Here the girls are coming in to the living room to see what Santa brought. Sorry about the lack of light in the first two. It didn't occur to me to turn on the light. D'Oh!
They didn't notice the kitchen set until we pointed it out, then they immediately went to check it out.
Iris is helping Eloise open one of the gifts she gave her. Iris picked out a baby doll with a binkie and a kitty on her clothes and a notebook with kitties on it. See a theme? Eloise LOVES kitties. If you listen closely you can hear her say "kitty!".
We had a really fun morning. The girls slept until their usual 8:00-ish and Iris led the way in to the living room to see what Santa had left for her and her sister. Eloise was excited, as well, but since she didn't know what was happening she didn't quite have the build up of anticipation like Iris did.
I especially liked that there wasn't an insane pile of gifts like there was last year. Almost every single thing they got this morning went with the theme of the kitchen set, so although there was a lot of little parts, it made for something cohesive. There are several family members we haven't had the joy of meeting up with, either, so those gifts will extend the celebration out a bit, as well. I think last year it worked out that everyone mailed their gifts to our home and so there were that many more gifts on the pile.
This year we also let the girls open a few presents before the big day to help spread it out, as well. I think that was a smart idea, as well.
Every year that I spend away from my parents and brother's and sister's families I feel pretty sad. Christmas is so much fun at my parent's house and getting to see all of the extended relatives on my mother's side is just a blast. My parents try to make me feel better by reminding me what a pain travel is at this time of year and how bad the weather can get, but still, I wish we were all there to join in what I remember being the most magical part of growing up.
And the real Christmas miracle today is that it is SNOWING! We got one dusting of snow this season so far and that's it. It hasn't even gotten cold enough to snow, actually. Right now big fluffy white flakes are falling and the neighborhood is quiet. Hopefully some of it will start sticking and we can all pile on our winter gear and head outside!