Thursday, December 31, 2015

Smith Family Christmas 2015

As I said in my last post, we spent a whole Saturday celebrating Christmas with each of our families. The Saturday before was spent with Jake's side and the Saturday after was spent with my side. It's so much fun splitting it up like this and not having the hustle and bustle of cramming everything into one day! 

Jake's mom hosts our Smith Family Christmas every year, and we always have so much fun! Last year she had Santa make a visit and hand out the kids stockings to them and she decided to that again this year. The bigger kids love this but my two are still somewhat afraid of Santa. Jackson is more shy than afraid but did finally come around long enough to hand Santa some cookies at the end. Avery was terrified and hid hear face in Jake's shoulder for a majority of Santa's visit. Poor Avery. :-(

Poor Avery, My niece Alexis ended up taking her in the kitchen to get away from Santa and she actually fell asleep in her arms. So sweet. Hopefully next year, Avery enjoys Santa a little more. 

 After Santa left, the adults got to go through their stockings and then we all packed up and headed out to the St. Charles Christmas Parade. We did this last year too and it was so much fun that we decided to try it again this year and I'm so glad we did!

We got there early so ensure we got a good parking spot, so while we waited for the parade to start, we snacked on some goodies! :-)

Avery especially loved the kettle corn.

Then the parade finally started! Yay!


Bob Cratchet and Tiny Tim.

The carolers are always so fun to listen to.

 They always have different Santa's from around the world. It's such a cool parade.

And last but not least, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

After the parade, we stopped in New Town and had a quick (very quick since it was very chilly outside) family picture taken. My nephew Brandon was home from school and we hadn't gotten an updated family picture since Avery's been born, so we wanted to try and get a family picture while everyone was in town and together. I think they turned out nicely.

After our quick family pictures, we headed back to my Mother-in-Law's house for lunch and presents! I changed the kids into comfier clothes for the rest of the day. Avery got the cutest jammies in her stocking. They came with a matching stuffed monkey as well so I couldn't wait to see her in them. They are so stinkin cute.

The kids really loved opening presents. Jackson started out as being "Santa". In Jake's family, it's pretty special if you get to be the person who passes out the gifts, aka "Santa". Then Avery decided she'd like to try being "Santa" and it was too cute! Each time she handed a gift to someone everyone clapped for her and she just thought this was the coolest thing ever.

After the kids opened their gifts, the adults opened there's and then it was time for the adults and teenagers to play our annual game of Survivor! It's always so much fun! It's somewhat like pass the trash, but on a much much larger and more fun scale!

So that was our very busy and very fun Smith Family Christmas Celebration!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Day - 2015

We did several fun Christmas activities leading up to Christmas that I really want to share here on the blog, however I think I'll start here with Christmas morning at our house and go from there!

Christmas this year (like the last 2 years) was spent at home in our pajamas and we LOVED it!! Jake and I always said that when we had kids, we wanted to spend Christmas day at home and thankfully we've gotten everyone in our family to jump on board with that. So we spend a whole day with each of our families on a day around Christmas and then Christmas day is spent at home with the kids, and it's wonderful.

Our "Santa" tradition is that Santa brings one unwrapped gift for each of the kids on Christmas Eve and fills their stockings with goodies as well. We wrap the rest of the gifts and those are from us. 

We also set cookies, milk, orange juice and a carrot out for Santa and his reindeer this year. This was the first year we made sure to start this tradition because I felt like Jackson was actually old enough to get it. He is the one that requested Santa have orange juice as well (not sure where he got that from) and the carrot for the reindeer. :-) Christmas Eve was spent at my Aunt and Uncle's house and while we were there the kids decorated cookies, so we used those cookies for Santa. :-)

So when the kids woke up Christmas morning, the first thing they saw were their Santa gifts and they were both very excited!

 Santa brought Avery a cute little pink kitchen and he brought Jackson a Paw Patrol Look-Out!

He also filled their stockings with a few goodies. 

I decided to start a new tradition this year where Santa brought each of the kids a special ornament for the tree. It was in each of their stockings. Jackson got a Ninja Turtle ornament and Avery got a Minnie Mouse ornament. Each ornament was of something they are into right now. I may use a Sharpie and write the year on them somewhere. I thought we'd use them on our tree until the kids are old enough to have a tree of their own and they can take their collection with them. :-)

After checking out what Santa brought them, they moved on to opening the presents from us. :-) It was so much fun watching them open presents this year! Jackson was so excited to see what he got and with every present opened, Avery exclaimed "Wow!!" It was the cutest thing ever!! Thankfully we got it all on video, just as we do every year!

Avery trying to put on a pair of jammies she just opened. Ha!

Big brother helping Avery open a present. :-) He's so sweet.

Jackson opening his legos. He said this was his very favorite gift this year!

Avery giving one of her new Little People Princesses a kiss. :-)

Avery hugging her new Giant Minnie Mouse. This Minnie Mouse is taller than Avery is and she absolutely loves her. I'm pretty sure this was her favorite gift this year. At nap time that afternoon, I had to rock Avery and Giant Minnie on my lap. Ha! That was interesting.

This play-doh set was also a big hit!

After opening presents, the kids played with several of their toys while Jake and I put a few of them together. We also watched the Disney World Christmas Parade!

Jake made a big breakfast at lunch time and as he was making that, his Mom stopped by for a little while to see what the kids got for Christmas. 

After lunch, I put Avery down for a nice long nap and we watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We also played a few of Jackson's new board games with him.

Later that afternoon, Jake's mom headed over to his older brother's house to hang out with them and Jackson and I built a little city with of his new legos! We had the best time building it and he said multiple times how much fun it was to build that city and how much he loved me for helping him! So. Stinkin. Sweet!!!

Once Avery woke up from her nap the kids played a little more with their new toys and we watched a few Christmas cartoons. 

Then Jake fixed us dinner and the kids ate in their new little desks that we got them!

It was such a fun filled day, one that went by way too fast! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!