Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family, both near and far.  Throughout the day, I’ve enjoyed seeing the social media pictures of everyone’s loved ones and have kept in touch with members of our family through heart-filled calls and texts.  It’s brought me such joy to know that today for so many, has been a beautiful collaboration of families and togetherness and love.

And as for me and my house?  This was how we did Christmas.

Our kids graciously let us sleep in till about 8:45ish.  It would have been quite sufficient had I not been up from 2-4am wrapping and putting the finishing touches on everything.  Regardless, it was still exciting to wake up in our beautiful home with the people that I love the most.

We started our morning out with the Stocking presents.  They were always my favorites when I was a child.  My mom would carefully pick out and wrap each one and it’s a tradition that I carry on with our family.

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We brought Ellee this fluffy dog back from Prague and told her that it was her (much loved) Puppy’s mom.  And ever since she’s been quite cherished and Ellee made sure to bring her down for our morning festivities.

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Stocking time was delightful.

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Ellee, in all of her nine year old glory was compelled to come and give us a thank you and a hug after every gift.  It was precious and something I know I’ll want to remember probably forever.

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After stockings, Ellee and I headed out to make Swedish pancakes in the kitchen.  It’s been a Christmas morning tradition from both of our families and one that we absolutely love to carry on.

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And when the dishes were cleared and cleaned up, we headed out to continue our Christmas morning marathon.  We started with a fun gift from Nana and Papa.  They are magical somethings that seal up open bags and we tried and loved them because we have that problem where bags of chips or cereal don’t get completely closed and then they go stale.  And with one swift USPS package from Seattle, all of those troubles have been solved.

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I do have to say I was quite spoiled this Christmas.  My amazing husband got me all sorts of beautiful gifts that I either wanted or needed and it was all quite wonderfully humbling.  One of my favorites, were these coupons to “Get out of cooking.”  They were the perfect gift for someone like me, who never really loves cooking and has panic nights where I literally have no idea what I’m going to do for dinner.  Now, for five of those nights, I’ll be just fine.

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Our kids did pretty well this year in the area of gifts too.  As they are getting older, the gifts get a little more practical, but it’s fun to see them love them all the same.

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Ellee adored the Panda bank that I found for her after seeing an adorable video on Facebook.  The little panda pops up from the box, and then reaches out a paw to take the coin that you put on the plate.  She tried to empty her entire piggy bank and giggled each time the panda popped up.

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We found quite a few “same” gifts to give the kids this year too.  They both got running gloves, drawing books and these gifts, which were fun crossbow nerf-type things that we got at Costco.  My sisters sent them cute running outfits which they both loved as well.

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And when all was said and done?  It was a pretty awesome and full morning of gifts and love and celebration…  Oh, and lots and lots of wrapping paper.  It’s amazing how long it takes to wrap the gifts and how short it takes to open them and then toss the paper aside.

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We ended our morning, doing our traditional, “Wait… We think there might be one last present,” bit.  When everything is picked up and taken care of, we try to be our funny selves managing to dig up that last present that we somehow forgotten.  Usually it’s their big gift of the year and this year it seems that we hit home runs for both of them.  Ellee received a camper for her American Girl dolls.  Usually I try to stay away from the kinds of things that she may just play with once, but I had high hopes that this would not be one of those.  She cried over it twice at Target (I told her that we had to buy the only one they had left, and ship it to her cousin Anna because Aunt Leslie was looking for it).  Yes, I lied.  But it helped me to buy it right in front of her and it ended up being a huge surprise when she got it.  So it all worked out in the end.  Christian’s big gift was a much needed new bike.  With this warm winter, we’ve get out quite a few times a week, and the bike he had was old and worn out.  He was delighted and we all enjoyed a beautiful ride this afternoon.

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And that about sums up our amazingly merry and bright Christmas day.  Thanks for stopping in to share in our memories and I wish you all the very best Christmas!  I hope that, like our family, you are able to celebrate the love and joy of Jesus and his birth and that you are also able to go forth with a beautiful hope for the coming year.

Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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