Posts Tagged ‘presents’

Christmas 2017

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Merry Everything! We had a lovely holiday here in New England. A Christmas Eve pouring rain turned into a Christmas Day snowstorm so we got a true White Christmas. The snow blew in with a cold front; it’s less than 25 degrees now (and in the single digits at night) so we’ve been hunkered down inside enjoying the truly enormous and unnecessary pile of presents. My parents came up from Virginia to help celebrate and the kids we SO happy to have Mormor and Bumpa here. My dad helped me get a bunch of house and car stuff done (as usual) so the rest of our break week I can relax and just stay on top of laundry while packing up Christmas decorations. My tree was dead and out on the curb by 4 pm on December 27th. I know my Roomba is relieved – and might actually finish a cleaning cycle without needing me to empty all the pine needles out of the bin.

We had a stroke of good luck with Navy scheduling and E was able to be in port on Christmas Day so he watched everyone discover their Santa presents via Facebook messenger video. It might be the last time we get to talk to him before he comes back (which is still months away) so it was a very nice treat. He was a little bummed not to have matching pajamas or a delicious beef roast with us, but we’ll make up for it next year.

Please enjoy many, somewhat blurry photos of our day.

Please note Caroline’s shirt in the above photo: it says “Young, Scrappy & Hungry”.

 

This Christmas I Am Spoiling My Kids Rotten

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Hello Internet.

Thank you for all the wonderfully written, thoughtful posts about how kids these days are too focused on things and not on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s so important to remember that giving is far superior to receiving, just as God gave his love to all of us. I also read your advice on how experiences make better gifts than giant hunks of plastic. It’s true! You made some excellent points. Then there were the 4 Things devotees: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. It rhymes! So adorable and minimalist and a great way to cut down on junk! And finally, there are the hardcore anti-stuff people who object to basically all of it and make their opinions loudly known. Thank you for your input, I appreciate the time you took to explain it.

This year, I am flat out ignoring ALL OF YOU.

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And I’m doing it 100% on purpose. I haven’t accidentally bought too much. I am not pretending to purchase only hand-crafted, heirloom quality, Waldolf-inspired toys. I am not claiming to be a minimalist while buying piles of presents. This is intentional, planned, thoughtful spoiling.

Our December has been full of both experiences and things. This year, we are seeing Santa no less than 5 separate times. We have five sets of matching Christmas pajamas, including two sets for me and one for the dog. Caroline has a special dress for The Nutcracker, a different special dress for our photo session with Santa, and another special dress for Christmas Eve. Oh and one more to wear on Christmas day after taking off her matching Christmas pajamas. We are opening seven advent calendars every morning. There are custom printed Santa bags for each child and fancy gourmet chocolates for their stockings. They are getting everything they asked for and then some. There is a giant Batman robot, thousands of Legos, and a stupid Baby Alive that pees. There are sleds and ride on toys and loud beeping things. ALL FOUR KIDS get their own Fingerling monkey, even the baby, who definitely does not need a Fingerling monkey. When they come down the stairs on Christmas morning, they’re going to freak out and scream their little heads off with joy.

Do you know what won’t be around our tree on Christmas morning? Their father.

I realize things don’t make up for your dad being deployed during Christmas. There is no present in the world I can give them that will stop them from saying “I wish Daddy was here”. My heart breaks a little more every time they say it – which is often. This isn’t their fault. They didn’t ask to be born into a military family. And until this year we’ve been able to shield them quite a bit from true Navy life – no moving, no long separations, no new schools. I grew up with that lifestyle and although I enjoyed it for the most part, not having “a” home or long-term friendships or a sense of being FROM somewhere can be hard sometimes. We’ve been very lucky that we can do this a little differently than most military families. But our luck ran out now that E is very fancy and important; his skills and expertise are needed on actual working submarines, and actual working submarines deploy.

It’s hard. Being the only parent means I am responsible for all the Christmas, for everyone. I don’t mind, really, because I love Christmas. But trying to buy stocking candy when I am never without at least one child is hard. Wrapping gifts at midnight is hard. Trying to decide if it’s time to tell the big kids about Santa is hard. I’m still part of a partnership as far as parenting goes but my partner is unavailable (most of the time he is 100% unavailable, not reachable by any means).

My choice to go completely overboard and ignore what other people are doing is in no way meant to be a reflection on others. This doesn’t just apply to our specific situation regarding Christmas presents or even just the holidays. As I am very fond of telling my children, different families make different choices. Some do small Christmases, some do big Christmases, some go to great lengths to be with as much family as possible, some want to stay home. Some people step away from Facebook and social media to stay focused on family, but I couldn’t imagine doing that when I spend so much time as the only adult in the room. Some find that taking photos helps keep them connected and in the moment (me, 100%), others find that putting away the camera makes them happier. It is a difficult time of year for so many people for so many reasons, finding joy however you want should be allowed. And this year, my joy is in distracting my kids from things that make them sad with things that make them happy.

Come January 2nd when everyone goes back to school, I am going to be cursing all this STUFF that will have taken over my house. There’s nothing more #firstworldproblem than buying too many toys and then being annoyed by too many toys. I’ll remind myself of that as many times as is necessary during the long, cold, dark months between the end of the holidays and the end of deployment. But right now, I am SO EXCITED about Christmas magic and that is just what our family needs.

Christmas 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

We had a nice family Christmas at home, which is my favorite kind. Santa brought the kids a lot of great stuff plus E and I bought the kids a Disney Infinity so there was plenty to keep everyone busy all day (and hopefully for many many more days).

We walked to the 4:30 family service at our church. Caroline wore one of my Christmas dresses.

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 Before bed we put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer with a drawing Caroline made and put in an envelope she borrowed from church. Then we sprinkling the lawn with “reindeer food” that Caroline made at school (oats + glitter).

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We open one present each on Christmas Eve.

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And then we tried to get some photos in our matching jams.

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And then after the kids went to bed SANTA CAME!

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And then Christmas was chaos. With bacon and waffles.

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It was a very Star Wars Christmas.

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Caroline is SUPER excited about her first graphic novel.

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Davis Christmas 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Christmas Eve:

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Christmas Morning:

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Christmas Day:

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We had an amazing holiday, full of food and family and fun. The kids were – and are – insanely spoiled, both with STUFF and attention.

I made Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake and Blueberry French Toast Casserole on Christmas Eve to put in the oven in the morning and both were delicious. My plans for an actual Christmas meal were thwarted by total laziness (and maybe my “holiday style” hot cocoa starting at 11 am) and we just turned the ham into sandwiches instead. They were FANTASTIC.

My sister is here to visit for a few days and the kids are already madly in love with her. She brought champagne and chocolate and volunteered to babysit on New Year’s Eve so she can stay forever if she wants. I mean, I know her plan WAS to go to Hawaii for a couple weeks and then move to Paris, but I’m offering a very nice guest room, free food and the chance to hang out with two crazy ginger toddlers as much as she wants so we’ll see. It might be an offer she can’t refuse.

I hope you and your families had a wonderful and relaxing holiday. I’ll be on my couch finishing off this bag of candy Santa “forgot” to put in our stockings and Googling “miracle 48-hour juice fast lose 30 pounds today”.

Happy Boxing Day!

Monday, December 26th, 2011

And Merry Christmas! And Happy Christmas Eve! I am late and/or behind on everything, including cleaning up from Caroline’s birthday party. But because we’re in Virginia visiting my family I’ve managed to avoid all my housekeeping and cleaning and laundry and cooking responsibilities for the past week. It’s the best Christmas present a girl could ask for. Well, except for my awesome day-after-Christmas shopping trip to Nordstrom Rack where I scored my first pair of jeggings and some sweet ankle booties. Yep, I’m ridiculous.

As much fun as being here with my folks is, traveling at Christmas is a special kind of awful. I’ve been super sick and Little Evan started randomly throwing up so much we had to take him to the ER. Tomorrow we have to somehow get a zillion presents back in the car and battle the terrible I-95 traffic with two super tired kiddos just in time to take down ALL the Christmas decorations. At least I have a giant bag of half-price holiday candy and some cute pictures of the kids to comfort me.

Playing on MorMor's steps

2 and a half, going on 14

Someone didn't really care for ice skating

Maybe we'll try again next year

But he LOVED the Zamboni

Bundled up

Christmas morning!

Aunt Carolyn totally showed up Santa with the basketball hoop

Oh goody, more toys with balls that roll under the couch

Making us breakfast

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A zillion new toys so of course she's playing with the plastic packaging

I hope your holidays were lovely and much healthier than ours were!

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