It was, indeed, a very merry Christmas for the Codella family.
We spent Christmas Eve with our friends, the Coglianeses. We enjoyed a great meal, the kids played and decorated sugar cookies, and we watched the Nativity movie.
We came home around 8:30 p.m. to read Luke 2 (one of our family traditions) and put our kids to bed. Then Mark and Amber came over for an hour to play board games with us.
Yesterday morning we shared a great breakfast with the Swan family. We figured it was our best chance of getting together with them this week. It was fun to just hang out and enjoy the fruits of our Belgium waffle maker (in this case that would be me and the appliance).
Eliana was up very early this morning claiming to have had a bad dream that included the Grinch and asking if she could go downstairs to check for presents from Santa. Vickey encouraged her to go back to bed for a few more hours, which she dutifully did.
Ellie was up again around 8 a.m. and that’s when we all headed downstairs. I filmed the Christmas excitement for a little while, then had to chip in to help hold Dominic while he opened present after present.
It was mid-afternoon before we had all the gifts out of their boxes (why are toys so difficult to unpackage?). Eliana and Dominic pretty much played with new toys all day.
To make room for the new, I undertook a deep cleaning of Eliana’s bedroom. Vickey and I just wrapped up sorting through toys and identifying two 33-gallon bags of toys to give to charity. It’s just amazing to me how much stuff we manage to accumulate.
Vickey even cleaned out Eliana’s closet to make room for new school clothes.
We also started cleaning the house a bit to prepare for my brother’s family and parents who are due to arrive sometime tomorrow evening to stay for a few days. It’ll be fun for the cousins to play and to have someone else here to entertain Dominic.
Dominic has adapted pretty well to not being able to walk. He stands himself up next to the furniture and he army crawls to get where he wants to go.
Eliana seems to be acting up a bit to get her share of attention, so we’re working on being patient and polite and respecting her parents (most likely this will be a work in progress for a good 15 more years).
We really enjoyed spending Christmas at home as a family. This is the first time in our married lives that Vickey and I have been at home with just our family for Christmas.
We have been so amazed by people’s generosity this Christmas season. Our families have given us so much, as have many friends. We are truly blessed.
And this Christmas Day, we are especially thankful for the birth of the Savior and all he has made possible for us to receive and benefit from. We are eternally indebted to Him.
A few photos for your viewing pleasure…
Making sugar cookies on Christmas Eve with the Coglianese clan.
Dominic and some of his spoils. (Note the green Mardi Gras bracelet. Actually it’s a necklace that he loves to play with and wrap around his wrist to wear as a bracelet. If you come to visit you’ll see firsthand how attached Dominic is to that green bracelet. It’s his Michael Jackson-esque wardrobe item.)
Assembling Eliana’s new Barbie Island Princess vanity.
This has proven to be Dominic’s favorite so far. It’s a garbage truck and it makes loud dump truck noises. It already drives me crazy! And speaking of garbage trucks, our garbage was picked up this morning around 10 a.m. They didn’t have the day off! One of the guys was wearing a Santa shirt and hat. We gave them a couple bottles of water, a bag of candy (each of the kids gave some from their stockings) and a Christmas tip. It took both of them about half-a-dozen trips to load up all the trash we had collected since Friday (I’ve been trimming bushes; had to use Gordon’s chain saw to chop up some large tree branches; and we had a half-dozen very large boxes in the garbage, remnants of Christmas gifts).
Eliana and some of her spoils.
And in the interest of equal time: Sir Tank Thunderpaw.
Eliana modeling one of her new shirts. I told her she was retro – becoming a child of the 70s.