This Christmas

There are no photos that can tell the story of what Christmas has meant to me this year. Cameron will be four in less than a week and Olivia is 19 months old. My babies are growing up and this Christmas it really showed.

Our Christmas is filled with traditions. On Christmas Eve, Cameron and I baked cookies while Olivia napped. We usually bake sugar cookies and frost them, but this year Cameron told me, "Santa likes chocolate chip cookies better." I really can't argue with that. Plus, they are much easier to make, in my opinion. Cameron was a great helper, pouring the milk, stirring and eating chocolate chips!

We spent Christmas Eve day playing and snuggling and watching Christmas movies (Wall-E is a Christmas movie, did you know that?) When Olivia woke up we tasted the cookies to make sure Santa would enjoy them. We looked at the nativity set and talked about the birth of Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas. Cameron kept interrupting, "When did Santa visit Jesus?" I think he'll get it when he's a little older.

Every year my parents spend the night. This year, my Dad had to work, so it was just my Mom. At bedtime, we went outside an sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn (a first, but a new tradition) and then set out the cookies and milk for Santa. Of course, we couldn't set out the cookies without tasting one more. And, please, don't tell Santa that Olivia dropped the cookies three times on the walk from the kitchen to the living room ;)

Finally, I always read "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." This year, though, Cameron asked if I could read two books, and I obliged. His choice? "Merry Christmas, Stinky Face". A true classic indeed! Then it was off to bed. The two exhausted little cherubs were asleep by 7:15 and then it was time to put out the gifts and fill the stockings. Part of my gift was an overhaul to the playroom. We moved the play kitchen into the real kitchen where their "new" table and chairs was set up (Bought on craigslist and refinished by Damien). I turned the closet into a little reading nook and displayed "old" toys on shelves to bring them back to life. I completed this transformation before midnight (two hours after Damien went to bed). My Mom was knitting this whole time, re-taught by me, but that is a blog post for a later date!

Cameron woke up at 1 a.m. I knew this because Olivia was tossing and turning and keeping me up. Or was it the anticipation of Christmas morning that caused my restless slumber? Cameron asked for water, which we gave him. I was waiting for him to ask if Santa came, but he never did. He stayed awake for a good hour, just looking around the room in the dark and never uttered a peep. I wonder what he was thinking. Was he thinking about Santa and if he would hear him on the roof? Was he thinking anything at all? Maybe how thirsty he was... I'll never know. I didn't want to ask, because then I might have had to explain why 1 a.m. was too early to get up and check to see if Santa came.

6 a.m. Olivia is awake and now Cameron will not wake up. Not even when I whispered that Santa came. Not even when I whispered that Grampa came. I didn't want Olivia to go downstairs before Cameron, so I turned on Frosty the Snowman to keep her entertained. It worked. I went downstairs to make coffee.

Around 6:30 they both came down the stairs. Olivia was having trouble opening the door, so Cameron opened it from behind her, which caused Olivia to fall through the doorway onto he floor. She crawled the rest of the way into the living room. The excitement on Cameron's face was priceless. "What's that?" he said of his artist's easel in the middle of the room. "That's yours, from Santa." Olivia just stood looking a little confused until we told her that the baby in the cradle was her new baby from Santa. It was instant love and she has only put her down a few times since that moment.

Cameron and Olivia opened their stocking gifts. Play silks, little wooden boats and mice, new diapers for Olivia, new wooden cars and a wooden snake for Cameron, some kitchen utensils to share. Cameron was as excited for his new underwear as he was for the watch that he asked Santa to bring him.

Next, Cameron walked to the playroom and said, "Hey, it's clean in here!" We asked him to check and see what Santa did with his kitchen set and lead him into the kitchen to discover their new table and chairs. Olivia has been sitting there to eat her snacks and meals and feed her baby ever since. Cameron is enjoying having a space to sit without having to climb up on really old stools that are falling apart.

Every Christmas morning we make a big, giant breakfast, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Uncle Wit surprised us with a visit due to an ankle injury and spent the rest of the day with us. We don't make a big, elaborate dinner. We snack on leftover Chinese food from Christmas Eve, crockpot treats, baked goods from our generous pastry baking friends, and new this year, a vegetarian corn chowder.

After breakfast, we open the rest of the gifts under the tree. Diapers and clothes for the baby doll, board games, a new wooden truck, clothes and shoes. Then, the rest of the day is ours to enjoy however we please. My Mom and I knitted a lot. Heck, I might as well talk about that now, because I think it will become a new favorite thing at Christmastime. I taught my Mom to knit and she has been knitting a doll blanket for Olivia. She is really enjoying herself and I am loving having someone to knit with. It's so nice to sit and chat with my Mom. We can appreciate each others' projects, laugh at our mistakes, and just enjoy each others' company. Mom and Daughter doing something they love to do... together, the way knitting should be done. I enjoyed that this Christmas.

Some of my other favorite memories of this Christmas include:
  • Cameron telling me I need to get a watch, "but you need to learn how to tell time first. I know how to tell time, that's why I got a watch."
  • Olivia dancing to us singing "Frosty the Snowman" over, and over and over and over... until we had to tell her "Stop!"
  • Wit on crutches.
  • Olivia counting to ten in the playroom when she thought no one was paying attention.
  • Olivia realizing Damien was videotaping her counting to ten, and instead of saying "Ten" said "Cheese!"
  • Cameron drawing snowmen on his new easel.
  • Olivia dressing and undressing her baby, pushing her around in her stroller, and putting her in her bed to sleep.
  • Cameron's new interest in his "old" toys.
  • My husband in his new "Major Award" leg lamp t-shirt.
  • Olivia singing "Frosty the Snowman" in her sleep and then waking up in a full-on tantrum.
AND ESPECIALLY the joy and love that was shared in my house today. Thank you family. Merry Christmas to my family near and far. I love you all!


  1. I LOVE this update. So precious.

  2. That was a great post! It sounds like you guys had a great Christmas.

    Merry Christmas and we'll see you tomorrow!

  3. What lovely memories! Sounds like you had a wonderful day!

    Merry Christmas :)


  4. What nice memories. I am glad you had a nice Christmas. Happy 2009!


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