As always, we spent Christmas Eve at our cousins' house and gathered with the family for a great time. Mairead loved exploring all of the Christmas decorations, especially this nutcracker. The kids had no idea what was to come the next morning, so they were pretty calm about the whole thing. I am sure that will be very different next year when they can anticipate Santa's arrival.
The beginning of the night was pretty low key and the kids were doing great despite a new place, new people, Christmas trees, and presents. They took it all in stride.
But then.... terror. From the look on Jack's face, you can probably tell who arrived...
Mairead loves Santa and was literally jumping up and down when he walked in the door. Her brothers were already screaming in fear of him. I hope they grow out of this quickly... Santa is a pretty cool guy.
I love the look on her face. She had just noticed Santa walk in and she lit up.
She also loves candy canes, so this was pretty awesome.
Poor Emily was trying to console Ben as he screamed about seeing Santa.
I love this-- a sweet picture of Nana and Santa, but Ben is in the background throwing himself around trying to avoid the guy in the red suit.
See? Santa is pretty cool! She sat on his lap for a long time, happy as could be. After others had a turn, she wandered back over and perched herself on his knee and made herself comfortable. Obviously, that was a good spot and she should be in it!
Jack took refuge with Jimmy.
While Ben took his blanket and got the hell out of there.
Jack's pajamas say, "Dear Santa, I've been good." Ben's say, "Dear Santa, Define 'good.'" Pretty cute, huh?
Of course, after the kids are snuggled warm in their beds, Santa's elves had some assembling to do. Molly tried to help out.
This thing turned out to be one of their favorite gifts, but man, was it hard to put together! Not complicated, but it required superhuman strength to pop the pieces into place. Luckily, we had a Daddy and a Grampy who were up to the challenge.