Christmas 2011

What an amazingly blessed year this has been for us, for our entire family, and what better way to end the year than with Christmas here in California!

We always return to Texas to spend Christmas at my mom's (Gram's) house but with us moving soon, it was important we save that travel money and what a gift that Gram and Aunt Jenny were able to come here so we could all still be together over the holiday.

We put up a real tree, as we do every year, and brought out all the indoor and outdoor decor before they arrived. David and Emily did most of the decorating; examining each ornament and hearing it's story before carefully selecting a place to put it was Emily's favorite part of preparing for Christmas.

We really enjoyed baking, eating & drinking, walking Christmas Tree Lane, having our annual portraits made, opening gifts, watching our favorite Christmas movies, and laughing over shared memories of Christmas past.

Emily even got to talk to Santa! She was positively giddy, whispering what she wanted for Christmas in Santa's ear.

This was Nolan's first Christmas which was even more special because he cut his first tooth on Christmas Eve!

Emily really enjoyed passing out all the gifts under the tree, reading each name on the gift tags, and it was neat to include her in the gift opening on Christmas Eve that normally takes place amongst the adults once the kids are asleep.

She especially loved opening all her gifts, a few favorites were a new robe, light-up boots, Angry Birds game, and Pokemon books.

Nolan reached for and swatted at the ribbon on his gifts and gave up a bunch of gummy grins for the camera. Six months old is a great age for Christmas, especially because he isn't mobile and couldn't get at the ornaments on the tree! :)

Christmas morning was spectacular! Santa left some wonderful surprises for everyone, we enjoyed our traditional breakfast casserole and mimosas (mine more champagne with a splash of OJ), and spent a relaxing day playing with our new toys.

As always, Christmas was over way too quick and it was soon time for Gram and Aunt Jenny to go home. Thankfully, there were no tears nor tantrums this year! Pixar closes down the week between Christmas and New Year's Day so, we have a long week together as a family to enjoy some quality time together and ring in the New Year.


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