Christmas 2018

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We let the kids get up at 6:30 this year to get things rolling for Christmas! The older kids were all awake plenty earlier but did a great job staying contained to their spaces and not coming out. It was good for the little babies to get that sleep! 

SO excited!!!

We take a line up picture every year. I love that the babies are GOING. So cute as a memory of this stage!!!

Spear, being the youngest, came out first and he did NOT like it. He was BAWLING. He just wanted his mama!

Zach took this video of the kids coming out and opening their Santa gifts!

Santa brings each child three gifts and they are wrapped in Santa paper and in piles together! They just rip through them so it’s hard to watch them all in the chaos! 

These two both wanted FLIPPY BEANIE BOOS so bad! They were pumped!

Britt really, really wanted a mommy and baby koala stuffed animal and was so thrilled ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Last year Britt got a scooter from Santa and Tess really wanted one this year!

Spear was SO thrilled about his Cozy Coupe!

Santa brought him a BIG ball and he loves it!

Colt, Payton and Carter all got kindles from Santa so Kye helped a bit with setup!

Tessie wanted to go sit with Carter right away during stocking opening. 

We opened stockings and then passed out gifts. All the guys helped pass them all out! 

We have the kids sit in a circle and each open a gift at one time at the same time. It makes it easier to see them all but is still quicker than taking turns individually. We had Spear sit in a high chair to watch and eat his breakfast!

I was really, really excited to give Colt and Payton laser tag sets!

Tess made Carter a card ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Britt LOVES “flippy” clothes and G-Mama got her a unicorn flippy dress!

SO excited for Clone Wars!

Britt really wanted a fan like Mulan ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Super pumped about Solo ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Kye asked for pirate costume stuff which made my mama heart so happy!

Christmas morning tradition: cookies!!!

We kept him chowing down so he’d be BUSY and we could open haha

As I mentioned in the Christmas Eve post Tess didn’t nap on Christmas Eve and she was also up late chatting with Carter that night. The result y’all was not pleasant. 

When people say negative things about our “hardcore ness” when it comes to our kids’ schedules my response is that we love our kids and want our kids to be at their best selves…for them and for US too. I felt a lot of guilt about Tess on Christmas Morning. It was MY fault as her parent for letting her skip nap and MY fault for letting her have a sleepover that caused a lack of sleep. It’s on me. 

But her attitude that morning honestly killed all my joy. It was one of those times that I was SUPER thankful to have so many kids haha I could focus on the kids who were being sweet and appreciative and fun and excited and tune out the one that was acting ungrateful and rude and just not like herself AT ALL. 

Tess is four and has to learn social etiquette. It’s OKAY to not like every gift you receive but you still need to be KIND and THANKFUL. She’s open a gift and say “I don’t like this” and then make this ugly face and toss the gift aside. In the moment it was actually pretty hilarious but it was more upsetting than it was funny. 

It was a really good push for Zach and I to cut back next year on the gifts, less gifts = more appreciation FOR SURE. In the moment we didn’t get onto her. But once we got home? Oh we had a TALK. 

I explained to her that every single present she had been ugly about when she opened it she would not be allowed to keep. I know people may not agree with that. I know it’d be easy to give her the excuse of being tired or too young to understand and still let her keep the items. But I wanted this to be a teachable moment. 

I explained that we’d be finding children who WOULD appreciate the gifts and would be donating them. Not only because of how she responded when opening them, but also because Mommy worked hard to give those gifts to her and Mommy, as the gift giver, would like to see children who would appreciate the gifts receive the gifts. I explained that it hurts feelings when you are ugly about a gift that someone took time, money and thought to give to you. 

When we got home that afternoon she napped and we discussed it when she was well rested and she helped me sort through her gifts and recognized the ones she hadn’t been grateful for. She was content in the decision to give them away and the few times she’s asked for them back I’ve just reminded her about it and she’s done well with it (we’re giving the gifts to children at a hospital this weekend). 

Usually Tess is SO joyful so it really did break my heart that she just wasn’t herself that morning. I’m SO thankful for our Core Crew Christmas and that ALL my kids were at least in great moods that day!

Kye and Britt have water bottles in their bedrooms so I hunted for one that Tess could have in hers!

Last year I had a favorite gift for each kid that was something they hadn’t asked for and I labeled it “last gift” and had them open it at the end! I did the same thing this year and loved seeing their joy and excitement in receiving something they hadn’t expected!

This was THE GIFT I was most pumped about this year! I got this FurReal Unicorn on super clearance after Christmas last year (I paid like $30 for it) and Britt didn’t even know it existed. I knew she’d be thrilled and heck I was excited for it for myself!

With four kids itโ€™s often a struggle to really enjoy each child each day, especially during the chaos of Christmas.

But Britt really stood out this year. She took such time and care in opening each gift. She read every tag. Thanked every gift giver. And showed so much appreciation for every item she opened: big or small. 

I told her that she made my Christmas extra special this year. Iโ€™m so proud of how much sheโ€™s grown up and of the young woman sheโ€™s becoming. Seeing her joy gave me so much joy too!

Especially with Tess’s attitude that morning, I appreciated Britt’s wonderful attitude even more! She really made my DAY. She was my Christmas joy this year for sure! She’s so FUN to give gifts to because she always appreciates them and shows that excitement with every gift – big or small!

Spear stayed in the high chair SO well! He ate and then played with a toy and once the older kids finished up we let him down to open his stuff!

The kids all sat around Spear and helped him open!

Our attempt at a family photo haha

Oh the mean mom face was on FIRE that morning! 

After the gift opening all the kids watched Zach’s film from his Sportscenter #1 Play of the Day!

THE CATCH!

G-Mama had one last surprise: Wild Adventures Passes! Yay!

We finished opening REALLY fast this year so we had some downtime for the kids to play before getting ready to go to Big Daddy and Little Mama’s house for breakfast! Britt was all about her unicorn!

Big Daddy ADORES Britt (I mean, really who doesn’t?). He is always talking to her about her hair and how “if you have a beautiful face don’t cover it up with hair.” She will tell me at home “I tuck my hair behind my ears b/c Big Daddy says to not cover up my face!” ha!

Aunt Karen surprised Little Mama and Big Daddy with a swing she built for them!

My Christmas Baby!

I love these of Spear with Big Daddy. Big Daddy calls him “Bryant” and is the ONLY person who calls him by his first name. It’s funny because Zach thinks he does that because Spear is too “new age” for Big Daddy but “Spear” is a name that’s been in my family for generations. So really it’s super old school! My great uncle was Spear and he was in his 80s when I was in middle school! 

I was soooo pumped about the gift we got for Big Daddy this year! “Keep Calm and Watch Judge Judy” Big Daddy LOVES some Judge Judy!

The kids all did SO well over at their house being patient to eat and patient with all the adults opening gifts. Tess’s attitude was WAY better too! 

Spear was Big Daddy’s gift helper!

We get home from Big Daddy’s and Little Mama’s right at nap time and we ALL nap. It’s like THE BEST nap all year for me. Something about Christmas just wears you OUT. 

We usually like the house to just be a mess of toys and gifts and spend a couple days in our pjs opening and playing. But this year we were having carpet installed the Friday of Christmas Week (Christmas was a Tuesday this year). So I let the kids open everything and play on Christmas Day but the next day I started putting things up to be out of the way for the carpet install!

Last year Payton got a Hatchimal for Christmas so the girls wanted one this year and they both LOVED it. Tess played with one of Spear’s musical toys and her little Hatchimal really responded to the music!

A big goal of mine this year was the clean out the gift closet and one of the gifts I had up there were princess tents for the girls. I think I bought them back when Britt was LITTLE and I got two thinking one for a gift for a birthday party or something but I never gave them as gifts because the packaging wasn’t cute. Turns out the tents are awesome! The girls love them…but so does Spear!!!

The girls gave their Hatchimals a lot of attention and they all hatched that day! Which shocked me and kinda bummed me out. Isn’t the fun part the hatching? I felt like it was all over too fast. Britt has continued to really enjoy hers, Tess has stopped any sort of interacting with hers and I’m actually thinking she gave hers to Britt!

Mrs. Charlotte did AWESOME this year regarding our desire to cut back on random toys and things our kids just won’t play with. I love that she invested in their hearts and their relationships with the Lord. She got this book series for Britt and they are wonderful Christian stories!

I love a toy that is FUN for Spear…yet also keeps him contained haha!

Lots of epic battles with all their new Star Wars weapons!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year and really feel like it was a great transition year into the changes we will be implementing in the future. Less junk, more quality time! I’m all about it and excited to see how our Christmas differs next year. I’m also eager to see how Spear is next year…here’s to hoping I can put gifts under the tree and that he’s better able to participate in the opening a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

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journeyofphood

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

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1 Comment

  1. January 14, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    I love you handled Tess’s attitude with the gifts – its a great teaching moment.

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