Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Wonderful Christmas Time

My brother Jacob was appalled to learn we were not a Christmas card giving family. I've simply never felt the need to dazzle my loved ones' mailboxes with pictures of our family when everyone who I'd send a letter to already reads our blog. So mostly I made this as a joke just to give my brother...but then it turned out so cute that I ended up sending it to all my family. And friends. And even threw it on with our neighbor gifts at the last minute. I guess you could say Jacob converted me to the world of Christmas cards.
On Christmas Eve we went over to my parents' house for the traditional monthly party -- Christmas style!
We had a little program that was so fun -- especially when my mom got all the kids accompanying her on bells while she played Jingle Bells on the piano.
The bells proved to be a fun toy throughout the week. And surprise! We had a little Newland boy pop in for the week. My boys love Newland so they were excited to see their Californian cousin.
After the program, we made our way back to our house to get ready for Santa to come.
Due to a few recent happenings, we needed some evidence to recommit Eli to the idea of Santa Claus. We left the traditional cookies, milk and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve, and when the kids woke up in the morning, two cookies were gone and so were all of the carrots except half of one.

The boys could not believe it! RUDOLPH CLEARLY CAME INTO OUR HOUSE because he left behind a half-eaten carrot. They were cracking up all morning as they imagined how Rudolph got into our house, and whenever anyone asked about their Christmas, the first thing they would say is that Rudolph was in our house. It was a big hit and was just what we needed to convince Eli that Santa is real.
Here's Carson's Santa stash.
And Eli's.

I was worried this may be the first year that Christmas excitement would wake my kids at an unreasonable hour but they slept in past 7:00 Christmas morning! It was awesome! Eli caught a glimpse of a few things downstairs as he was walking across the hall to our room after he woke up and it took all Jeff's energy to keep Eli contained in our room long enough for me to go to the bathroom and wake up Carson.
Then the squeals of glee filled our home.
Santa couldn't let the Thomas tradition of baby cereal boxes die just yet.

Eli was brainwashed into thinking he wanted a "semi full of cars." What do you know?!? Santa delivered!
Carson was pretty excited about his new tractors.

After a mini cereal box breakfast, we started ripping open the presents under the tree. Here are the boys opening up their sock monkeys.
The sock monkeys weren't initially a hot item with Rescue Bot action figures and tractors to compete with. We left Christmas afternoon to go to my parents' house and got home super late Christmas night. Eli was in bed half asleep and started saying something from his room right after we put him to bed. Jeff went up to find Eli was requesting his sock monkey to sleep with. Victory!
The only time I despise Natural Ice chapstick is when it slips into a load of laundry and splotches a whole batch of clothes. Unfortunately, this happened a few weeks before Christmas and Jeff's favorite Dodger's shirt got the brunt of the stains. I felt the need to replace his shirt, and Christmas was the perfect time to do it!
I am a self-proclaimed terrible gift giver. I am the worst. It agonizes me to try to think of gifts people would like. Especially when it is someone who I should know really well and be able to easily come up with a gift for them. For example, my husband.

Well, this year I wanted to be sneaky and surprise Jeff with something. What would he like? I racked my brain for days when finally I had the idea to gift him a date night. I would arrange to have my mom watch the boys and have a scheduled date already picked out and ready to go. But what would we do??

I finally landed upon the idea to take him to a Jazz game. He loves the Jazz! Guys love sports! This is awesome! I have found the best gift of all time! I took the plunge and bought the tickets.

The day after I bought the tickets, we were down in Cedar City for Thanksgiving. We don't have cable at our house, so Jeff loves to watch sports with his dad when we are down there because it's the only time he has access to them. As luck would have it, a Jazz game was on. Halfway through the game, Jeff turned to me completely unprovoked and said, "You know, I just don't like basketball like I used to."

I tried to change his mind, "Oh really?!? I thought you LOVED basketball!" Mind you, I am terrible at masking my feelings, so I was giggling uncontrollably at my secret that I had just uncharacteristically bought him tickets to a Jazz game. The giggling got him worried.

"Oh no. You didn't me a bunch of basketball gear for Christmas did you?" He questioned. I confidently shook my head. Then he threw this out to me, "Yeah, I don't know what it is. I used to love basketball, but I just don't care about it anymore. Maybe it's cause the Jazz suck this year."

The uncontrollable giggling went on. It was just too good. Here I thought I had the perfect gift and he was unknowingly already telling me how much he hated it. Ha. And it was so funny but I would have to wait a whole month before we could laugh about it together.

And that, D. Jeffery Excell is why I will continue to never gift anything to you again for the future of forever.

Anyway. Back to the boys opening up all their presents. Jeff found a steal of a deal on Black Friday for scooters so we got one for each of the boys. Eli loves to try out the neighbors' scooters, so I'm excited to see how much he likes having one of his own this summer.
Our last big gift of this year was a tub o' Legos. As soon as Carson could tell that it was Legos beneath the wrapping paper, he shouted, "I'm going to be a master builder!" Can you tell The Lego Movie was our favorite movie of 2014?


Kim said...

Funny Jazz story. Hopefully you will remember the fun time you actually did end up having on your Jazz date?

Love the master builder comment.

Rebecca said...

Santa got Rolo cookies?! Why did you not bring me any?

Look at Eli writing letters! Preschool must be paying off.

Your Christmas looked fun. I love the pictures of the boys in front of the tree.