Okay January 11th, and we are going back to Christmasland. Our holiday memories are some of my favorite posts to look back on, so they will always be documented. Besides, having a three year during this Christmas season made it the best one yet! We are in that sweet spot that is full of magic and belief. 3-6 year olds have such a strong desire to believe in everything, and it is contagious. I want to enjoy these years and make each Christmas as special as possible!
This Christmas Eve we started a new tradition: iceskating at the Olympic Oval. We have recently started to take advantage of all the old Olympic venues near us, and this one did not disappoint. We met some friends at the rink for a couple hours of wide smiles and unstable feet. The Oval has walkers to help the early skaters; this makes all the difference. Liam was very skeptical at first (this was only his second time skating ever), but he quickly gained confidence. He & his friend Malin were trying to race each other; a little competition kept them both motivated. It may have taken at least 10 minutes to make it around the oval each time, so our speed skating has room for improvement! Finn obviously stayed on the sidelines and just cheered big brother on. No gold medals were earned, but we'll keep at it!
The day somehow flew by as all holidays now do (especially with two kids). We all showered and dressed and scrambled to get ourselves to Church a bit early to snag a seat. Apparently 15 minutes early was nowhere near early enough. Not even close to enough. Not even enough for some prime standing room space. But I was determined to get a spot... We squeezed in a pew where we had no business squeezing and had to hold both boys on our laps. It was hot, crowded, and no one was having it. Uncomfortable doesn't even describe it. By the time communion rolled around, every single person was putting on their coat to sneak out early. We followed suit... Normally our boys are complimented on their good behavior during Church; not so much this time! We left frazzled, but some spiked egg nog later and we were back to our jolly selves!
Once home Finn was ready for his last sleep before Santa's arrival. He's the odd one in the family who likes to be in bed promptly before 7pm. While I put down the littlest, Conor & Liam cooked up a seafood feast! King crab legs has become our Christmas Eve dinner tradition. Liam rushed us through dinner, so we could watch one last Christmas movie (Prep & Landing) and then prepare for Santa. He insisted Conor take the glass off our fireplace (how else would Santa get in?) and we left him our very last two sugar cookies & milk. Liam's excitement became my own. I could not wait for morning!
Once both boys were asleep, I filled the stockings while Conor set up Liam's gondola. This was the big one! The big gift that would make him gasp! Liam has become obsessed with gondolas recently. He loves to ride the one at Snowbird, asking to go all the time. One day he spotted a toy gondola while we up at the resort. I knew that is exactly what Santa would be bringing. For the most part, he had forgotten about it over the month before Christmas, so I knew he would be truly surprised.
Finn woke up first Christmas morning, so the two of us
not so patiently waited right outside Liam's room for him to wake. Liam had somewhat forgotten it was Christmas... He asked if he could open up his advent calendar for a chocolate. I reminded him they were all gone and finally he remembered it was Christmas!!! I took a quick picture of my excited boys at the top of the stairs (per my own childhood tradition), while Conor made sure Santa had arrived. Liam raced down the stairs and stared at his new gondola in awe. He seems confused at first, but then was instantly in love. It was that perfect gift that he didn't know he wanted!!! My Christmas was made at this point, but we still had the whole day ahead.
Our morning was filled with happiness. I often found myself sitting back and taking in the moment. My family having their own Christmas morning. It was hard for me to believe that I was even old enough to be sitting there with two kids and being the parent who got to put together Christmas for my own family. A nearly surreal moment. I felt as much like as a kid as I ever had. Conor & I shared many smiles. There was just so much joy!
We opened presents one at a time, which made the morning last. It slowed down everyone (especially an anxious toddler) and allowing us to appreciate each moment. Finn enjoyed all the wrapping paper & ribbon, among a few toys that kept his little hands busy. It was a perfect morning that I never wanted to end. But that afternoon, we had a flight up to Spokane to keep on celebrating with my family. It was hard to pack up our things and leave behind all our new Christmas goodies, but time celebrating with family was even better!