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December 29, 2008


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We had a great Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve with my husband's family. Christmas day, all of my family that is in Georgia came to my house (2 of my brothers still live out of state, one in Texas, one in Lafayette, Indiana).

We had a few new family members at Chrismas this year, grandbaby Chloe, and my youngest brother's fiance' and her 3 kids.

My daughter Alex has had some pretty serious surgeries in the past 2 years, including a 12 hour surgery in St. Louis in March of this year, but is doing much better now.

It was a great Christmas!!!!

I've always told my kids the truth about Santa Claus, but at age 7, my oldest steadfastly believes anyway. Santa gives them whatever I decide as I'm wrapping the presents on Christmas Eve! This year he gave them the stocking stuffers, which were art supplies and Bakugans.

Our Christmas season was similar -- it seemed like it just wasn't long enough and we didn't do as much as we wanted. We did do quite a bit of what I wanted.

I spent my Christmas in the hospital with my 3 month old. Well, not all my Christmas, just from lunch on Christmas Day until Saturday. And then I still had to come home and clean up all the Christmas stuff all over the house. Not the best Chritmas ever.

I never realized until I became a parent that Santa Claus was controversial. I always knew different religions celebrated in other ways, which didn't necessarily include Santa. When I think back on my childhood, the best Christmases were the anticipation of Santa Claus. The lousiest was the first year I knew the truth. I'm curious about how parents decide not to include Santa and how those kids feel growing up. I'm not trying to start any controversy here, I'm just curious.

We had a fairly good Christmas with my family. AJU5 was asleep when they all arrived, so she missed the first half of the present opening. And then, like Kara, she wasn't interested in opening her own things. Then on Saturday we did a mini birthday party of her and her cousin (whose birthday is also in December). She was a little more interested in opening her presents then. When we got home last night, she had another present from my husband's side of the family, and she actually enjoyed opening it!

As for Santa, we are thinking about not doing it. We will explain the story to her and all, but we aren't big Santa people.

Nothing more appropriate than to see Kara the book girl get books on Christmas! She must have been in seventh heaven! I love her jammies, too.

I remember feeling as you did this year, the year I was very largely pregnant with Jack. It's not easy to be in such a state during the holidays, with half the energy and even less of the ability thanks to an awkward baby belly. Next year should be a smashing success for you guys, though, and I swear it only gets better from there!

We always give a few presents from Santa/Rudolph/The Elves, and the rest from Kevin and I. Can't give the fat man ALL the credit!

Our Christmas was pretty good. The days were spread out more this year and both my husband and I had off of work all week (how nice is that?). We had the Eve at my parents' house, then Christmas morning here at home... well, the whole day, actually. Then on Saturday we went to my in-laws' for celebration there.
Like you, we got a late start. The tree wasn't up until two weeks before Christmas, I did all the shopping but NEVER felt like wrapping anything and explaining Advent to the kids was hard when we were skipping church.
I think we decided not to lie to the kids about Santa and they're OK with that. They're homeschooled, so they don't get all hyped up by other kids talking about Santa (I assume). But I was sure to tell them that it's important not to tell other kids Santa's not real (which I learned from Jessica of Kerflop/Balancing Everything). I've never taken them to get their picture with Santa, either. With my oldest, he was always leery of Santa at the mall and I didn't want to scare him. Not to mention it's expensive! So I haven't done it at all.

My Christmas was broke yet merry :) We decided not to exchange gifts with anyone this year, so Christmas was focused on enjoying spending time together. I'm glad your Christmas was good, and good luck navigating the whole Santa Claus thing next year! My husband is a no-Claus kind of guy and I was raised emphatically pro-Claus. It should get interesting...

We visited BOTH sets of parents! It was fun, but exhausting. Dean and his cousin had a joint early birthday party and spent the rest of the week in matching outfits. (Go look at the pictures on my blog if you need a good giggle! They look like they escaped from a candy cane factory!) Like Kara, Dean was most interested in his books. He also got a cool wagon. We did a few presents from Santa so we'd have picture proof that the fat man in red came to visit him his very first Christmas.

Looks and sounds like you had a really great day as a family!
In terms of Santa at this house we do stocking stuffers and one gift from Santa- a big something that is unwrapped and put together so it is the first thing the kid sees. This was how they did it when he was a kid. I think this will be our tradition in the coming years. It was fun.

Life moves at a great speed. However, red PJs are the best for this season of the year. Time is change and change it does all the time. Keep on keeping on.

I've been thinking about the whole Santa "debate" lately. At our house we include him - and he does stockings and maybe a gift. A friend of mine had grown up with Santa and wanted to include him in their holidays, but her husband was pretty shook up as a child when he learned the truth. So they compromised telling their kids about St. Nicholas and saying those guys in the big red suit celebrate him and giving. They don't feel that they are lying that way. We'll see how it turns out. I haven't really decided what to do in our family. Our daughter is Kara's age, so I've got some time.
Our Christmas was great! We just moved across the country so it was a little family affair, helping Miriam rip off the wrapping to get to her loot. Glad you had such a nice holiday!

Okay, those pictures of Kara with Luke are adorable.

When did she grow up?

We had a busy Christmas season- you never feel like you get a chance to sit and enjoy it when you're chasing two little buggers! We spent Xmas eve at the in-laws from 10am til 3pm, church from 3:15-4:45 (I do not recommend this with a 1 and 3 year old) and 5-6:30pm with my husbands extended family. Then we went home, jammied up and gave them the presents from us, put them to bed way too late, then had a glass of wine while we assembled Santa's gifts. X-mas morning we got up, took the "anticipation/bed-head picture" on the stairs and let the kiddos loose on their (unwrapped) Santa gifts under the tree and stockings. We took the morning to relax with Christmas omelets and mimosas (um, us not the kids), then headed to my mom's from 1-9pm. PHEW!
In my family, when we started to question Santa, we were told he came until we didn't believe anymore- needless to say I still hang my stocking every Christmas! I certainly never thought of my parents as liars for injecting a little magic into my childhood.
Glad your Christmas was peaceful- as always Kara and her jammies are too cute!

Our Christmas was (to quote Larry David) pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

We hosted Christmas Eve at our house. We figured we would keep up this tradition. My brother and I laid out quite a spread. We went for a Southern food theme...home-made fried chicken, collard greens, grits and red-eye gravy, chicken fried steak, peach cobbler and more. We could have fed an entire Confederate division with it.

We, as you may imagine, had a bit of a rough time of it this year. We did have fun and enjoyed each other's company a great deal.

Our Christmas was great- a crazy 5-day whirlwind of visiting everybody, parties, etc, but a lot of fun. Maggie was totally into the present-opening this year (she's even still today asking 'Present?' and looking towards the Christmas tree)

Just wait till next year when Kara 'gets it'- it's so much freaking fun.

And this is a beautiful and wonderful family of three. Next year should great fun. With Baby Brother not quite one and Kara already two, the Christmas of 2009 will be a memorable one too.

You wer correct - everyone it seems had that red snowman wrapping paper this year!

I never knew there was a Santa controversy. I thought everyone told their kids about Santa. I "knew" about him long before my grandparents stopped giving me gifts from him. The year my grandpa accidently wrote their names on the tag instead of Santa's was rather traumatic, even though I knew long before...It seemed like a defintely sign of growing up.

And apparently from the comment I just made, I cannot spell either!

I never thought there was a Santa controversy either. My parents had so much fun with Santa! For the whole month leading up to Christmas my Mom would tell me that Santa's elves were hiding out in our house, making sure we were behaving. That story is kind of creepy in hindsight.

My favorite part of Christmas was setting out cookies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. I believed in Santa until I was 10, when my neighbor friend who was a whole year younger brook the news to me. Upon finding out, it made perfect sense that there was way Santa could logically exist. How could one sled possibly fit all the toys for all the children in the world? And why bother with Toys for Tots? Wouldn't Santa take care of all the poor kids? I sort of felt like a fool for believing. But I think I believed as long as I did because I really wanted to believe. After learning the truth, I was a little traumatized. Christmas was not the same, and the magic wasn't recaptured until I had a child of my own.

Since my kid is only 23 months old, we did set out the cookies for Santa (along with Rudolph's carrot), and on Christmas Eve we tracked Santa on the NORAD web site. At some point, I'm not sure when, I will explain to her that Santa is a actually a concept - the spirit of giving - and not a live person. Then I will explain that since describing an abstract concept to very young children is difficult, Santa as a mythical person was invented.

Apart from the call from my Grandmother at 6:15 Christmas morning saying she was going to the hospital with chest pains, no obvious issues, but she is now on blood pressure med's to keep it down and doing really well, Christmas was pretty good. Cooked & ate too much food, opened presents closer to 11 than 10, and enjoyed having my parents around to help when they weren't at the hospital. Not what was expected, but still good in many ways.

My parents were always very careful to wrap presents from Santa in different paper (usually with Santa's on it) than the gifts they were giving. It's not something I remember noticing, but it was/is a big deal to them. My family also did an organized entry into the living room with the tree, oldest to youngest, and not until after showers were taken and breakfast had been eaten. No sneaking in to get my stocking for me. They did make up for it with a separate small stocking hanging off my bed that Santa filled while I was sleeping, so that I did have something fun to play with (or occupy me) until the grand reveal. This continued through the Christmas before I was married, and really meant a lot to me so I want to continue it.

It will be interesting to see how my husband's family traditions and mine blend once we have kids.

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