Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Prairie Home Christmas Day Celebration

I can hardly believe that Christmas for this year is over and gone.  It just seems like I was putting up the decorations and in a week, it'll be time to take them down!  What a great time we had!  But not only did we have a lot of fun, we also learned a little this season too.  Here's a little peek into our Christmas with our family...

Christmas Eve we had an absolute blast!  This is the first year that I attempted (and succeeded) at making sugar cookies from scratch, for the children to cut out and decorate.  I have been informed that this is now a must each year!

They had such fun rolling out the dough and using the cookie cutters...


decorating (and eating) their creations.


But trying to get a good picture of all them afterward is like attempting to get a clear shot of the Lochness Monster.  LOL!

This was about all that was left out of 7 dozen!  LOL!

Just another day in the life.  HA HA HA!

After we baked and decorated cookies, we had our traditional opening of presents from Scott and I.  We read about the birth of Christ and answered some of the questions they inevitably have about the circumstances of His birth.  Then it was present opening time.  This year we decided to get them books.  Epic FAIL.  Greyson likes his.  Ian had already read his.  Noah had already read his.  Eva liked her Shel Silverstein book, except it wasn't purple (her favorite color).  And Landon...  Well, he said his book was a baby book.  Well, son...  You ARE still a baby.  Guess he doesn't think so.  LOL!  Better luck next year!  :P

Then, we all settled down to watch "A Christmas Story" and the antics of Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB Gun.  We LOVE this movie and have watched it every year since Greyson was about 8.

Finally, it was time to get them settled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums (or rather cop cars, Moxy Girls, XBOX games, and Lord knows what) danced in their heads.  Christmas Eve is the best night of the year for getting all the little stinkers to go to bed at a decent hour.  Within 30 minutes, not one was awake.    YAY!  ;)

After waiting about an hour to be sure they were good and quiet, we ran over to Scott's parents to get the "stash", came back home, and waited another hour just to make good and sure they weren't faking it.  LOL!  When I started pulling the presents out of their bags and grouping them according to who they belonged, I realized we were missing some.  ARGH!  This meant another high speed dash to the in-law's to grab the other presents we had hidden inside their house.  Finally...  At about 12:30am, I was able to commence wrapping.

Fortunately, it didn't take me too long, as their "big" gift was unwrappable (in my world, that is a word).  Finally, Santa Claus had come...


I have to admit I was a little worried this year about how our Santa Claus's presents would be received.  Not only because we I  had declared a technology-free Christmas (which Scott thought was a huge mistake), but also because we had cut our Christmas budget by more than half.  I don't know about y'all, but we often way overspend.  An average Christmas the past few years has usually run us upwards of $1500 and since we buy nothing on credit, this really leaves us hurting the rest of the winter, since our business is seasonal.  This year, since I am often the major buyer of presents, I said enough is enough.  This craziness of trying to out-do what we did the year before had to stop before the only they didn't have yet was a car!  And since I've been seeing a huge case of the "Gimmes" with my kiddos, I knew if we didn't stop now, we never would.  Needless to say, I was totally holding my breath the next morning.

So, the kiddos awoke us bright and early (in which I was zombified as I crawled into bed at 3:30am) the next morning, excited to see what Santa had brought them.  This was a really fun Christmas, as Eva was so "into" the idea of Santa Claus and had really pumped Landon up for it too.  This is really the first year that he understood what was happening.

First, Greyson read a letter from Santa (giving me little eye rolls in the process), while I tried to stifle the giggles from the other two little non-believers with meaningful looks glares.  Then the opening of presents commenced in force:




After they opened all of their presents, they each read out loud a little clue Santa had left tucked inside their stockings...


The younger two of the four just stood there kind of puzzled.  Greyson blurted out, "A vehicle."  Darn good guess.  And then Ian says, "A bike!"  I smile and nod and they all go running for the west door that leads out to the driveway and barrel outside with bare feet and no coats on to see my answer to a technology-free Christmas...


I'm pretty sure it was a hit...



And I totally breathed a sign of relief - and kind of gloated that I had proved Scott wrong.  LOL!

While, I think they were a little disappointed that they didn't come downstairs to the mounds of gifts that they're used to or super expensive, high-priced items we've allowed them to expect over the years, they never said a word.  And you know what?  We're never going back to that.  Ever.  We survived, and dare I say enjoyed a simpler Christmas.  No worries about how we're going to pay our bills for the next couple of months.  No worries about how in the world are we going to out do ourselves the next year.  Just a simple, back to the basics Christmas where the focus is the why we are celebrating, instead of how much we can spend celebrating.  And we also gave our kids a more reasonable expectation for when they become adults themselves, instead of perpetuating a future where they feel the need to out-do and give their children more than what we gave them.

The rest of the day was spent lounging on the couch, playing games, watching movies, and not doing a single thing but enjoying the day.  Needless to say, the living room looked like a tornado went through it...



But we had a blast!

And instead of killing myself cooking our traditional Christmas dinner of ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and the like... And instead of spending the entire day in the kitchen and not being able to enjoy spending time with the kids, I did this instead...


About a simple as it gets:  Paper plates, a roll of paper towels, sweet tea, homemade cocktail sauce, and a great big aluminum pan of Chesapeake Bay Seasoned Spiced Shrimp.  It took less than an hour to prepare:  5 lbs of shrimp, 3 lbs of red potatoes, and 24 ears of corn.  Done.  Ian informed me that this must be the new tradition and everyone else nodded because their mouths were full.  LOL!  Music to a momma's ears!  ;)  Of course, we usually spend Christmas with Scott's family, so this won't be the norm, but I did tell them we would definitely make this our Christmas Eve dinner, if that's what everyone wanted.  LOL!  There wasn't a single bite left after everyone was finished and everyone was stuffed.  No leftovers to deal with either!  SCORE!  ;)

Lesson learned this Christmas:  Sometimes breaking with tradition is a good thing all the way around.  :D

Sooooo, that's how we spent our Christmas....  How was yours this year?


5 comments:

Tanya said...

Wow...looks like a great Christmas! Lucky kids. And, that dinner looks amazing! We did a Roast with Carrots and Potatoes. My kind of dinner...one pot meal :)

Anonymous said...

That shrimp looks yummy! Loved seeing the pics of your kids working on the cookies... my brother and I used to decorate the sugar cookies. I liked it better than he did. Brought back some memories! Glad you guys had a good Christmas!

Dave, Laura, Terry, and I (and maybe Kathryn) are getting together tomorrow night ... too bad you guys aren't around!

Love ya!
Gina :)

Hi I'm Shannon said...

I see you survived ;) The bikes were a hit and I take it the techno-free Xmas went over just fine. You are one smart momma. No sense is buying into all the hype surrounding the holidays. Make it what you want it to be. No rules. Your family is gorgeous! It sounds like you all had a PERFECT day =)

Dan W. said...

I just found your blog today! Somehow, you and 'us' were liked on the same Facebook page.
I really enjoyed this post and I am going to read through more later tonight...AFTER I'm done, I'll show my wife because I know she'll love it even more than me.

Kammy Wielenga said...

Laura, kudos to a technology-free christmas! This was a great read. The last couple years we've bought each of our kids two gifts each from the dollar store! haha. That didn't work this year though....