Christmas Day

Monday, January 27, 2014
On Christmas morning the kids did not wake up early. I was up all alone waiting... That should have been my first clue that something was wrong.  My second clue should have been when Kate asked for water.  We can never get that girl to drink.  We push fluids with her like crazy but she rarely asks for a drink.


The tree just before everyone woke up. I wrapped everything in silver and white this year.  



Kate was not really herself. And she had a very funny reaction to the bike Santa brought her.

All Kate asked for was a bike and a play tent.  She talked about the bike for weeks because she rides bikes with her friends in the neighborhood and her two good friends had recently moved up to "big" bikes with gears. She wanted a bike with gears and she wanted it to have black tires (for skidding).  She had a very clear vision for this bike and it was kind of hard to find one like that for her size.  Santa looked very hard. He finally found a pink one (she wanted "sky blue").

I really expected her to be soooooooo excited when she saw the bike.  If you watch the video you'll see that she was kind of underwhelmed.  At first, I was upset because I thought she was acting spoiled.  We try very hard not to spoil our kids.  I know that they are not deprived. I know they are blessed.  But Dave and I are very intentional in what we give and don't give our kids. Harry and Will both have jobs (I need to tell y'all about Harry's soon).  We don't buy them things unless it is their birthday or Christmas.  In fact, Will and Harry barely got any presents as they have other special things they just got or are getting.*see note at bottom.

Untitled from Kim S on Vimeo.

But then I slowly started to understand Kate's reaction.  First, she was sick.  She had 104 temperature which I quickly discovered just after she came downstairs.  Secondly, she was very intimidated by the bike.  It looked scary to her.  She loves it now and rides it everyday but it scared her at first.


What I do like about the video is that before any of them even opened a gift, they thanked us (following Will's lead).  

This year I told the kids they could ask for something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.  And they were 100% fine with that.  They also got a few extras from relatives and in their stockings.

(Will getting a key fob, Kate loves books, Harry got a Vineyard Vines T-shirt and Dave got some new cutting boards)  I felt really bad about Harry opening that Vineyard Vines box. He asked for 2 or 3 small things for Christmas. One was a Vineyard Vines t-shirt.  I ordered one on sale and got Kate one too.  I accidentally mislabeled them and Harry opened Kate's by mistake. He was a little disappointed when he opened it thinking it was his and was way too small:)  We figured out the mistake and he was fine once he opened his.  That was the first time that either I or Santa mislabeled gifts:)


This book was one of my favorite gifts to give on Christmas morning.  This is Harry's favorite book. It is called Home of the Brave.  I found a first edition hardback and had the teacher who introduced this book to Harry (one of his all time favorite teachers) write in the front of it.  I also added an inscription.  I know Harry will always treasure it.

Harry's other gift was a new lacrosse shaft.  He loves it. He played with it this weekend and scored a few goals.  So, I guess it works;)


Will only asked for one thing and it was a fancy, preppy belt.  Luckily, I found it on sale:)


Oh and Dave surprised Harry with some waders for when they go fishing. I know he loved those.


Excuse Kate rubbing her nose here...

Untitled from Kim S on Vimeo.

Dave also surprised Kate with her own set of golf clubs.  They all go golfing or to the driving range and Kate was using very old hand me down clubs from the boys.  The grips had melted and were a mess.  She was thrilled to have her own clubs.




Here she is winking as she gets a feel for them:)


At Christmas Eve Mass, Monsignor was telling us that he got oranges in his stocking as a kid.  My kids thought that was pretty funny. Fruit? In your stocking? Then I told them that in fact, my grandma (God rest her soul) used to put oranges and whole walnuts and a silver dollar in our stocking growing up too. So as a joke, we put an orange in Will's stocking.

After gifts, we had our traditional big Christmas breakfast that I make but the rest of the day is kind of a blur.  Dave bought me a nice flat screen TV for our room for Christmas (yes, I love a TV in the I watch TV in bed almost every night).  We spent a lot of the day watching movies (we liked Parental Guidance) and being lazy. I didn't take any more photos and I don't think any of us even got out of our pajamas all day.

So, I had set the dining room table and made a special gluten free dessert and Dave made a homemade pie. We cooked a beef tenderloin and a ham and all of the side dishes for Christmas dinner.  We were supposed to have Dave's brother and his whole family over for dinner but we told them about the flu and they opted out. Can't say I blame them.  We still cooked all the food and our nephew came over to pick some food up to bring back to their house for dinner.  We sure did miss them on Christmas day.

(I think this is a phone pic)

So, all in all, it was a good Christmas.  It certainly was not our best but I know it could have been worse so I am counting our blessings.

* as you know, Will got a car in November so he really did not get much for Christmas.  And Harry is going to France and Spain in March on a school trip so he did not get much either.  They knew this before Christmas and were fine with it. 


  1. Sweet Christmas even with sick kiddos! Kate's bike is really cool! You have a wonderful family!

  2. Sorry your family was sick over the holidays---but love seeing these pictures--we still get oranges and a walnut in our stockings!!!!! - right in the toe (here in PA-Montgomery county)--since your Grandmom did it I'm wondering if it is a PA thing? my family was Irish that started that tradition?

  3. sorry your family was under the weather for Christmas--but LOVE seeing the pictures of your sweet family and beautiful tree and table--the silver and white is spectacular looking!!!!--My family still does oranges and walnuts--right in the toe of the stocking--not sure where our tradition came from my family is Irish and for some reason it does not seem like an "Irish" tradition--but we live in PA (Montgomery county) - maybe it is a PA tradition--since your Grandmom use to do it I'm assuming she was from PA?

    1. Yes, Barbaraann,

      I grew up in Bucks County and my grandmas were from PA:)

  4. Our Christmas went down hill after the dinner! Stomach flu hit the house like a wave. Sorry that Kate was sick! We are careful too on what we give! I think to many parents give way to much and then the kids do not appreciate anything.

  5. Beautiful Christmas pictures, Kim. We operate the same at our home with presents ... only on special occasions.

  6. Your pictures are always so beautiful! We have had a few Christmases with wrenches in them also. I have decided that Christmas is no longer a day it is the season and I really work on doing actually more leading up to Christmas these days. We had out first Christmas without all of my children at home. I hate that they have to grow up and start doing "grown up things" like get real jobs and move away….. not fun.

    1. Lisa, you are so right and we did the same. I purposefully got all the "work"of Christmas done early so we could spend time celebrating the birth of Christ as a family all month long. I think that is why none of us were too upset about the low-key day.

  7. youre so right...the best part is they all said thank you. :) that was so sweet! such sweet kiddos and great parents!

  8. I'm not sure where the idea originated, but we did the exact same thing this year...Something You Want, Something You Need, Something To Wear and Something To Read. It was absolutely wonderful. My daughters decided that the something they wanted were Kindle Fires and the something to read were Amazon gift cards for ebooks. I think I will continue the tradition. We always do oranges and nuts in our stockings too. We put different nuts in each stocking.

    1. I saw it on someone's Facebook and really loved the idea. It simplifies things and I feel like I don't "overbuy."

  9. That first video is pretty funny. Harry sitting grabbing for kleenex, will prompting kate for "thank you". Total opposite over here. I feel like even if my kids were sick they'd still just rip rip rip the wrapping paper. I tried to slow them down this year and watch each other open their gifts. Glad you are all healthy now!

    1. I do love how Will modeled gratitude for Kate and Harry followed suit right after that (not on video though). We all take a turn opening one gift at a time and talking and laughing. It is a long and clam process. We even take a present break to eat breakfast. So they know the drill by now;)

  10. Lovely! I didn't watch the videos but I am going to check out that book of Harry's STAT!

  11. I'm so sorry to that the flu was going around your house, too. It's been awful this this year! I'm always so impressed with how genuinely grateful your kids seem. Kate is looking sooo tall lately.

    Gin =)


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