Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010

If I were to sum up our Christmas in one word it would be...


Don't look at me like that...I'm serious.

I was a woman on a mission this year.

Christmas pasts were full of rushing, sleep deprivation, cramming in events, stress and pressure.

Doesn't sound like much fun, huh?

This year I was determined to make things different.

So I planned way ahead for once.

Shopping, wrapping, family pictures, Christmas letter and cards, Christmas dinner, family activities and traditions and goodie plates

I gave myself a timeline and made sure to include plenty of time to just kick back and relax.

As a result...

The best Christmas ever

We put up two different trees this year.

Our "Duck the Halls" tree we put up downstairs.

The Ducks are playing in the National Championship game this year, for the first time ever, so the Duck tree was a must.
Complete with a Duck train and station.
We put up the family tree in the master bedroom where it would be safe from the toddlers so we could put the presents out sooner, knowing that they might actually stay wrapped until Christmas morning.

We have a tradition here regarding the angel on top of the tree.

Each year a different child gets to put the angel on top.

So in a family with nine kids, your chance comes around twice.

Michael mentioned how this has scarred him for life.

He can imagine a time in his future when he is married and has kids.

It will be Christmas time and one of his kids will ask to put the angel on the tree.

He sadly tells me that he can see himself grabbing the angel, clutching it tightly to his chest and shouting "mine, mine, mine".

I'm pretty sure I should check on counseling for him after winter break is over.

Anyway, it was Lily's turn this year.
I had started shopping for presents back in October and was pretty much all done by the time Thanksgiving rolled around.

We kept it simple again this year with the kids each getting two nice, meaningful gifts.

I asked the grandparents to keep it simple this year too.

It was refreshing.

I wrapped the presents and had them under the tree a week before Christmas.

I use code names for the kids so that no one knows which presents are theirs until Christmas morning.

It is so funny watching them try to figure which name belongs to whom.

Sleeping Beauty, Grumpy Smurf, Hercules, Hulk, Lightenin' McQueen, Cinderella, Alice, Batman and Goldilocks were the names we used this year.
The week of Christmas was so much fun.

We played games and watched a different Shrek movie each night.

We just hung out.

We made amazing nachos.
I even had time to bake 10 different cheesecakes and give sampler plates to our friends.
We hung out in our PJ's and just enjoyed each other's company.

Can someone tell me how this could possibly be comfortable?
The kids each made a little gingerbread house.
Our whole fam damily.
We hope you had an amazing 2010 and we wish you an even better 2011!

Happy New Year!


craftykat said...

My husband would love all your Duck stuff! I'm impressed with how you made your Christmas less stressful. I think I need to get an action plan for next year!

Connie said...

All of that and you made cheesecake too?

You are so smart to scale things down so you can enjoy the holidays too.

The whole name thing for the gifts is precious. I had to do the same thing one year when my kids were little and it worked like a charm. No pinching, shaking or rattling of presents because they had no way of knowing what gift beloneged to who.


Jane said...

First off, this is the first time I have seen a picture of the whole gang...what a gorgeous family and beautiful mama!

Second, my favorite holiday post of the year! Sounds perfect! So many good ideas!

Wishing you a wonderful 2011!

Jut and Char said...

What a good looking bunch. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jensamom23 said...

First of all, you are the first person I have ebver heard sa Fam Damily, other than my Mom and Grandma! LOVE IT! So glad you had a great Christmas...I did the same thing this year and it was wonderful to just enjoy each other with out the strees and running around. Blessings!

Ginger said...

So glad that you were able to relax and enjoy Christmas! This year felt a lot more relaxed to me, too...except that Stacie's gift didn't come arrive via FedEx until Christmas Eve! I do the whole "name" thing, too. Because there are only 7 of us, we use Snow White's Dwarfs...Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Dopey, and Doc. It certainly eliminates the shake, rattle & roll! Happy New Year!

Katie said...

What a great family picture...and it sounds like Christmas was great too!

rachel said...

poor michael. :(

Nike@ChooseToThrive said...

I love your family picture. I envy your family picture. And my condolences to Michael ... his therapist will live well.