A New York Christmas


Christmas was wonderful this year. After traveling for our entire break last year, we opted for staying home this Christmas. We missed our families, but there's something to doing your own thing with your own little family, you know?

We are thoroughly enjoying our looooong break from school...our last one until we have to be grown ups again! It is so nice to have Dale home 24/7. I love the help, the kids love having someone to play with, and I love being able to catch up on 5 months of lost sleep. It's a beautiful thing, sleeping...I almost forgot what it was like. We've done a lot of things this break to keep us busy and get us excited for Christmas (see here)....gingerbread houses, snowmen, christmas lights and all kinds of awesome upstate New York-y things and finally, Christmas came.



Christmas Eve has always been my favorite.  We had our traditional Chicken Corn Chowder for dinner and got the kids dressed in their new Santa jammies. My family has a tradition of getting new ornaments each year. My mom would buy us each an ornament that reminded her of our year, and each Christmas Eve she would hide them in the house for all the kids to find.  We open them that night and hang them on the tree. When we move out of the house, my mom gives us our ornaments we've collected through the years and we use that to start our own little ornament collection. Dale and I have carried on that tradition, so we get an ornament for each other and one for each of the kids. We wrapped them and hid them around the house for each person to find Christmas Eve and Viv loved it. She found hers fast and wanted to open everyone else's presents too.



After ornaments, we read Christmas books by the tree, read the Christmas Story from the Bible and watched the Bible video from LDS.org on the birth of Christ -- such a beautifully done video. It makes me feel all the feelings.

We set out cookies and milk for Santa and exactly nine carrots for the reindeer, which Viv loved, and then she went to bed.  After setting up Christmas, Dale and I watched our favorite Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and went to bed anxious and excited for the morning. Christmas is so exciting with kids!


Mo woke us up bright and early that day and usually we would go back to bed after feeding him, but we both woke up (5:30!) and started bustling around, starting breakfast, waiting for Viv to wake up....we just knew she would be up early.

TWO HOURS LATER of impatiently waiting, she rolls out of bed. GAH!

She's still a little young to get the whole "Santa" thing, but she was excited to see her toys and open so many presents. "Dis is for me??" she'd ask us excitedly about every present. She wanted to play with everything right as we opened it, so we lazed around, waited for our breakfast to cook and enjoyed Christmas morning. Mo was only excited about eating the wrapping paper and bows, obviously.


Our morning was fun and lazy....maybe a little lazier than it should have been, because that day I was hosting a big Christmas dinner for 13 people in my little apartment. I am CRAZY. I really am. So as soon as breakfast was eaten and obligatory naps were taken, we got to work cleaning, setting up the table, cooking, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and cooking some more, all between keeping kids entertained and ornery babies from crying (looking at you, Mo).  I'm surprised we only had to move dinner back 1/2 an hour, but that 30 minutes later, prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, a million delicious vegetables, appetizers, salads, Martinellis and desserts were crowded on our kitchen table, steaming and ready to be devoured. Nothing makes me almost cry than so much good food in once place...or a beautiful tablescape, which I nailed, btw, and I'm super proud of how it turned out:




At the end of the night, we were exhausted, but dinner was wonderful, food and company-wise, and it was the cherry on top of a beautiful first family Christmas for us. Merry Merry Christmas!

PS: excuse the horrible picture lighting/color, etc. I am way too lazy/busy to edit these.


  1. where did you get that freaking ADORABLE tent!?



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