Christmas 2021

What is it about getting older that makes the year go by so quickly? I feel like I JUST put up the Christmas decorations, and now it’s time to take them down again. I swear, December went by in a flash.

We again hosted our annual Christmas Eve party, this time just Andrew’s family and the Nyes. Sometimes we have more, sometimes we don’t. I always appreciate keeping it simple, especially now that our nephews are getting older and we have our own little one to take care of.

There’s been a lot of Rudolph-watching going on this month, and while I love that Maelle is starting to get into some of the ‘pretend’ parts of the season, I’ll be glad to put the DVD away until next year.

We got our Christmas carousel out this year, and I even made eggnog-cake trees that serve as both dessert and a centerpiece!

We ended our evening reading the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke with Maelle before she went to bed. Afer we cleaned up and prepped for the following morning, we barely had a moment to relax before it was well past OUR bedtime.

For what felt like the first time ever, Andrew and I were at our own house, in front of our own tree, opening our own gifts, on Christmas morning. Now that we have Maelle, I understand why families often want to ‘stay home’ at Christmas. Growing up, we traveled a lot, and for the early years of our marriage Andrew and I didn’t live near either of our parents. In recent years, we’ve stayed in NY for Christmas, but always raced off to my in-laws’ house as soon as we popped out of bed that morning. Last year, we even spent the night at their house (only one mile away!) for two nights! While it was fun to be together–the Johnsons were visiting–Andrew and I were also craving time together as our own little family.

Maelle was surprised and excited to see all the presents under the tree, and Andrew and I enjoyed sitting in our family room–with a fire–sipping coffee while opening stockings. I even made monkey bread, the breakfast both Andrew and I grew up having on Christmas morning. It turned out perfectly, and boy, was it rich!

We opened gifts before and after breakfast, having to help Maelle along here and there. She loved her fleece tie blanket, (made from pieces of fabric I got on the free group!) as well as her Petit Menhir blocks. I got a paddleboard this year!

After we finished, cleaned up and got dressed, we headed to Andrew’s parents’ house to open more gifts and have lunch. Maelle’s favorite gift, by far, is her new doll from Andrew’s mom. It’s eyes ‘open and close,’ which is what Maelle asked for over and over again. She even got a set of baby food, which Maelle uses to feed the baby. Ever since baby Jack’s visit earlier this month, Maelle is obsessed with dirty diapers…so she changes her baby a lot.

Overall, it was perhaps our best Christmas yet! We both commented to each other about how much we liked being home together in the morning, and then joining the rest of the family later in the day. I think it kept us from feeling exhausted at the end of the day, which is what usually happens. For many years, we often had gifts from out-of-town friends and family sit under the tree for DAYS without having the time or energy to unwrap them. It was truly a merry Christmas.

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