Charley really started to get it this year. Of course, we pumped her head full of what she needed to know: Santa is coming. He is watching you. If you are good, he will bring presents. And she even understood the advent thing. We did a Christmas book advent calendar where she was able to open one wrapped book each day. Every day after she opened her book and we read it, she would say "When we open allll of these books, it will be time for Santa to come. Right? Right!"
So naturally, Christmas was really exciting this year. I may have been a tad too excited though when it came to buying Santa gifts. I follow the blog Hip2Save and there were some awesome deals this year that I couldn't pass up. Like this, and this, and this (bath time doll)! Pair those deals with some Halloween dress-up clearance, and even a couple things I snagged during after-Christmas clearance last year and I spent UNDER my budget and just got so much stuff. I agree that it was too much, but, Charley is such a good little girl! Santa thought she deserved it all!
The Mickey Mouse is what she had asked for every time she saw Santa, or every time you asked her what she wanted Santa to bring her. So I HAD to get that to sort of seal the Santa-believing deal. I actually went out to Walmart on Thanksgiving night to get that Mickey for $10. And that was the only thing I went out for so of course when I went to Walmart a week or two later I saw that they still had plenty of them for the same price. Go figure.
Christmas Eve we had my family over at our house for the first time to do our annual swap game and have dinner. This year we did a game with playing cards that was actually pretty fun for how simple it was. (See the girl scout exchange comment at the bottom.) We ate smoked chicken and had a mashed potato bar. It was so fun, and just tiring enough that Charley went down without a peep, even with being so excited for Santa to come.
Christmas morning I felt like a kid again. Woke up at 7:15 and for almost an hour, I hoped every little sound coming over the baby monitor was Charley waking up. Finally, she woke up. I figured at her age she would have forgotten about what was supposed to happen the night before and she'd come into our room first like she always does. But she actually remembered and made her way to the Christmas tree first, which left me scrambling and running to get the camera to catch that first glance.
I of course wasn't quick enough, but I did get this where she said "OH WOWW" and "may I hold it please?" before she picked Mickey up. I quickly called my parents so they could come up and watch her too, and then we got busy opening up (way too many) gifts. She did pretty good with them, but many times wanted to stop and just play with whatever she opened. It took some convincing to get her to finish them all.
She finally did though and then my parents went back home to get ready for our family Christmas gathering a few hours later. John and I got busy opening Charley's new toys and playing with them with her. It was hard to stop playing and start cooking, but I finally managed to do it. It was like being a kid all over again. Waking up early. The anticipation. The excitement over opening gifts (even though I wasn't opening them and I knew what they all were). I can't wait to see what a three-year-old's Christmas is like after experiencing a two-year-old's. I can only imagine that it keeps getting better.
Then at 11:30, we all met at my parent's house to eat brunch and exchange gifts with each other. There are 18 of us, and we all buy for each other, so it makes quite a bit of mess. But it's fun, it's chaotic, and I love it.
We made our way back home afterwards and had a relaxing afternoon with couch naps included. (and even a successful couch to toddler bed transfer!)
We had a wonderful Christmas. And from the looks of it around the blog-o-sphere, y'all did too. Kids, man. What fun little creatures they are.