In the past, Ryan and I have packed up the girls and taken them around to our parents' homes AND our extended family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The racing around town(s) from one gathering to another was lots of fun... until we had kids. After much consideration, we decided to stay home on Christmas Day. We love being able to leisurely open our presents and even play with them as we go. We eat a hot breakfast (nothing fancy though) and then open and play more. We remove toys from packaging (this takes forever, am I right parents?), put games together, and have a great time. We all take naps and watch a movie. This year, we acted out the Nativity (something that was getting lost in the shuffle in previous years) and hopefully reminded the girls of the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas. Here's a few pictures:
Here's Emma opening her gift from Hannah: play oven mits.
And Hannah opening her gift from Emma: a Disney princess calendar. I was so happy to see how excited the girls were to GIVE this year. The gifts they wanted opened first were the gifts they were giving, not the gifts they were receiving.
Hannah got a flute for Christmas, so she and Emma had a Christmas morning duet. Love that dollar store for simple pleasures.
We acted out the nativity in full Mideastern garb (be thankful I was the photographer and there aren't any pictures of me). This year, Hannah was able to read part of the account from the scriptures. It was even more special to hear her little voice read those familiar words.
Emma was a shepherd with her shepherd's crook (golf umbrella) and baby lamb.
Hannah was a wise man. Both girls presented gifts to baby Jesus.
We hope the real reason we celebrate Christmas and give gifts was impressed upon the girls. During our Nativity, Emma spontaneously snuggled baby Jesus. Maybe, even at 3 years old, they understand what Christmas is really about.