There was much anticipation for Christmas this year, but mostly on my end. Starting in early November, I was pretty excited to find Evalee some toys that would make her eyes on shine on Christmas morning. I made lists; I read reviews; I searched toy catalogs; I did everything I could to choose just the right things to put under the tree. And I had a blast. This year was the first year she had definite interests and preferences, so it was exciting to consider her personality and find things that I knew she would love. Last year was more of a guessing game. So, in that spirit the Christmas music and even a couple Christmas movies found their way out of their boxes before that day after Thanksgiving deadline. Next year I'm going to try really hard to stick with my rule, but we'll see how it goes.
Christmas began on Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandma was a little worried when Grandpa had mentioned the night before that he had "some shopping to do" and wasn't sure when he'd be home, but thankfully he showed his true manly spirit by buying the gifts he needed and washing his car before 11:30 a.m. We had a very nice dinner on Great-Grandma Evelyn's plates for the very last time in Grandma and Grandpa's current dining room (God-willing). When most of the dishes were done and things settled down, we gathered around the tree for presents. Evalee was pretty interested in tearing open her packages right from the start, but her nap loomed above her head and a couple presents in the tired set in. We elected to simply set her gifts aside and let her open them after her nap. We received lots of nice things -- Travis got some much needed new shoes and clothes and I got a stand mixer, among lots of other great things. Grandma also surprised us (sorta, haha) with another year's membership to one of our favorite places, the zoo. Eva can wave to the elephants for another summer to come. After her nap, Evalee opened the rest of her presents. She was very excited to see her Sesame Street bus from Uncle Eric, her Cinderella carriage from Grandma and Grandpa, and her princess pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa. In fact, she immediately put the pajama pants on over her jeans and proceeded to wear them for a good half hour.
Before we knew it, it was time for a quick leftover dinner and to get ready to go to the church service. Evalee wasn't too excited to put her big fluffy dress on, but she loved swishing it around once it was on. We sat right behind my cousin Abby and her family, so Eva was delighted to get to hug and pet little Drake once again. I'm sure he doesn't remember his stay with us back in the summer, but Eva sure didn't forget about the little cuddlebug. While Drake sat contented in his mother's lap in front of us, Eva was nothing but rambunctious through the whole program. She hopped from one lap to another, waving and calling, "Hiiiiiiii!!" to familiar faces behind us and trying to rally up impromptu carol singing, toting her heavy hymnal along with her. Although it did serve for some warm-hearted laughs around us, I'm hoping we have a bit more well-behaved 2 year old on our hands next year. Who knows, she may even find herself up on stage to sing by then!
After church it was a quick trip to Aunt Billie's to see all the familiar faces of her rough and rowdy Christmas Eve bunch at the bar. We stayed long enough for a drink and some laughs (and long enough for Eva to torture another baby with all her love pats) before heading out to get our little one to bed for Santa.
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