I heard the boys' excited voices around 6:00 on Christmas morning.
I was already up at the computer, writing a note to stick in Sam's stocking,
but I kept them waiting and playing upstairs until about 7:00 when Sam woke up.
We keep things fairly simple for Christmas--
a stocking from Santa,
3 gifts from Sam and I,
and one gift from a sibling,
plus kind gifts from extended family.
But in spite of that simplicity (or perhaps because of it?) the boys get SO excited about the littlest things on Christmas morning. Their stockings were laid out when they came down and, in spite of the fact that they just had some snacks, socks or masks, and a hot wheels car in them, they were over the moon.
(I mean, can you help but love Maxwell's enthusiasm about his socks??)
We let them race the cars and enjoy some of the snacks, and then eventually we went around and let everyone open one gift.
We like to spread out gift opening over Christmas morning--I've found that, for our kids, they are happier and much more grateful if they have 20 minutes or so to soak in each gift before moving on to another one.
It was so fun to introduce the kids to a classic 90's toy from my childhood-Wesley loves his Lite-Brite!
Then we settled down to eat our Christmas breakfast,
complete with overnight sticky buns, Simply Orange, Greek yogurt, and lots of bacon.
And then we spent the rest of the day opening gifts, playing with them, and relaxing at home.
As disappointed as we were to not be able to go to Utah, I do love a nice, quiet Christmas at home.
Talmage was thrilled with his new Chess set--the old one had seen much better days.
These Oregon Trail books Lincoln got are so fun! They are like the Choose Your Own Adventure books, but on the Oregon Trail.
But Lincoln said his favorite gift was getting to hold Elsie again.
We hadn't bothered to keep him away from the family after his positive COVID test, but I did feel a little hesitant about him holding Elsie in spite of the low risk it is to her. I just get stressed when newborns are sick in any way, and it takes me right back to when newborn Wesley was hospitalized with RSV. So I told him to wait until Christmas to hold her and he was so happy to have her in his arms again!
I got a crazy deal on them, so we gave the three oldest boys subscriptions to KiwiCo boxes--Tinker Crates for Wesley and Lincoln and Eureka Crates for Talmage. They have loved them! Talmage built a wooden ukulele that he had to string and everything, and they've also made a spinning art machine, a walking robot, a locking safe, and a cool UV light double pendulum so far.
The stilts from Grandma Sue have also been a huge hit. I think this picture of Talmage and Wesley helping Maxwell with them is my favorite from the day!
This doorway swing has been SO fun for the kids. We haven't wanted to invest in an outdoor swing set while we are renting since it would be such a hassle to move, so this provides an excellent alternative!
And they were more than a little excited about the snowcone machine and syrups from Aunt Amanda...
...and the spikeball set from Aunt Kellie. The boys caught on to this faster than I expected and it has been a great indoor sport option!
We put on a Christmas cartoon for the kids in the late afternoon while Sam and I cleaned up the fun disaster that Christmas brings, and then we ate pizza for dinner.
It was a truly marvelous Christmas.