Another Christmas has come and gone, and everyone survived.
The Richins’ Christmas celebration kicked off with a Christmas Eve program, which Christopher organized. It included scripture reading and carol singing. Ethan played the piano and I accompanied everyone singing “Silent Night” on guitar. Then, to my surprise, Christopher pulled out his childhood clarinet and played “What Child is This?” Christopher played both clarinet and saxophone in middle and high school, but in seven years of marriage, I have never heard him play! After the program, he played 30 or 40 Christmas carols, and it was a wonderful surprise.
The kids also opened a few presents from Grammy, new pajamas and a plate and mug for Santa.
After we prepared the cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, we all snuggled in our beds and waited for Santa.
The kids woke up at 7:30 and we made our way downstairs. Although we had planned what we considered to be an economical Christmas, our kids were ecstatic. Megan got her Littlest Pet Shop Electronic Talking Diary, and Gavin got more Geotrax and a castle (think doll house for boys, with soldiers and weapons instead of dolls and furniture). Megan, Gavin, and Christopher each got a Webkinz from Santa Claus, and Megan was both excited to have a new stuffed animal/virtual pet, and overwhelmed by “More responsibility!”
After the kids played with their Santa presents, we had breakfast, and then opened the under-the-tree presents, which were mostly for Megan and Gavin. Megan got an American Girl Doll and book set from Grammy and Poppy, a knitting kit from GG and Papa Earl, animated scripture DVDs and activity books from Grandma and Grandpa Richins (perfect for Sundays!), and her very own scriptures from Mom and Dad. Gavin got a set of wooden blocks from Grandma and Grandpa Richins, more Geotrax from GG and Papa Earl, a remote control Lighting McQueen from Grammy and Poppy (which I think Christopher has played with more than Gavin), and some sweaters. Christopher got a nice book and cash from my parents, and I got a nice book and Christmas ornament from his parents. There were, of course, other wonderful presents under the tree. Electronics and clothes and cash for the teenagers. But Christmas is simply magical with small children. They appreciate the little things.
Lastly, Christopher and I opened our presents from each other. I gave Christopher a box filled with notes that started, “What I love about you…” and “Thank you for…” Thank you Oprah for that idea. At the bottom of the box was a coupon to Massage Envy, for a massage today at 2 p.m. I was pretty proud of it, until I opened my gift from Christopher. Pearls. A necklace, earrings, and a bracelet. Since the only jewelry I’ve received from Christopher in 7 years was my engagement ring, this was another wonderful surprise. I can’t wait to move to Georgia where I can wear my pearls with everything! Christopher says they are my “student pearls”, since they are on the small side, but they are beautiful and I love them.
The rest of the Christmas day was spent lounging, playing, and eating. Mom made a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, olives, pickles, stuffed celery, and rolls. There was so much food, I don’t think anyone has touched the pumpkin pie yet.
Everyone went to bed Christmas night happy, healthy, and full.