This year was very different for us. Evan is now almost 3 years old, and we knew it was time to start doing our own thing. Although we could have dragged everything down to Effingham and celebrated Santa's arrival Christmas morning there, we really wanted to wake up in our own home Christmas morning. And so enters the beginning of new traditions. On Christmas Eve I made one of Rick's favorite meals - stuffed shells with homemade garlic bread. Then we gave Evan one gift to open, which was a pair of Cars pajamas. He was so excited! We all put our new pajamas on and watched Polar Express. We weren't sure how much of it Evan would watch, but he was completely engrossed in it and watched the entire thing sitting on the couch with us. After the movie, we set out cookies for Santa and read The Night Before Christmas.
Evan woke up with a cold Christmas morning at 5:15 AM. We brought him in bed with us hoping he would fall back asleep but that did not happen, and by 6:30 we decided to get up and see what Santa brought. I ran downstairs to start the coffee and get the cameras ready then Rick brought Evan down. Evan's reaction to seeing the presents under the tree: "Presents! I want to watch a movie now." Rick and I quickly suggested that we OPEN the presents and see what Santa brought, and Evan got to work opening everything up. He loved everything Santa gave him and was very excited to play with all of his new toys. We enjoyed a french toast breakfast with lots of coffee for me and Rick, and Evan played all morning with his toys. After Evan's nap we headed over to my parents' house for a delicious dinner and more presents and arrived back home around 11:oo that night.
We had a wonderful 2 days as a family and I really did enjoy doing our own "thing" this year. However, I missed our old traditions. Unlike many of my friends, I love my husband's family. We always have a great time together. I feel like they are MY family. I wish there was an easy solution to this, but there is no magic button that would put Effingham any closer to Chicago. So, we have to accept this change and just be thankful that we have this dilemma and WANT to be with both of our families on Christmas!
Evan bundled up in his snow suit on Christmas Eve to play in the snow for the first time this season