We have had a very interesting holiday here (as always), and have enjoyed the time together. We did miss out on a couple of traditions that we normally wouldn't...but I was still tired and weak from fighting flu, so I wasn't on top of my game this year. Still, Eli was very excited about Christmas and LOVED going to light candles at the Christmas Eve service at church. He ended up having 3 days of gifts, thanks to some wonderful family members in North Carolina and Japan. We decided to let Eli open Aunt Lisa and Uncle Ray's gifts on the 23rd, so that we could F@cetime together while he did. I wouldn't normally post what he received...except that I was definitely not expecting to receive a gorgeous, hand-made, Eli-sized, TMNT-upholstered, rocking chair in the mail. In the mail, people. The box nearly didn't fit through the front door! They sent other gifts, too...which were very much appreciated by our TMNT and Lego obsessed child...but chair mail was exceptional. On the 24th, we visited Patrick's side of the family, and on the 25th, my side of the family. Truthfully, Eli was very appreciative and genuinely excited about each gift that was given. Even the dried anchovy/almond snacks from Uncle Lee. Which he proceeded to use to completely freak out my father's side of the family. For the record...I've found many of his gifts (except the anchovies) snuggled in his bed with him throughout the last few days...and by the end of it all, he was a very happy, tired, and overwhelmed little boy.
On Christmas morning, he was excited to help light all 5 of our candles on the Advent wreath before opening presents. Hysterically enough, he initially walked past Santa's unwrapped gifts and was mesmerized by the ones Patrick and I had put (wrapped) under the tree. I took pictures...but our tree was embarrassingly (and sadly) very dead by Christmas day. Combined with the fact that the cats took down part of the garland overnight...and knocked our tree-topper sideways...I'd prefer not to share what it looked like! Normally, our trees last until Christmas with no problem, but we didn't water this one as much as it apparently needed us to. I'm very thankful that the Advent wreath was not as thirsty as the tree! Now it's time for the anti-climatic undecorating...and I'm definitely pouting about that.
We are definitely thankful that we have a second week of vacation before the next semester starts. We are getting ready to change a few things up a little bit in 2015....and it's so nice to have some time to relax and plan!