When I was a kid, we always had three Christmases. First, we'd go to my dad's parents' house on Christmas Eve. We'd have dinner and go to church (I like Christmas Eve church now, but when you're a kid waiting for presents, it is excruciating), and then back to their house where I'd hide in the back bedroom with my brother and cousins while "Santa" came. In this case, Santa was my grandma. She would always say "Ho Ho Ho" in a sort-of-disguised-but-clearly-Mam-ma voice. Then, we'd open presents and head home to get to bed before the REAL Santa came.
On Christmas morning, we'd open presents at home and have breakfast and play with toys all day. It was great.
Then, in the late afternoon, we'd head out to my other Grandma's house for Christmas Number Three with my mom's family. There would be all kinds of food and cookies and cousins and more presents. Every kid's dream, pretty much.
Even after we moved to Texas when I was 9, we kept close to the same routine, because we'd pack up the family van once school was out, and head to Indiana for the holidays, sometimes in very questionable weather conditions. It must have been a real pain for my parents to have to drag Christmas across the country every year, but that's what they did. I don't think my mom would have enjoyed Christmas very much in Texas without her family around. Christmas is complicated when everyone lives in different places.
Like me, Daphne has three Christmases too. This year, we mixed it up a little bit and went to New York BEFORE Christmas to see Kev's family. It was really nice to see everyone and really fun to go down to the city this time. We had time to do other things too, like take Daphne to the Roosevelt Estate (above), and go to Adam's market to get the best Egg Nog in the world:
Someone - I won't say who - changed around the NOEL angels, as has become a tradition. Usually, it gets changed to LEON, but this year it was LENO. Kevin's mom tries to stop these shenanigans by securing the angels with scotch tape (which you can see in the photo), but really, it's SCOTCH TAPE! She'll have to do better than that.
The kids had fun opening presents and playing outside in the freezing cold on Katie's new pogo stick. It was good for Daphne to practice, because she asked Santa for one of her own.
We came back to VA on the 23rd, and spent Christmas Eve with my family in Manassas. There was good food, a good dog, and more gifts.
Poor Scout had to stay in the other room so she wouldn't try to eat things. She was really good, and I felt sorry for her. She is a good puppy dog.
Daphne got lots of nice gifts, and so did Kevin and I. And nobody had to sit through a never-ending church service or hide in the back bedroom to wait for the Ho Ho Ho. We just got down to business right after dinner. Daphne couldn't have handled any waiting.
Then, we went home and prepared for Santa. Daphne and Kev fed the reindeer, we got the cookies ready for Santa, we read the Night Before Christmas, and I gave Daphne this year's new Christmas PJs (which were finished in the nick of time, more on that later). She was up early, and very excited to see if Santa came.
Looks like he made it!
And he brought Daphne the two things she wanted most: a pogo stick, and a giant dog:
This one is a husky. His name is Balto. He is huge and Daphne loves him.
Then my parents came over for an awesome Christmas breakfast and a few Christmas songs. A pretty great Christmas Trifecta.
Happy New Year, everyone!