This was Zoë, wide awake at 2:30 AM on Christmas morning. She watched as Santa filled all the stockings and she knows all his secrets (but she's not telling).
Obviously Mom and Dad and Zoë had a hard time getting up in the morning, but eventually there was so much excitement in one little bedroom down the hall that the entire house was buzzing with energy so we got up and let them through the magic curtain.
Benjamin was first because he's the youngest:
Next to come bursting through was Miriam:
And finally Rachel, looking slightly unimpressed:
The kids had fun opening their stockings before breakfast. Some pulled each item out carefully and admired it before reaching in for the next item.
Others went for a quicker approach and simply dumped the contents on the floor:
They each got a lightsaber so there were several lightsaber battles before breakfast.
Admire a new toy:
Defend all of humanity:
Admire a new book:
That's about how the morning went. Benjamin is "Master Oda" and the girls are on the dark side (because their lightsabers are red (I know so much about Star Wars)).
Zoë, somewhat determined to miss her first Christmas (she slept through our Christmas Eve celebrations as well), didn't wake up until after the kids had eaten breakfast and gotten dressed. The kids were super excited about breakfast because Santa brought Star Wars cereal.
Here's Zoë looking not-so-chipper:
And here she is checking out the Anne Geddes doll she got in her stocking:
She was most excited about unwrapping presents, as a good baby should be. Here she is unwrapping the present Miriam left under the tree for me. It took her a long time to get it all the way open.
She eventually did open it, however, to reveal a beautiful beaded necklace that Miriam made for me.
Miriam was the lucky recipient of a necklace made by Rachel:
Here's Miriam working on opening a present Auntie Sarah sent:
Here's Rachel posing with one of her gifts:
Here's Benjamin playing with the new toys (a truck set from Uncle David and a T-Rex from Auntie Josie) while Zoë continues to play with the brown paper and purple ribbon from Miriam's present to me:
She could not believe she got a Kindle. Miriam got one, too. I almost can't believe it myself. Their father is a mighty fine convincer (and Amazon was doing a great deal, I have to admit).
Here's Benjamin opening the game his sisters picked out for him (at Trading Tables, which is where we did most of our Christmas shopping):
Zoë took a break from her brown wrapping paper to tug at this paper a bit and Benjamin graciously said, "Oh, sanky-me, Baby Zo!" One day he'll learn how to say thank you properly, but until then I will smile inside every time I hear sanky-me (it's evolved from sukey-me, which is a step in the right direction, I suppose).
Here's Zoë trying out the new wrapping paper:
Uncle David sent the girls each a snitch necklace and a time-turner necklace. They were very excited about them and both wore their snitches to church today (because their big-friend Brooke also got a snitch necklace and they wanted to show her, though I'm not sure they ever did).
Here's Benjamin admiring his new T-Rex:
And here's Miriam trying on the skirt Auntie Sarah sent:
Here's Benjamin "doing friendship" with Zoë, who frankly prefers to "do" non-tactile friendship with him. Unless she's ready to wrestle or kiss his face all over she likes him to keep his distance. I have to admit that this was a rather kind hug that he's giving her; usually he bowls her right over.
Rachel was excited to receive a sticker fashion book from Naanii. While she doesn't enjoy dressing up herself, she does enjoy designing costumes for others to wear (both by sketching on paper and by actually dressing up her siblings). My mom sent a three of these books to give out to the girls as I saw fit. I wasn't sure Rachel would actually like it...because although she likes costumes she's not really into "fashion"...but she loved Miriam's book. The two of them spent many happy moments working on that book together, so I knew she'd enjoy getting one for Christmas. I wrapped up one for each of them to give from my mom. Miriam opened hers first and Rachel said, "Awww, no fair! I like those books, too!" which is why she's got kind of a sheepish look on her face here:
It was a lovely morning filled with hugs and kisses and gratitude. We ended up with many more gifts under the tree than I thought was going to be possible, thanks to the generosity of aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and friends. It was fun to feel their love from afar as we opened each present.
At the end of the morning, though, Zoë was still quite fascinated by that piece of brown construction paper Miriam used as wrapping paper. It was by far her favourite new thing!
We spent the afternoon napping, taking a walk, skyping our families, eating a lovely Christmas burritos, and I feel like we maybe had a movie night as well. But I honestly can't remember. And it was only two days ago! I do know that we sat around the Christmas tree one last time to sing carols together.
As much as I'm excited to have my living room back, I'm a little sad that it's already time to be putting away the tree. That sounds a little crazy even to me, considering what a nightmare this tree has been with Benjamin constantly messing with it, but I guess I just like having a reminder of the reason for the season. Or maybe I just like how excited the kids' faces light up when we turn on the tree. Or maybe it's the way time keeps slipping away too quickly.
Whatever it is, I wish we could prolong the excitement of Christmas this year, at least a little...