Christmas in February - Part 1

I know, I know... almost everyone posted Christmas pictures in December. And then, whoever didn't post in December posted in the early days of January. Well... I didn't. Sorry. So now you get Christmas in February! In 2 parts even! It actually seems almost right today as the snow lightly falls here in NJ. Just call up a little Christmas spirit and enjoy Christmas Eve.

No... not feeling the Christamasy spirit yet?

How about now? Smiling girls... holiday shirts... tree and ornaments. OK? Good.

We spent our Christmas Eve finishing up our last minute decorating and wrapping. Zoe LOVED getting to wrap her own presents for Ana and Daddy. It made it all that much more special for her knowing that the packages were taped up by her and that her name was on the little tag.

Nick had to go to work on Christmas Eve. When he came home we got ready to go out for an early dinner before church. Zoe was excited that she and Ana were "twins". Ana was a little concerned/curious about the layer of tulle under her dress. I absolutely loved these little dresses and couldn't resist them. (I think Carrie felt the same way!)

We had a lovely and delicious dinner at Bensi and then headed to the Christmas Eve church service. I was very proud that both girls behaved so well at the church service (actually... they both do quite well every time we go to church).

After church we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house. For a number of years now our tradition has become Christmas Eve at their house. We all exchange some gifts, enjoy some wine/beer, and get excited about Santa.

Our little Christmas family.

Ana was actually quite "done" before we even started. It was bedtime for her... and I think if she could talk she would have been saying "Hey! Mommy! Where is my bed? What in the world are you thinking? Get me out of this party dress. Please tell me you packed the pjs."

Poor Ana. Her sister and cousins were just bursting with present opening energy.

Zoe loves her easle.

Ana and Zoe both got towels with their names embroidered onthem.

Nina was a little whirlwind at ripping paper.

Alex couldn't wait to get the toys out of the boxes.

And Larisa, she seemed to be taking on her roll of oldest and most mature quite seriously. She was a very calm present opener.

Nick got a nice pink tea set. Oh, wait. That was Nina's.

Once the presents were all unwrapped and the paper was scattered everywhere the cousins went to their favorite activity at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Run around the carpet. This round rug causes them all to run around in circles for a ridiculous amount of time. It makes me dizzy just thinking of the spinning and twirling.

Grandma tried to get Ana to relax a little bit. But my Ana... she's a girl who likes her schedule. She has her bedtime nursing session, rubs her eyes a little, pops into her crib, and is immediately off to dream land. She wasn't too happy with the whole change in routine.

This picture of Grandpa shows you exactly how all of the adults felt at the end of the evening.

We loaded up the car with kids and packages and headed home to get ready for Santa. When we got home Ana went immediately into her crib. Zoe got cookies and milk ready for Santa. She set out some carrots for the reindeer. And then we all hurried off to sleep hoping that we weren't up too late. We would hate to think we had missed Santa!!!

But, Santa never fails. He made it to our house and added his touches of Christmas magic. He and the reindeer enjoyed their snacks and left sparkling bow covered gifts for Zoe and Ana.

It was a wonderful way to start Christmas.