We kicked off the holiday season by unveiling the advent calendar and welcoming our Elf on a Shelf, who Kaden named, "Dave."
We also made several visits to Santa. Each visit Kaden asked for only one thing, a street sweeper. Where does he come up with these things? This sent Santa's helpers on a somewhat frantic search...you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to fulfill this request. In the days leading up to Christmas, we took in the lights decorating the streets of San Diego and the local Christmas parade.
Christmas Eve, our dear friends invited us to their home for a traditional Mexican holiday dinner. The homemade tamales were the big hit amongst the adults, but Kaden most enjoyed his first sip of Pelligrino - he giggled as the bubbles tickled his mouth and throat - and his first taste of Pomegranate seeds. After dinner, the kiddos got into their P.J.s ("Cozies" as Kaden calls them), opened their gifts to one another, and anxiously awaited Santa's arrival.
A little taste of ice cream before bedtime.
Christmas morning was overwhelming for Kaden. Even with all the discussions leading up to the big day, Kaden wasn't quite prepared for all the festivity. Upon waking and coming out to the family room, he first noticed that the cookies we left for Santa were gone. He was quite upset about this. I'm not sure what he expected to happen, but we explained more than a few times (again) that Santa eats the cookies when he brings the toys. He kept returning to the empty plate saying, "Oh no, Santa cookies gone." I think he thought they'd be waiting for him to enjoy as a breakfast treat.
The biggest hits of Christmas morning were the gigantic crane truck given by Uncle Paul (Kaden calls it his "Bruder Truck"), the filled Pez dispenser he found in his stocking (compliments of Pop and to the aggravation of Mom), the street sweeper (of course), and a ukulele (just like the one he uses at music class).
Santa delivered - a blue street sweeper!!
Looking back, Kaden got way too many presents. Or, maybe it just seemed that way as he played with each gift for a good thirty minutes before moving on the the next one. It took so long that we broke for both breakfast and lunch.
What do you think? Our 2012 Christmas card, maybe?
We completed our Christmas celebration with a big family dinner at the Grant's house. It was extra special this year as all three of the cousins were together. They are all so close in age and, this year, were at the stage that they had a blast playing with one another. They were great about sharing their new toys, but they had the best time running around outside or rolling around on the floor. Makes you realize that they don't need much; they recognize and thrive in the sheer joy of life, family, and togetherness.