Christmas at Home

So here's the deal.  I love that I moved away from home after college.  I love that I ventured out of my comfort zone, went somewhere new, and essentially started fresh.  It's probably one of my proudest accomplishments.  Had I not moved to Kansas City, I never would have met my husband and the two kids I call Brantley and Holden would, of course, be non-existent.  I would venture to guess that Craig feels the same way. away from our families can be hard.  Sure, we don't have free babysitters and our kids don't see their Grandmas and Papas as much as we'd like, but beyond that, I feel like we're obligated to travel for each and every holiday.  Don't get me wrong, I love our families, love spending time with them (especially during the holidays), and love watching Brantley interact with his cousins, but the selfishness in me wishes we could stay put and experience the Christmas Day magic in our own home.  It's been an internal battle since before Brantley was born.  It's hard to establish Christmas Eve/Day traditions when we're not home.  It's tough, because I know being with family is a large part of Christmas, but at the same time, I don't want Santa to always come to Grandma's and I would love nothing more than for our kids to wake up in their own beds on Christmas Day.  Like I said, moving away definitely has it's perks, but it also has its drawbacks.  I'm not sure what the right answer is, nor do I know what's in store for our future holidays. 

But anyway, this year we decided to ask Santa to come to our house early.  It wasn't quite the same as celebrating on December 25, but it seemed to be a good compromise now that Brantley is old enough to semi-understand the whole Santa thing.  So after the boys went to bed on the 22nd, Santa delivered their gifts and we woke up to celebrate a pseudo-Christmas on the 23rd.

Coming down the stairs on Christmas morning, I'm not sure who was more excited.  Me or Brantley.  I think this picture perfectly describes Christmas this year.  Old enough to be excited, yet young enough to be a little apprehensive about the whole Santa-coming-to-our-house thing.  Nevertheless, as soon as he saw the unwrapped gifts from Santa, he was excited!

Santa brought the boys Pottery Barn monogrammed suitcases and a sled.  I wanted Santa to bring something practical instead of another toy to clutter our house, hence the luggage.  The boys may not be super excited about them, but I sure am and I know they will be useful in years to come.  The sled was an afterthought, mainly because I knew if I waited for a big snow fall, they'd be hard to come by.  And stocking stuffers, of course.  Things from baseball cards to undies to balls to dollar books (gotta love Target's Dollar Spot!) to Hot Wheel cars.

After exploring the Santa gifts, it was time for the gifts under our tree.  Knowing that the boys would receive toys galore from family members, I didn't want to buy extra toys just to give as gifts.  So we followed the something they want, need, wear, read rule.  They each got a big toy (their want - a Little Tikes Sports Center for Holden | a Fisher Price Little People City Skyway for Brantley), their suitcases (their need), two articles of clothing--Royals & Chiefs for Brantley so he'd still be excited (their wear), and two books (their read).  I loved following that rule.  It kept things simple and equal, yet they still got some new items.

After opening gifts, Daddy took them on sleigh rides around our living room.  I think that was Holden's favorite part of Christmas this year.

Then it was time to put together the new toys.  Brantley liked Holden's sports toy better than his own (shocker), but he still agreed to stand by his for a photo. :)

I tried to get a picture of the boys in their matching Christmas jammies.  But this was the best I got...

I also made pancakes and put together a Christmas-themed breakfast for Brantley.  Having kids sure is fun!

After really trying to enjoy the magic of our "Christmas" morning, it was time to pack up and head to Wichita.  I'm glad we got some time to celebrate--just the four of us--even if not on Christmas Day.  I know I have some special memories of Christmas with my immediate family while growing up and I hope to offer the same to my boys. 


  1. Sounds like the perfect before Christmas celebration! I, too, wish that sometimes we could just have a nice, quiet Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is at my brother-in-laws parents house and the Christmas is at my mother-in-laws house. They all live close, but it's still not the same. So I totally understand where you're coming from.
    Did it take you FOREVER to put together that little people city skyway??? I ended up building it and it took me like 45 minutes but Mason loved it!
    I just love their matching jammies!

  2. Ryan got the skyway too! We have started doing Christmas morning at our house and then have been going to my parents' house on the 26th. It's been working well and we can spend Christmas morning at our own house :). Your boys are so cute in their matching pjs and I love your read, want, need, wear rule. Maybe we should do that next year....