Where to start? Basically, we had a simple, enjoyable Christmas. I kept reminding myself that what matters is spending time with family. Presents and attempting to create the picture perfect holiday can be a lot of fun but can also be incredibly stressful. When I am stressed out, frankly, it’s easy to become the bitchy wife/mama. So, for us, simple is better. Here are the highlights, in no particular order:
Grandma and I put up a 4’ Christmas tree for Ari. She has really looked forward to it the past two years.
Ari helped me with gift wrapping. In other words, I did all the cutting and wrapping and she was in charge of the tape and of placing wrapped presents under the tree. It took quite a while. I’m slow at these things, poor eye sight and all, and adding a cute little one to the process made it take even longer. But it was nice quality time and it was a lot easier than last year. This time I can sincerely say she was helpful.
I decided to try something different this year and went for silly when it came time to give our relatives presents. Examples: my sister got a mango in a tiny gift bag. My mother’s boyfriend, who is always grabbing my fruit, got a fruit basket wrapped in snowmen wrapping paper!
We had dinner with my family on Christmas Eve. The kids got to open presents. Many photos were taken. I was picked on incessantly for my new haircut. We’re long hair people and so me having chin-length hair is just weird for the girls in my family. I told them to go give theirs to Wigs for Kids too and to shut the hell up, because, really, it was getting old!
My mother gave Ari a cardboard castle, among other things, which Ari absolutely loves. She now eats and will even watch TV from her castle. Silly kid! She is enjoying painting her castle. I am wondering how long the castle will be around for!
On Christmas day, we drove down to see my in-laws. Ari got to exchange presents with her grandparents, and, most fun of all, she got to decorate ginger bread cookies with Nana.
Another highlight for Ari was staying at a hotel. We stayed at a hotel with an indoor swimming pool this time. Nana joined us for a morning swim on the 26th. Nana and Ari had a blast and daddy and I enjoy a pool every now and then. It’s relaxing.
Hotel funny: as we walk in, Ari is incredibly tired, resting her head on Daddy’s shoulder. Once we walk into the room, suddenly, she is wide awake, super excited, jumping from bed to bed for a good half an hour. The area between the two beds was the muddy mud pit, she reported. Silly child!
We got to see Daddy’s 82-year-old grandma on the 26th. She made his favorite Italian cookies, some Sinnamon thingies. No idea what they’re called. She also made a bunch other different types of cookies and Ari was in heaven. As if that wasn’t enough, Ari was sent home with another dozen cookies! Sadly, Ari is down to one cookie per day. Mean mom and dad!
Here are links to what we got Ari for Christmas.
The cool thing about magna-tyles is that the three of us love them! I’m talking we never get bored when she wants to build with us! Talk about an ideal present!
The GreenStart Under the Sea floor puzzle:
And the Green Start Number Hunt floor puzzle:
Oh and then there is that tiny, cheap present that, originally, was Daddy’s, but we all know it’s Ari’s and Daddy’s now: the iPad II. Actually, we’re calling it a family present. I don’t use it, but it buys me some time when I need it most. Ari plays educational games on it, watches Netflix, takes pictures of whatever she builds with the Magna-tyles, and she Skypes with Nana. We’re finding that the iPad is a great thing to have when we’re traveling or when we’re incredibly exhausted but she isn’t. And Daddy gets to do all sorts of grownup stuff on it, of course.
I hope your holidays were enjoyable and as low stress as possible!