A Very Merry Christmas, Indeed.

I’m all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about this past Christmas.

And it's not just this lovely wearable blanket that I received that has me feeling this way!

I’ve always loved the build up before Christmas. I remember as a child feeling like everything about December seemed to revolve around the upcoming holiday. It felt so special. I now try to think of certain activities to spread throughout the month that can serve to build the excitement and get us into the holiday “spirit”, so to speak. I want Brooks to have that special, excited feeling as well.

One tradition we enjoy is the lights at the James Island County Park. This year the line was frustratingly long, but Brooks proclaimed them “COOL”, so it was worth it.

Our church had a family dinner and carol sing along that we attended. Brooks has an absolute obsession for the song, Silent Night, so it was especially nice for him to sing it with such a crowd. It was when he began flinging his body in strange convulsions and singing Lady Gaga that we determined it was time to leave. (Paparazzi, if you’re interested). Other build ups included cookie baking, Santa sightings and more.

This year we had 3 separate Christmas celebrations, each one was so special and fun. We went up to James’ family in VA and got there in time to enjoy Christmas Eve and Day with them. Christmas Eve morning Brooks got to play in the SNOW! for the first time. The kid loved it, even though he refused to keep gloves on and I was worried his precious little hands would straight fall off. He was a sledding master, James kept flinging him down the hill faster and faster while I watched, holding my breath.

We also got to spend some time relaxing with James’ family, which is always fun. I, as an only child, love seeing the interactions of a family of 6. Brooks got to spend some time with his cousins and there is nothing I love more than seeing them play together. It seems the older I get, the more and more I appreciate family.

We attended Christmas Eve service in Virginia. Children were to be a part of the service, which had me a little on edge. Kid’s a screamer, remember? He did pretty well though.  He, again, wanted to sing Silent Night and did let the whole left side of the congregation know it. When it came time for communion he get very excited, believing that the little cups contained “chocolate milk”. We also had a birthday cake for Jesus, Magnolia Bakery vanilla cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting, fools!

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

The next morning, we had the typical Christmas morning festivities, complete with the traditional picture on the stairs.

We all look really great.

We then trekked back home, James severely disturbed by the snowy, salty mess spattered all over our car. Not because it’d just been detailed, but because we looked like “yankees”. Brooks did well in the car, he recently has been demanding to drive…seriously….when we’re doing errands. He starts SCREAMING! and when I ask what’s wrong he says, “Wanna drive!”. He’s less than pleased when I tell him he’s got 14 years. Thankfully, this new trick of his was not employed and our trip was relatively peaceful.

The next morning, Christmas began all over again. I’d found myself obsessing over the minor details of our home Christmas morning being perfect. I’d baked and prepared stuff for breakfast and snacks which I put in the freezer for our return. I’d cleaned and made sure everything was perfect before we left. I guess last year, Brooks was so young our first Christmas was a blur. This year, though, things seemed legit. We had a nice, quiet morning. Brooks got overwhelmed during present opening and began pulling all his old books off the bookshelf and saying, “Read a story? No presents!”. We stopped and read for a while, then he was in the mood to begin again. I’m thinking this will be the only year that that happens!

Christmas Morning Photo on the Stairs, Take 2!

He also decided to take his new dinosaur and get in the dog's box. He tends to go in there when he wants to be alone.

After a quick nap all around, we went over to my parent’s house. My Mom is known as “Mimi” and my Dad “Gaddy”. Brooks has given them a sassy celebrity couples name of MiGaddy. You know, like Brangelina or Speidi?

MiGaddy’s house was fab, we had a great time eating yummy treats (it was my Dad’s Gaddy’s birthday) and spending time together. Brooks got a little punky again about opening his presents. I think he would have preferred to sit back with his feet up, watching me open his presents and motioning if he’d like to play with the present at that current time or to save it for later. All the opening was just too much for my little prince.

Since that time, he has wanted nothing but to play with his new toys. I’m thankful school hasn’t started back so we have plenty of time to do just that.

I’ve found his favorite toys to be very domestic. He received a drill from his Nana, a grocery cart from his Mimi, and in the grand Gardner tradition of giving many vacuums for Christmas, he received a mini shop vac named Henry from us.

It actually works! Now that just warms my heart to the core.

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