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My house is a sight to behold.  The lights twinkle on the tree, but there are no more brightly wrapped gifts hiding beneath it’s plastic limbs.  Instead there are scraps of paper that for some reason or another didn’t quite make it into the recycle bin.  Scattered throughout the living room I periodically will step on a rogue knex piece.  I’m not sure how many times they have dragged the box out, built a motorcycle or helicopter, or Chase’s snowflake machine (my personal favorite).

It’s the day after Christmas, two months of leading up to the “magical” day, and for the first time in years I don’t quite feel the letdown I have in the past.  Maybe it is that for the first time in eleven years I haven’t focused on making the PERFECT Christmas.  I’ve had traditions almost forty years in the making, however many of them I let lay in my memories.  I’m learning that my memories are far more “golden” than the actual reality, nothing lived up to how my Mom made Christmas magical.  Instead I sewed my little heart out, read a couple of Christmas themed books, made chocolate cookies with crushed peppermint, and herded the kiddos out into the car Christmas Eve in search of “Pretty Lights”.

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Yesterday morning Scott grabbed a bag of my chocolate peppermint cookies, whipped up a wonderful batch of cocoa, and headed out the door to start a new tradition.  Every other year we pick Dee up on Christmas morning.  In the past we have made it a family affair.  This year I wanted it to be a special time for Dee and his dad.  Dee was pleasantly surprised to see just his dad, and they had a great chat. I got to keep Chase and Emma busy with hot chocolate and hot gooey Monkey Bread while we waited.  The joy in my little ones voices when they saw their big brother for the first time in several weeks made my Christmas!!!!

Other highlights of the morning:

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He loves the robe that matches his pj’s – I know he loves it, because he is still wearing it, two days later.

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Not very clear picture, but you can see how happy Chase was to finally have his doll. He watched me make him, and the only thing he could say was “Yay, he has his hair.” Last time he saw the doll it was hairless.

She loves her "Flutter Shy" pillow pet.

She loves her “Flutter Shy” pillow pet.

Of course the gifts are opened, new toys forgotten and the pull of MineCraft has take over.

Of course the gifts are opened, new toys forgotten and the pull of MineCraft has take over.