Christmas in South Florida is a crazy thing. I've lived here all of my life but it's still hard to not be jealous of the people who get to build real life snowmen and, you know, at least wear sweaters on Christmas. Although Ethan and I do have plans to spend Monday on the beach with a friend visiting from out of town so I can't really complain. Warm weather and all, it was still a pretty special Christmas. Not that the last two Christmases were anything but special, but this was the first year Ethan understood Santa and the fact it was a holiday and he was loving every last bit of preparations and celebrating. Every little bit of every day leading up to Christmas felt pretty magical, even if there was no snow in sight and highs of 86 degrees.
We spend Christmas Eve at my parents house every year for a Christmas Eve celebration where we exchange gifts between the family members and close friends. This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember and it's always nice to get together with friends and family members we don't get to see often enough (and now is when I kick myself for not getting the group pictures I had wanted to get -- it's like having a 2 1/2 year old is preoccupying, or something).
We are usually scrambling to get shopping done, but I was feeling pretty accomplished this year. Maybe it's because everyone finally had things they asked for and wanted so I didn't feel so overwhelmed. My sister had a request of Manic Panic hair dye and Kevin Smith movies so apparently not much has changed since the late '90's and, well, she's finally starting to become fun to shop for again. My sister also surprised Ethan with a special skateboard that she handpainted just for him.
Since my parents have everything, we went with the gift of experiences this year. We got my mom tickets to see Maya Angelou speak at a local synagogue and we got my dad a Fun Day With Ethan (gift cards for Starbucks, Monkey Jungle and my dad's favorite restaurant down in Miami).
My parents surprised Ethan with a gorgeous Play Haven Teepee of his own!
I realized at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve that I had totally forgotten to get Ethan Christmas pajamas and after I saturated myself in that guilt realized that Ethan waking up on Christmas Morning in mismatched pajamas was a much more honest representation of the current state of things around here. He didn't mind. He was so excited that Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk and couldn't wait to see what presents Santa had brought for him.
There is a local park (that is absolutely gigantic and awesome) that has a little science explorium attached to it. Ethan could care less about the park and begs to visit this "science museum" all of the time. He decided that he was going to ask Santa for the "chair game" in the lobby of the science museum. I knew what he was talking about but had no idea whatsoever where to go about finding the chair game or if this was something created especially for the museum. When we did our Santa pictures and he still remembered he wanted this game, I had to contact the science museum who got their team on the search for me. We ended up finding it for $11 on Amazon. Aside from the chair game, Ethan also asked for a rolling pin. I'll enjoy it while it lasts, these simple wishes.
And, of course, presents for all the furry kids in this house, too.
It was a pretty special Christmas for us, and I hope it was equally as magical for you guys, too!