For the first time in all of the years we've been together, Christmas was just us, at home. Three people and two dogs, and it was fabulous. We missed having extended family around but it was also so nice to just celebrate with our little family.
Christmas Eve we combined LeBaron and Walters traditions. For the LeBaron side we ate appetizers for dinner and each opened one present. For the Walters side we read the Night Before Christmas (the Random House books for Young Readers edition, published in 1975- the same version my dad always reads). Everyone (including dogs but excepting the photographer) piles onto the same couch. We still have some extra space on ours!
We added a new tradition of also reading A Christmas Goodnight which was published this year and tells the nativity story.
The next morning we were all up pretty early! Paul and I were actually too excited to sleep and woke up at about 6, giving us time to quickly shower before LP was up at 6:30. We came downstairs and of course, Santa had come! LP was pretty excited, but even more excited when he discovered that Santa didn't eat all of his cookie- he quickly snatched it off the plate and said "I'll finish it!" Since it was Christmas, we let him go for it!
In our family we open presents one at a time, so that everyone can see what the other people received and gave. Because it was just the three of us we stopped whenever LP wanted to play with something he'd just opened, and really took our time.
The dogs also got in on the present opening action- they both love to open presents!
Although Socks took several naps throughout the morning!
While Gabby destroyed her new stuffed chicken within minutes...
Paul surprised me with a Nikon D7000 which was a HUGE surprise! It's a pretty serious upgrade from my other camera and was completely unexpected. He also gave me a sappy note all about how talented he thinks I am which was so sweet and is just as treasured. Paul absolutely loves going over the top at Christmas time and I certainly can't complain! He surprises me every year by his thoughtfulness (he even put candy and chapstick in my stocking since he remembered that as kids we always got candy and chapstick!)
I surprised Paul with the drawing of Socks that I had commissioned- he loves it!
The rest of our day was spent putting together new toys and playing.
In the afternoon we all cooked Christmas dinner together- lobster mashed potatos, asparagus, and bacon wrapped filet mignon with blue cheese for Paul and I (chicken nuggets for LP per his request).
We spent time on the phone and on Skype with our families, and both agreed that it really was an absolutely perfect day...