Christmas 2013

So this year we decided to participate in the Christmas tradition. Yaya is old enough now to enjoy it and in fact, she asked for it. So here we go! Our first family Christmas. Also, since we have had a lot of work travels in recent months, we decided to forgo our usual end of year trip (someplace warm, usually) and stayed home instead. So bring it on! We start with the obligatory photo with Santa:

[[image:2013_christmas31.jpg:Yaya was happy but luckily Adik did not cry (he thinks Santa is an evil overlord):center:0]]

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

We begin with a build up to the big day. Progression of the Christmas tree (artificial as Yaya was sad that if we had a real tree, it would die), decorations, and presents under the tree in the week leading up to Christmas. We pretty much wrapped a few presents every day and Yaya loved running downstairs every day to see the pile of presents grow. 

[[image:2013_christmas11.jpg:Christmas tree assembled!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas12.jpg:Luckily it came pre-lit. Lily was very curious about the tree:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas13.jpg:Lit up at night. Note the cute snowman ornaments from Justine!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas15.jpg:Yaya and Adik are crazy about the big wrapped box by the tree!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas17.jpg:The pile grows! The kids thank their Auntie Mandy!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas25.jpg:Another day and more gifts accumulate:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas27.jpg:The final haul after a mega wrapping session on Christmas eve:center:0]]

Lil – your gifts arrived on time! Thank you!

Here are a couple more photos from the session with Santa. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take our own pictures of the jolly old fellow, and each shot was a “separate package”. Yeah. Capitalism at work. But Yaya got to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas and she had a great time. Her brother wanted to run screaming from the man though. ūüôā

[[image:2013_christmas14.jpg:Waiting in line – Santa’s grotto had lots of large stuffed polar animals around:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas32.jpg:Happy Yaya!:center:0]]

Over two days we made and frosted chocolate butter cookies. No pictures of the rolling and cutting of the cookies, but here’s a tray of baked cookies:

[[image:2013_christmas16.jpg:Baked cookies:center:0]]

So when one decorates cookies, does one “frost” the cookies or “ice” the cookies? I really do not know. Either way, we had fun.

[[image:2013_christmas18.jpg:Papa shows Adik how to decorate a cookie:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas19.jpg:Yaya works on a “gingerbread” man:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas20.jpg:Adik doesn’t understand that he has to squeeze the tube to get the icing to come out:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas21.jpg:Yet another chocolate (“gingerbread”) man:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas22.jpg:Adik is still working on his bell:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas23.jpg:Cookies! My favorite is the decapitated snowman:center:0]]

Some of the other food we made included:

[[image:2013_christmas24.jpg:Dark chocolate-lemon bars:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas26.jpg:Roast duck:center:0]]

And now Christmas morning! Adik did not wake up until 9:40 AM so poor Yaya had to wait a while. But when Adik came down, we got down to business. Opening presents! I had been telling Yaya that the big box contained a huge lump of coal, or perhaps it was a big box but contained only a half a piece of crayon inside. Yaya said she would open that big box last! And she did!

[[image:2013_christmas28.jpg:Yay Christmas morning!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas01.jpg:This one with Adik looking at the camera:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas02.jpg:Papa gets a “colored fossil” (salt dough imprints of Yaya’s hand and Adik’s foot):center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas03.jpg:Yaya helps Adik open his airplane (thank you Auntie Lil!):center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas04.jpg:New markers for Yaya!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas05.jpg:Race car! Race car!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas06.jpg:Lily was sniffing around and watching the gift-unwrapping ceremony:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas07.jpg:Hand! Adik’s hand is smaller than Yaya’s handprint:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas08.jpg:Unwrapping the big box! A play kitchen!:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas09.jpg:Lily likes sitting on the race car box:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas10.jpg:Scrambling onto the kitchen box:center:0]]

I spent the next hour assembling the play kitchen (mumble, grumble!) but it looked great when finished and both kids loved playing chef.

[[image:2013_christmas29.jpg:Cook n Grow Kitchen:center:0]]

The kids spent the rest of the day playing with their new toys. Vin and I had to help open boxes and assemble more toys. Luckily we ran out of batteries so decided not to open the race car toy until we can get it going. Papa got a new big thing for Christmas. Now hopefully there will be no more yelling of “My big thing!!!!” in the car when neither child wants the iPod. No, don’t even suggest that we get an iPad mini. At this age, bigger is better. Apparently, size matters.

[[image:2013_christmas30.jpg:Multitasking Adik:center:0]]

[[image:2013_christmas33.jpg:Zooooom! Adik flies his new airplane:center:0]]

Thanks to friends and family for the gifts and cards during this festive season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! A happy new year to you as well!

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