ties into Christmas, but it just wouldn't be the same without it.

We let Ty sleep out by the Christmas Tree (mostly so he could tattle if anyone tried to sneak a peek, but also so he might have a gentler waking up). Under that quilt on which their stockings are laid out, is the family present. Santa is quite resourceful and loves to recycle (who knew?), so he found us a steal of a deal on a competition grade Foosball table. It has seen more action than, well...let's just say it gets played a lot.

At our house Santa leaves one present, unwrapped, under their stockings and he never leaves better gifts than mom and dad. Which, I think, is the proper order of things.

When it is time to open gifts, we line them up on the stairs for the traditional picture. Ty used to sit on my or Mr. O's lap, but now that's too painful for him (Ty). I think next year we will wheel his bed up next to the stairs and let the kids crowd around him.

Everyone received some little piece of their heart's desire. The rest of the morning went beautifully. It felt a little like we cheated by having Santa come early, but sometimes you just have to roll with it. There were so many fun gifts exchanged, but two of my favorites are the Ancestry Memory Cards.

One set contains pairs of ancestors, going way back on both my mother's and father's lines

And the other set contains photos from my immediate family, with photos of us as children and adults. See? I've always had these cheeks, no wonder the filipinos couldn't resist pinching them. :)

My mom made 6 sets of these (maybe even 7 so she could have one for herself), these are the types of gifts I love. I can't believe the time and love that went into making these. My mom rocks.

And tomorrow, if my strength holds up (you know, enough so that I can actually get to the point of putting on make-up), I'm going to post a photo of another from-the-heart gift I received. It is so stinkin' cute.
The best part of Christmas was getting to see both of my sisters who live on opposite sides of the continent, and it never feels like they stay long enough.

What was your best part of Christmas, or from-the-heart gift you received?


Deena said...

That family picture cards is such a great idea. Your Christmas tree is beautiful. I hope you are feeling better.

Tebbs Family said...

That Ancestor Game is such a unique and special gift!!! Did your mom send pictures into a company or did she make it up herself? If she did it herself she needs to market the idea and I'll be one of her first customers! Great traditions and I love your decorations...

dalene said...

Great pics (and how cool is it that store-bought is OK?)! And yes, I want to know where your mom got those done. What an awesome gift!

Elizabeth-W said...

Me, too. I would love to hear how she did those!

Kristina P. said...

I have never seen anything like those Ancestor cards! My grandmother would love those.

radioactive girl said...

What a great gift!

I was happy to see that you guys do the pajamas the night before Christmas too. I also love the santa present thing. That is how we do it too.

The from the heart presents are the best. Love it!

Nancy Face said...

I loved reading about your family's early Christmas. It was so heartfelt, and your traditions are very special! Your tree looks so beautiful!

I especially love the Ancestry Memory Cards. They are such a treasure that would mean the world to me (if I received such an amazing gift)!

I loved my handmade gifts from my girls! Lauren made me three beautiful flower brooches! Sierra made me a lovely flower brooch too, as well as surprising me with a duplicate of the fabulous "subway art" sign she had made at Halloween! :)

~j. said...

Are you kidding me with those cards?!? That's awesome.

Santa's gifts are fewer (read: one) than those from parents here, too. As it should be.

Adria said...

I love your traditions and am going to adopt a few of them. The cards are incredible. LOVE them!

Geoffrey said...

You have such fun traditions. We decided that Santa in general is pretty stingy; he leaves nuts, candy, chocolates, coloring books etc in their stockings and that's it. If it doesn't fit in the stocking, he doesn't bring it. The good gifts they get from us, because when they find out Santa isn't real, its not such a big deal to know that all the good stuff you got from the real people that love you instead of magic.

Kimberly said...

Those cards are amazing...I'm in awe. And I love your traditions, especially about Santa not bringing the best gift. I've never liked how he gets all the credit. =P

Happy New Year sweet girl!