We officially had our last Christmas celebration on Sunday, and although this year’s Christmas was a little different than normal (just like everything in 2020), it was still filled with sweet memories.
Something about the start of this season just felt off – we weren’t nearly as busy as normal (which was actually a good thing). Despite not being as busy, I was somehow very late in getting my Christmas decorations put up. I normally try to decorate right after Thanksgiving and have it all put up before I go back to school after Thanksgiving break, but this year I still had a bare tree two weeks before Christmas. Jack didn’t seem to care, though, and he loved helping me decorate when I finally got out the ornaments.
The boys’ daycare did a great job making the season special for them with all kinds of fun activities and themed days – they had a gingerbread day where they made and decorated cookies, they visited the North Pole and met Santa (Jack’s favorite part of that was riding the big school bus from one building to the other – Henry, on the other hand, HATED that trip and was not a fan of Santa), they had a birthday party for Jesus, and they had a pajama day where they watched Christmas movies.
This was the first year Jack has really been into Christmas, and it was fun to see how excited he was about everything. He wanted a tree in his room, which we put up and covered with blue lights. He also couldn’t wait to see Santa and tell him all about what he wanted for Christmas – a real airplane that he and Henry (and later he added Mama and Daddy) could ride in together. We have no idea where that idea came from, but he stuck with it and consistently told us that’s what he had asked Santa for. Let’s just say that Santa had some trouble finding such a plane. Even Amazon couldn’t help. So Santa had to call in some reinforcements and ask Daddy to build a plane.
I found some plans on Pinterest, and Jeff and I went to Lowe’s and bought all the wood and supplies, then Jeff got to work building a plane in our basement. He finished it a few days before Christmas, and I painted it on Christmas Eve right before we left for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner (nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?). Of course, we couldn’t let Santa take credit for the plane since Jeff built it (I wanted Jack to know his Daddy made it), so Santa brought Jack an airplane book with a note attached explaining that the plane was too big to fit in his sleigh, but that he had told Jeff that’s what Jack wanted and Jeff built it for him. Jack was so excited to go see it after we read the letter from Santa! Jeff says that I’m more excited about it than the kids are, but I am really proud of him for building it (it is the first thing he has ever built, and I think he did a great job).
Other than the plane, we kept it pretty simple with presents. Santa filled the boys’ stockings and brought one small gift, and then Jeff and I tried to stick to just a few simple gifts. I basically followed the something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read plan and stuck to about 4 gifts total (besides the plane). Jack ended up with a guitar, some cool new underwear, pajamas, and a new bedtime Bible story book (which we have been reading every night since Christmas and he has loved). Henry got new pajamas, a Bible story board book, some toy cars, and a new stacking toy.
It was actually kind of nice having fewer gifts to open on Christmas morning because the boys weren’t so overwhelmed and had time to actually play with the things they got for a little while instead of us just shoving another box their way.
After our visit from Santa, we went to my grandparents’ house for Christmas breakfast and then spent the day at my parents’ house letting the boys play with their new toys.
On Saturday, we met Jeff’s dad at his river cabin for lunch and to exchange gifts. Jack got to go fishing on the river with Jeff, which he loved. It was a beautiful day on the river and a nice way to spend the afternoon.
On Sunday, we had Jeff’s mom and our niece and nephew over for lunch after church. Jack loves getting to play with his cousins and all of the kids enjoyed playing on the plane and out in the yard with all their new Christmas toys.
All of our gatherings were small this year, but it was a nice change for them to be that way.