Christmas still happened even though I forgot to be neurotic about it.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the fact that I had forgotten to be neurotic about Christmas this year. I wasn’t in my usual state of panic, for whatever reason.

You guys are never going to believe this. Christmas still happened anyway.

And it was actually pretty great.

The kids didn’t flip out because we didn’t do Advent activities every day. Our Christmas cards arrived before Christmas (the day before, but who’s counting?).

Sam even got the Legos he wanted.

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It was weird. I felt like I was less prepared than usual, but everything went much more smoothly. I kept my wrapping supplies on the dining room table, and instituted a wrap-as-I-bought policy. I wrapped all the kids’ stuff on Monday, and I didn’t have to stay up half the night on Christmas Eve doing it. That’s a first!

I didn’t bake nearly as much as I normally do, and I don’t think anyone noticed. I made a few batches of cookies (including these, the best cookie recipe ever. Just add crushed candy canes and only bake for 9 minutes. You’re welcome.), but that was about it.

But, despite my lack of freaking out, we had a great Christmas.

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I think there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

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Christmas was Merry. And then the puke started.

cross ornament

Happy Boxing Day! Whatever that means. One of you can educate me in the comments, I’m cleeeaarly not British. But I am hoping that you & yours had a Merry Christmas and made some awesome memories with your families. Ours was good on the whole, but all did not go exactly as planned. Saturday night, the 21st, Jonah started puking his guts out, and had to sit out our family Christmas on Sunday with my side of the family. Bobby stayed home with him while I took the big kids to my parents’ house for presents, grandparents, and cousin time. Unfortunately, this was also going to be Jonah’s family birthday celebration (along with my nephew Alan whose birthday is tomorrow), but Jonah had to miss that too. WAAH! Nevertheless, we had a great time with our family, and when we got home, Jonah was feeling much better and enjoyed opening his presents.

He had fully recovered by Christmas Eve, so we went to our church’s Christmas Eve service, which was awesome, and reminded us all again that the true wonder of Christmas is that God became flesh – can you imagine? To be in HEAVEN, where everything is bliss, and then to all of a sudden be in a dirty world where your bed smells like cow breath and probably worse? It is truly amazing…I enjoyed helping my kids understand this miracle by doing the Truth in the Tinsel advent crafts with them every day in December (ok, we missed a few days of crafting, but we did read ALL the lessons!) The last craft we made on December 24th was the cross ornament above, reminding us that Jesus came not only to be born, but to die as well – for us.

We hustled the kids to bed after Christmas Eve service, and they were SO EXCITED! Here’s Joshua and Sophie on their way up to get in their PJ’s:

Excited about stockings


and Captain Underpants making sure the stockings were hung with care.

Jonah stockings


The Bobby and I wrapped presents, and he ran out to the corner store for bread and chocolate chips (natch) and settled into bed as soon as we could, although we had made the big kids promise to stay in bed til 7:30, you never know how much self-control they are going to be able to exhibit.

Christmas morning they did make it until 7:30 and Jonah woke up at 7:45 so we could get started with presents. They loved their something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read, and bonus gift from their siblings.

Joshua's "something to wear" was this Ironman helmet that makes noises, lights up, and shoot projectiles at you! Awesome.

Joshua’s “something to wear” was this Ironman helmet that makes noises, lights up, and shoot projectiles at you! Awesome.


Sophie heartlake high

Sophie’s “something you want” was LEGO Friends Heartlake High School set.

Jonah was pretty much worn out after stockings though. He liked present-opening on his birthday when it was JUST HIM opening presents and not everyone else, too! So, he did what any aggravated 3-year-old would do: took his pants off and curled up in the fetal position using his stocking as a pillow.

Jonah fetal position

This kid’s life is ROUGH.

After taking forever with presents, we had to eat a hurried breakfast and scramble to get ready to go to my Grandma’s for lunch, and then from there to my other Grandma’s for dinner. This is were we got to meet up with Emily and her family as well as her sister Anna & her family. My oldest brother, sister-in-law, and nephews were there too. (Which BTW? I have really started to enjoy harassing my 16-year-old  nephew on Twitter. Good times!) It was great fun  - more cousins, more presents, more cuteness, Jonah pooped his pants, and then we finally headed home super-weary about 7 pm.

I wasn’t feeling too great at this point, so I went to bed about 8 and my sweet husband put the kids to bed. All was well until 1:15 when Joshua woke me up with “Mom I just had a yucky poop and I feel sick.”

“RUN to the bathroom!” I commanded.

He barely made it in time. And from then on it was up-down, up-down with him until 3-ish when Sophie also came in and reported that she had just puked in the toilet.

Then Joshua was back in, then Sophie again…Bobby bore the brunt of it, and then had to get up for work. I was exhausted, and had to get up and deal with it in the daylight – and hopefully keep Jonah out of it! Today has been pretty rough, I hate seeing my poor babies feeling so miserable.

I’m thankful we got through Christmas and had a great day, but I sure hope my big kids recover QUICK so we can all enjoy their break, and that Jonah doesn’t get it again.

Did YOU have a merry little Christmas? What did your kids get? Besides the stomach flu, mine are both loving their NERF bow & arrows!

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Things I forgot to be neurotic about this Christmas.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me this year, but most of the thing I typically drive myself insane with during this time of the year have pretty much slipped by unnoticed, or done half-assed. It’s not that I’ve been particularly busy – no more than usual, and not like I was two Decembers ago when I was defending my master’s thesis, or three Decembers ago when my grandma had had a stroke.

Nope… nothing out of the ordinary, I’ve just simply just forgotten to worry about:

1) Advent. Evidently, in late November 2010, I was pretty pumped about the Advent activities I had planned for the kids. I even made a fancy calendar thingy.

advent calendar

For the past three years, I’ve filled those cones with treats and promises for special activities. But this year, when we went to get out the Christmas decorations, I discovered that they hadn’t been put away very well last year and were kind of crunched so I threw them away. I was still planning to do Advent things, though, and spent one sleepless night scouring Pinterest for printable calendars and ideas of Random Acts of Kindness we could do each day of Advent. I even made a Google doc with a list. The only problem? I forgot to do them. Yep, you read that right – I forgot to be nice. So that’s good.

2) Christmas cards. Again, something I typically agonize over, and some years I’ve even had professional pictures taken. This year, I had my sister try to take some pictures, but my kids were being super squirrelly. Anna uploaded them and emailed them to me with the message, “Uh, these are pretty not great. Merry Christmas!”

This was the best one, and I seriously considered using it for our cards for about three desperate minutes.


Instead, I spent about 10 minutes making our cards on Snapfish. On Monday. They haven’t even arrived at my house yet, let alone at the homes of the recipients. And, fair warning, if you’re on our Christmas card list AND you follow me on Instagram, they might look slightly familiar.

3) Presents. Now this is pretty bad. Because buying my kids’ presents is pretty much my primary role for Christmas. But, for the longest time I didn’t know what to get Kate, and I figured Sam was easy because he basically just wanted Legos. So I waited. And then I finally went shopping on December 14th.

Do you know what the Lego shelves look like on December 14th? Let me show you.

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It was at this point I started to panic.

Kate and I went to nine stores that day, and between what we eventually found in the stores and the online shopping we did from the parking lots, we manged to get what was on Sam’s list. However, needless to say, I did not score rock-bottom prices.

So anyway, while being a neurotic mess isn’t the best way to spend the holiday season, neither is being a complete slacker. Perhaps next year I’ll find a happy medium?

Somehow I doubt it.

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