Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way...
This was Ace's favorite song this Christmas season. He would get super giddy anytime it came on the radio, he loved to sing along with it, he got really excited when I'd sing it to him as one of his good night songs (slightly counter productive, but an excellent treat!) Ace had a wonderful third Christmas - where does the time go?!
This year Loving Husband and I were trying very hard to be mindful to continue to impress upon him the true meaning of Christmas and I think we succeeded. This morning on the changing table while chattering with his dad about opening presents yesterday - Ace said unprompted "We celebrated Jesus...we celebrated Jesus' birthday!" The enthusiasm warmed my heart and the fact he said it made his father and I proud!
Ace this year was more aware of Santa - between movies, tv shows, and the like Santa is ever present in the commericalized sense of Christmas. While we don't teach Ace to believe that Santa delivers presents on Christmas night, we are ok with the idea of him enjoying the amusement of the character of Santa. A good idea of where we stand on Santa without me getting lengthy about it can be found here. While it might not be spot on with our opinion, it's not too far off. :) Ace at his father's Christmas party this year actually 'met' Santa and had his picture taken with him. Although he had zero desire to approach on his own, so I had to join him. He was very excited about this picture once it was taken and was excited about meeting Santa after Santa was merely a figment on photo paper. We didn't go through any lengthy explanation regarding Santa's existence this year - Ace wasn't fixated on him at all - and seemed pretty content to just enjoy meeting a character that happens to be around on the holidays.
Christmas Eve this year we enjoyed going to a church service around 3pm which Ace did great at. He loved to sing and clap after the songs, and did great during the parts that were more attention focused. He also loved to hold the candle during that portion of the program.
After the Christmas Eve service we headed over to Pop Pop and Gran's for family festivities and present unwrapping there. Ace's two cousins were there and they all had a blast playing in their playroom together. Food was consumed, conversation was had, and presents were ravaged. It was a nice evening. We got Ace in his pjs, loaded him up and got him to bed around 10pm. He fell asleep pretty quickly and we got everything out and ready to go for the morning and Loving Husband and I enjoyed a viewing of Christmas Vacation. :)
The next morning Ace awoke at 8:50! Woohoo! Quite a sleep-in record for our boy. He awoke, dad got him changed and I went downstairs to turn on lights, music, and ready the room for an excited boy. I then went back upstairs and took charge of the boy, while dad went down to make a fire before we came down. Ace eagerly sat patiently and waited at the top of the stairs with mom. Then we headed down.
He spotted his bike first - and he was excited! Then he turned and saw that he got new potato head pieces that were displayed on his potato heads and so he took to exploring those for a bit. After that we all dug into our stockings and spent some time with those.
Ace had waited so long for some of his presents that had been sitting under the tree for what seemed like forever. He was a very good boy and never once tried to get into them or open anything early - but he was eager to get started. Ace this year also gave presents to mom and dad. He went with each of us and picked out something for the other parent and then helped in wrapping it up and then giving it to us on Christmas morning. Ace gave dad a Walk Rock Jar to replace the simple tupperware they had previously been using to hold their rocks that they collect every time they go for a walk. As an added special bonus Ace painted the jar so that it was personalized just for Dad. Ace gave mom some measuring cups and spoons so that we can bake things together.
Present opening stalled out about half way through and so we decided to put on Toy Story 3 (one of his presents.) We took a semi-break and enjoyed watching the movie and relaxing. He played while it was on and we ate some cinnamon rolls. It was a nice morning.
A few more presents and lunch ... followed by nap time! Then Ace and mom played one of his presents: Candy Land! Ace was introduced to his first board game! Oh boy! He played about 1/3rd of the board before deciding he was all done - but he enjoyed it for the right amount of toddler time. :) While we were playing our board game, Loving Husband went to the grocery store to get us Christmas dinner fixin's .... yes ON Christmas. It was just the three of us - we could do whatever we wanted!
Upon his return the boys went for a walk and collected a rock for their new rock walk jar and we put on A Muppet Christmas Carol, along with another fire in the fireplace. Loving Husband got dinner started - steak, pasta, and fresh sauteed veggies - and we enjoyed ourselves a yummy dinner. Followed by a few more presents opened while chatting with Grammie on Skype. Then it was bedtime for the boy and the parents completing Home Alone 2 that had been started during nap time. It was a great Christmas!
Today, Christmas was dismantled and put away. A week+ early for this household, but we are now all the more eager for Mae to join us - which as of today is 2 weeks or less (hopefully!) I hope that all of your Christmases were wonderful and that you cherish the memories that you made this year.