As the month of December slowly comes to an end, I have to say that planning a vacation at the beginning of the month definitely shortened the Christmas holiday. It was all just a bit too rushed for me. Twelve years ago, I vacationed in Hawaii with a friend at the beginning of December and it turned out to be a nice break. Life is certainly different with three little ones.
I was a bit surprised by how quickly Christmas tree sales wrapped up and shut down. Maybe it's always this way and I've never noticed because we usually have our tree fairly early. The girls, mostly Allie, were obsessed with the tree ornaments. She kept begging Rich to bring the boxes to the family room before we even had a tree. Unfortunately, because we had a lot of family parties that weekend, the girls and Rich did most of the tree decorating while I was at work. :(
Gingerbread house decorating. And snacking.
I used my two remaining vacation days to be at home on Christmas Eve day and the day after Christmas. In my opinion, working those days is torturous. We were all able to visit with Rich's mom on Christmas Eve day.
The girls were in rare form and had been for a few days. We basically had three Naughty Listers for a few hours. And then we stopped by the cemetery to visit Abigail. Allie found a pinkish-white heart shaped rock to leave on Abbey's headstone. Emily asked me to read the back of the headstone and asked why only Abbey's birthday was listed. I explained that she died when she was born. Emily asked, "Did she just not feel very well?" I cried.
We spent Christmas Eve at home. Every year, I say that I won't be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and this year, like the others, I was wrapping presents on Christmas Eve.
Lined up to go downstairs Christmas morning.
Allie made Rich this "fake shirt" for Christmas. She laughed hysterically when she created it and when he opened it.
For their big present, the girls each received an American Girl doll. I went through the catalog with them months ago to determine which doll they wanted. I waited a few weeks and asked again because I wanted to make sure that they weren't going to change their minds. They didn't. Interestingly enough, they each wanted a different doll and they picked dolls that kind of matched them. Allie wanted McKenna, Anna wanted Julie and Emily wanted Caroline.
The girls love the dolls and list them as their top favorite present. Emily had also asked for Inkpot, Caroline's cat. She flipped out when she opened that gift.
My mom gave them each a doll bed and each night, Emily tucks Caroline into bed and places Inkpot next her on the floor. It's so adorable.
One more photo before I sign off. I managed to find the last two pettiskirts on the clearance racks at Target and Emily is wearing one under this skirt I made.