Christmas this year was awesome! It was very relaxing and non-stressful! Which I know most of you reading might be thinking stressful?? Unfortunately Christmas had become a holiday when you go broke, stress about what you want to buy, then finding it, hitting sales, and doing last minute shopping! Well this year was so mostly none of that! I started shopping in October, a lot of Ebay and early sales at Target! Target just may have been my favorite place to shop this year. They had great sales EVERY week! Ebay is still on top of the list though. I had a few items I couldn't get to the right stores for good sales, and then they were sold out! So I found those things brand new on ebay, all with FREE shipping! =o) What is better than that! Shop from home, for free! Plus I ended up saving money on ebay, which left my budget bigger! Woo hoo, always a plus!!
Every Christmas Eve, we spend it at my sister Kathleen's house. She is married with a daughter who is 11! It became a tradition years ago and we have stuck to it even now! I love it! I don't get to see my sister so much during the year, b/c we both have such busy lives! So this is always a guaranteed visit! She cooks dinner and we exchange presents between the kids! This is actually the 1st year Michael got to join us! Normally he has to work Christmas Eve :( But luckily this year it all fell on his off days! That meant a lot to me, b/c I always like having Michael with me, I hate going places with all the kids without him. Usually b/c he has to work. I feel guilty having a good time while he is slaving away at work! So that made it extra special to have him there this year! Dinner was delicious as usual! And kids enjoyed their gifts, as usual!
There was a moment when I could have taken Abigail out back and beat her (just a figure of speech! wouldn't actually do it) Abigail has this problem with always wanting to the be the best, and have the most. At some point while opening gifts she had convinced herself Aaliyah had gotten 1 more gift than she had. (which she did NOT) SO OF COURSE she had to ask. I hate that she is like that. I know she is spoiled and has ALWAYS been, and I know she is only a child. But I wish she would be more understanding of the true meaning. Makes me feel like a bad mommy! We talk about it all the time. I tell the story of Christmas ALL the time. I explain how we give gifts to show love to one another and it doesn't matter what you get or how much that we should be appreciative of what we have, and pray for those who have less. BUT Somehow she doesn't seem to get it. But I am determined to teach her. I like that I am able to get my kids nice things, but I do not like that it teaches them the gimme gimme gimme attitude! That is actually one of my goals this year. To make my kids earn things, instead of giving them everything!! Well I went WAY off subject! Anyhoo, Christmas Eve was a success as always! Girls got changed into their new pj's and slippers (SO funny, I bought my niece pj's and slippers, and they got my girls the same!!) we took a few photos, but Maggie was getting sleepy and did not cooperate! But I have to share them anyway!
And so Santa and Mrs. Claus get to work!
Mrs. Claus was not so smart in one department. WRAPPING! I did not remember to wrap anything! I had to do it ALL on Christmas Eve! Was up to 3 am, wrapping and putting things together with Michael. But it was 'kinda' fun. Just exhausting!
This year the girls had small list, seeing that they have just about everything under the sun already! But they did NOT have a game system. At first they wanted a Wii, but I kind of talked them into not asking for one, b/c Abby also wanted a Nintendo DSi, and Aaliyah wanted a Leapster Explorer. I thought a Wii would be TOO much. I want them to appreciate what they have, and too many big items like that would be spoiling them sour! I did really good finding DSi on sale at Target for $109..or $119? idk.. lol I forget, but I know it was one of those. Which is really good, bc they retail normally for $169. I also found a great deal on Leapster at Kmart. $54.99 which was the lowest price I had seen anywhere! With both of those they also got cases for them, cases for games, extra pens, decals, and 2 games a piece! That is what SANTA brought them =o) (Oh yeah and Santa *cough*nana*cough* also got them a 13ft x 10ft TENT. It fits 2 queen size mattresses in it! And Mommy was super excited about this *sarcastic* except it is December and cold outside, and everyday I hear about wanting to put the tent up!!! lol whew, ok back to subject) Mom and Dad got them lots of goodies, including everything on their list (dang it, like usual, they get everything they ask for!)! Plus pj's, and clothes!
The babies were quite easy! Seeing that they are only 1, they did not have a wish list for me. Mommy knew what they wanted! We bought them 2 activity learning tables. Which I also got a superb deal on! Found at K-mart, got both for like $50, and they are originally like $39 a piece! They also got a variety of toys and clothes, and baby books!
Christmas morning, Abigail and Aaliyah woke up about 8:30 and came creeping into the living room (Michael and I slept on couch in case anyone tried to peek) They were very excited to see Santa's gifts, and I let them open one gift each while waiting for babies to get up.
I didn't want to wake them up, b/c I didn't want them to be ill all day! They ended up waking up about 9:15! Actually ended up perfect b/c girls had time to open their games and get them set up before babies woke up and were into everything!! The best part of Christmas is definitely the smiles on their faces!
And on mine! Michael and I originally were not going to exchange gifts, BUT he changed his mind last min. I got him the set of cologne he had been wanting, and a gift card for his xbox live, and a bag full of all his favorite candy! Anyone who knows Michael, knows he loves candy more than a child!
And he got me a HP Photosmart printer! So I can print off all of own pictures!! Last year he bought me a new camera, so this was just perfect!
After all the fun of opening gifts and cleaning up mess, we relaxed a little while, ate breakfast, and got ready to go to Nana's.
Anyone who knows my mother, knows she does WAY too much for Christmas! Going to her house is like waking up to Santa all over again! WHICH is ANOTHER reason my kids are SO spoiled!!
I will not list ALL of their gifts, but her main ones are worth the list! Abigail got the Green Machine, which is a bike, hard to describe see pic below!, Aaliyah a mp3 player, and the babies a radio flyer wagon with canopy! FUN! We always stay and eat Christmas dinner with my mom! This year was no different. And it was delish!! Then after visiting awhile we packed it all up, in 2 trips, and headed home!
While I was exhausted, and the babies desperately needed a nap, the big girls other grandparents wanted to see them too! So I took everyone home, Aaliyah started feeling ill again (we ALL had flu week before Christmas, and lele was still getting over it I guess) She wanted to take a nap too. SO I took Abby over to see her Papa and Nana, I usually stay and visit, but I def didn't feel comfortable with their father there (of whom I had not spoken to since July at this time) SO I left her there a hour or so to spend some time with them and I came back to get the rest of stuff organized! My house looked like Toys-r-us itself. There was so much stuff everywhere. While I was SO happy, everyone had a great day, I also couldn't help but think of all of the little children in the world who don't get anything on Christmas. As I looked around the 100 presents scattered on the floor and packed in boxes and bags, I know my kids could never appreciate these things as much as another child who doesn't have anything could. SO another goal for this year is to do the adopt a child for Christmas from Salvation Army. I want to buy for at least 2 kids other than my own, and then every year try to do another and another. =o)
So after picking Abby back up, and their huge shipment of toys, boots, and clothes from Nana and Papa, we headed back home before roads got bad. Because yes. this Christmas it SNOWED! We went home, snuggled up on couch with everyone, watched it snow, and watched movies! Till we all were in bed at an early hour! Such an exhausting day! But a great one!!! =o)
Hope you guys ALL had Merry Christmas's too!
Oooooh yeah, did I mention I am still nicotine free?? 62 days to be exact!! The urge and want has FINALLY gone away! And the thought of one makes me want to puke! I am so proud of myself!