I really wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the entire Christmas Eve dinner, so that meant making my very first gluten free stuffing and rolls. I'm happy to announce that it all turned out smashingly. In fact, the stuffing was my favorite part of the meal. I think I'll try a new gluten free roll recipe next year, but these were perfectly edible. The picture isn't great, and the plate needs green, but you get the idea:
At first I was really bummed that we couldn't get a big, real tree this year, but then our little humble tree began to grow on me. We tried to keep everything simple this Christmas, so the tree ended up being very fitting. And my Grandma's old tree skirt made it look just right, I think.
The kids let us sleep in until about 8:10 on Christmas morning before they got too hungry and requested breakfast. We made a change in our traditional Christmas breakfast due to the gluten-free needs (we all missed the bran muffins), but everyone happily ate the gluten free pumpkin scones, chicken and apple breakfast sausage, and cheesy scrambled eggs. We also broke out a container of frozen peaches like we used to have when I was a kid.
Once breakfast was eaten and the dishes and kitchen cleaned, it was time to see what Santa brought. I made the kids wait while I took photos and Instagrammed them. Mean, I know, but it's all about the anticipation if you ask me. I was just helping the kids enjoy the best part of it all.
It was a lot of fun watching the kids as they opened the gifts that Santa brought. Santa did a great job of bringing each of the kids one thing from their list. As a result, everyone was happy. Santa even brought me a medicine ball. He knows me so well.
Edith got the blue sweater she asked for plus a few other small things she was excited about. I could tell she was faking her excitement when she opened the toothpaste, but at least everything else was a hit:
Big got a stuffed alligator that can open its mouth. According to him, Santa got the exact alligator that he had in mind when he wrote it on his list. It was clearly Big's favorite gift of the day. Way to go, Santa.
I didn't get a picture of Bud with his favorite Santa gift, but Santa got him an awesome chess set. He has been enjoying playing chess at least once a day with his dad since he received it. Definitely a hit.
I think the funniest and most successful Santa gifts of the day were those received by Ginger. Just so you know, Ginger has been absolutely obsessed with marshmallows and unicorns for the past little while (and she loves crazy socks). So, Santa gave her some unicorn socks. Awesome.
And then she found out that Santa had also given her a little stuffed unicorn:
And then, to top it off, she unwrapped her new phone case. Who needs a new phone when you can just cover your old one with a case like this? Yes, it's a unicorn pooping pretty marshmallows. Absolute perfection.
I think Ginger said it's her best Christmas ever.
After practically a lifetime of wishing for one, Pen finally received a flat iron. Even without making a list this year she managed to score something she's been hoping for. I'm so happy that it made her happy. Her hair has been gloriously flat ever since.
Everyone received some things they needed, some books to read and something fun, but we still managed not to overdo. I love that feeling. I hope we can manage to do the same every year because it makes Christmas really enjoyable when there are no regrets at the end. I love being with my family as we celebrate. I love them.