Our tree, after Santa came
The girls waiting to see the tree on Christmas morning
Anna and her new bike
Anna opening her new Jessie doll - the only thing she truly wanted
Elsie trying on a new hat from Uncle Pat
The girls playing 'doctor' on Christmas morning - this is my favorite picture of the whole day!
Anna and Papa having a serious conversation
We decided to stay parked right at home over the Christmas weekend this year. It was a wonderful treat because my mom and Claudia and Mike came to visit us! Since it was a while ago (totally overdue post) I'll just gloss over some of the highlights - really because I can't remember all of the little details this far out.
My mom cam over on Christmas Eve and brought dinner fixings with her. She volunteered to stay home and prepare dinner with a still napping Elsie while Matt, Anna and I went to church in the late afternoon. We arrived at church 35 minutes early and still didn't get a seat! Yikes, but Anna did great and really enjoyed the singing and praying. Thank goodness for the family who stood next to us, they had a daughter Anna's age and the girls kept each other entertained. It was snowing when we left church and took us a little bit to get home, but it was certainly beautiful. Mom had dinner on the table when we arrived back home, sweet!
Anna was allowed to open one gift that night before going to bed (a dinosaur) and then had to leave all but one pacifier underneath the Christmas tree for Santa. You see, Santa took them and gave them to the other babies who didn't have pacifiers but really needed them. We talked with Anna about the upcoming holiday and what we would expect of her that night for many weeks beforehand, and she did beautifully! She was allowed to keep one on Christmas Eve, and I really think that helped her to transition. I slyly took that last one away from her while she was distracted opening presents on Christmas morning. She did ask for it when she went for her nap that day, but I reminded her about Santa and the babies in need and she was good to go! It was an amazingly easy 'habit' to drop and she has not looked back since. I am so thankful, because I was sure tired of seeing my 3 year old walk around with that thing in her mouth! We reduced Elsie's use of pacifiers at the same time - limiting them to her bed only - I think she is still very comforted by having one so we have not taken it away completely. Maybe next Christmas?
We opened gifts through out the morning, stopping for breakfast and a few other breaks. Claudia and Mike joined us Christmas evening and we had a lovely dinner of beef tenderloin followed up with even more presents. It was certainly a wonderful holiday and we are thankful to have spent it with the girls and our parents!