Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Star Wars Christmas

In no time at all, we found ourselves at my parents' house for my Grandma's Annual Christmas Eve Bash.

My parents like to do this thing where they get surgery for the holidays. Some speculate it's for the pity and attention while my parents claim it's for the extra time off of work to recover. Either way, my Mom had just had surgery on both of her feet, and quickly found herself in good company when my cousin hobbled in to join her at the rest and recovery station.

We had a yummy dinner followed by the annual recital which is as much loved as it is begrudged.

Thankfully the younger generations are proving to have developed more talent than their forefathers  because they brought down the house this year.

Ben and Haley showed their scripture video from our Disneyland Family Home Evening.
It was a kid favorite!

We hurried home to prepare for Santa Clause's arrival! The boys opened up their Christmas jammies.
Eli had been DYING to open up a present. He frequently asked if he could open just one of his presents all month long. He was thrilled when I finally gave him the a-okay to open his first gift a day early. I was nervous he'd throw a tantrum upon opening it and finding it was just filled with jammies. 

As soon as he opened it, his face lit up, and he was genuinely so appreciative of his first gift. Made me even more excited for Christmas morning when he'd be opening toys instead of clothes!
Eli's kindergarten knowledge paid off when he was able to keep a running Christmas list throughout the month of December. See if you can find his interpretation of these words:
Comfy BB8, race car, dinosaur, Fruit Loops, BB8, R2D2, robot, bubblegum, and slinky.
As he saw new toys throughout the month, he made additions. 

My mom fail of the day is that we spent the whole morning making cookies for the Christmas Eve party, and I meant to save a few for Santa, but I totally forgot and kept all the leftovers at my mom's house. Instead of cookies, Santa got graham crackers and a caramel, cereal treat -- with carrots for Rudolph, of course!
The boys didn't seem to mind the glaring lack of homemade offerings for our midnight intruder.

We snuggled in close as we read the story of Christ's birth from the scriptures.
Then the boys picked where they wanted Santa to leave their presents and scurried off to bed.
The thing I love about our annual Christmas Eve party is it wears the kids out so they go right to bed on Christmas Eve and don't wake up too terribly early on Christmas day. Lincoln was actually the first to wake up -- at a very reasonable 7:15 -- cooing and giggling the rest of us awake. 

Eli instantly bolted into our room, happily announcing that Lincoln was his Christmas alarm clock. Carson quickly followed. We had three excited boys bouncing all over our bed squealing, giggling, and nearly hyperventilating with anticipation. 

In true parental annoyance fashion, I continued to torment the boys by announcing I had to feed Lincoln before any of us could leave the room. Jeff proudly announced the dad joke he'd been practicing all month as he gathered Eli and Carson in close, "Alright boys. Do you guys want to do CHORES this morning, or do you want to OPEN PRESENTS?"

The boys are already highly unamused at this version of dad joke.

Faster than the boys could say, "Rudolph broke into our house and ate all of our carrots," the boys were racing out of our room, down the hall, and straight to their designated stocking spaces. 
There was significantly less screaming than anticipating, but there was a lot of quiet back-and-forth comparing, checking, gasping, jumping, and utter awe in the first few moments of Christmas. 

The boys instantly had to dive right in and start playing Star Wars with all their new Star Wars Lego action figures. 
Followed by a few rounds of life-size Star Wars playing once they discovered the Lightsabers Santa brought. 
Lincoln is in a serious stacking phase, so Santa thoughtfully brought Lincoln some stackable cups that kept him very intrigued for quite some time.
The boys were so busy with their Santa haul that we decided to cook a nice breakfast while they were occupied to help prolong the morning before opening the wrapped presents. I had to laugh at Eli living it up and drinking Sprite with his Christmas breakfast.

Here's Carson's Santa haul:
Here's Eli's:
Lincoln's sideways stash:
After breakfast we dove into the presents. Which were admittedly mostly clothes. After a few rounds of new socks, underwear and t-shirts, Eli defeatedly said, "Not another soft one!" each time we threw him a new present to open.

What can I say? I have my mom's sense of practicality, but I also share her desire to prolong Christmas as long as possible. Sometimes that translates into individually wrapping each pair of underwear.

We eventually did get to the last two presents under the tree which were legit, awesome toy presents. Carson got a Minecraft Lego set which alluded to the fact that Eli's present would be... 
Minecraft. Another one of my parents' signature moves. Give little present hints that lead up to the big present. We should have wrapped up an Xbox controller, a cord, and some headphones to really amp up the hints, but we're still learning the art of prolonging our children's Christmas morning anticipation, so this was a one-hint wonder. 
Then we did the old, "Well, looks like that's all your presents kids." Before revealing their most anticipated gift. They nearly ran off to play with their new toys before Jeff quickly reeled them back in, "Oh wait! ... Do I see something in those boxes?!?" 

Boom. Pull out the black boxes to see one last gift tucked away inside them.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a BB8. 
The boys surprised me with their BB8s because I thought they would spend the whole afternoon playing with them on the kitchen floor, watching them roll all around. Instead, they treated their BB8s more as companions than toys. They played with them in the way I expected for about 5 minutes, but then they lovingly toted them around the house and integrated them into their toy playing like they were friends rather than toys. They still sleep with them every night which I find completely adorable.
It was only on the way down to my parents' house that afternoon that I realized we had forgotten to do my parents' last and final signature Christmas move -- completing The Thomas Family Practical Christmas Trifecta -- print out a picture of a gift you intend to give but do not have any physical item to wrap.

We bought the kids "Inside Out," but it was just the digital file. Jeff was like, "How are we going to give a digital movie to the kids for Christmas?" And I was like, "What do you mean? It's easy. You print a picture of it and wrap that up. I've seen it done a million times."

It was then I realized I'd become my parents. 
From the corny jokes to start the day, to the "Let's eat breakfast before presents!" to the millions of wrapped, mostly unwanted practical presents, to the hint-presents leading up to the big present, to the "This is your last present -- PSYCH! -- THIS is your last present!" to the wrap up a picture of a present for a present.

Wouldn't want it any other way.


Kim said...

You have done it again! You have made me laugh and made me cry all in the same post.

Rest and recovery station. Funny! Love the pictures of the three boys sitting in front of the tree. Eli's Christmas list is hilarious--complete with additions. Cute kid putting his newfound knowledge of the letters of the alphabet to good use.

It was touching to have you weave your memories of Christmas into the present time as you celebrate Christmas with your family. My favorite two sentences of your storytelling: It was then I realized I had become my parents...Wouldn't have it any other way.

Love you, my dear daughter who always said when you grew up you would never do things the way I did things. Hmm, maybe I did a few things right...?

LC said...

Ha ha ha. I love this. Your descriptions of everything crack me up. Jeff's dad joke cracked me up. How have we slid into these cheesy roles so easily?! I also enjoyed hearing about the ways you have become your parents. I have been noticing a lot of qualities surfacing in myself lately that are completely my parents. It is weird and great at the same time. Fun presents for your kiddos and they look so cute in their matching jammies!!!
Miles would fit in well at your house. Everything they got he would gladly accept for himself.
My only question about this post is what did your family do for the talent show?!

Rebecca said...

Haha. You nailed every Thomas family Christmas tradition. Love it!

Kenzman said...

This was adorable. Your parents sound like they were pros when it came to Christmas, so you seemed to learn from the best. Looking at the photos, I was shocked. They are getting so big I hardly recognize any of them! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!?!