The holiday season seemed to have come a bit earlier this year, but I have to admit, that I loved every single minute of it. The magic of the holidays is still very alive in our home, and I know it’s just a matter of time until the kids no longer believe that the big guy in red is the giver of gifts. Ryder has already been filled with questions challenging the possibilty of Santa, Elves and reindeer, but I am going to go out kicking and screaming, and try to milk these special innocent holiday season for everything I can! New York City is the best during the season, and we take full advantage, going to see all the window displays, visitng our favorite Santas, and taking in our two favorite holiday shows – The Nutcracker and Radio City Rockettes!
Ryder, Siella, and Gemma were super specific on what they wanted Santa this year, but I made sure the big guy brought meaningful gifts that would be played with and cherished for the long haul; rather than those put aside the day after Christmas. I’m all about quality over quantity when it comes to the holidays and gifting.
The importance of appreciation and giving back are both qualities that I try to impart on the kids, especially during the holidays. This year, they created holiday cards for God’s Love We Deliver, and we became Secret Santa’s for Stocking with Care once again. I made it a point to involve them in every step of the way, because the holidays are much more rewarding when you give, rather than just receive.
Our annual tradition is to spend Christmas Eve with Jason’s family, and Christmas Day with mine. After dinner on Christmas eve, we rush home so the kids can leave out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for his reindeers. This year, Gemma left a little note to Santa saying how much she loved him, and thanked him for the presents from last year!
With all the time leading up to Christmas, I see never managed to carve out a window to wrap presents. Cut to Christmas Eve, well into Christmas morning at 2am, where Jason and I stayed up way past our bedtime, to make sure everything was wrapped and left with Santa’s seal on it!
It always seems that one gift is the show stealer, and this year was no different. Gemma’s was the Ice Cream Truck for her American Girl dolls. Siella received an iPod to play her favorite music. And Ryder was super psyched about with his new Nike Lebron sneakers. You know you’re getting older when you get more excited over clothes than toys from Santa!
There are always lots of screams and shenanigans on Christmas morning, and I even have a video Gemma saying that Santa is the best and this is the best Christmas ever. It’s every parents dream to watch the smiles consume their faces, and hear yelps of excitement. Jason and I just sat there giving one another the eye, as they were in awe of all these things that magically appeared from Santa Claus.
No Christmas morning is complete without my signature reindeer pancakes, and church, before heading to my parents house to celebrate Christmas Day.
After the excitement of Christmas Eve and Day, we typically head out to the Hamptons, but this season, we broke our ten year tradition and decided to head up to the mountains for a little skiing to ring in the New Year. More to come on that soon.
I am truly thankful for yet another lovely Christmas spent with the most important people in my life- family! Merry Christmas everyone!