First thing's first: we didn't do a Christmas tree this year. We were out of town for two weekends in December and didn't want to risk it dying on us. So the tree thing just didn't happen. Lame? Probably. (Although I'm definitely not missing the post-Christmas clean up!)
Since this was the first year Hero's been old enough to know or care about Christmas presents, this was the first year we did the whole Santa enchilada. And I'll be the first to say I got a little carried away. I never knew how much FUN it would be to find gifts for your child that you just know they will love and enjoy! So I went overboard but hey- she was a really, really good girl this year and everything I bought was on sale so whatevs. Chas and I have since decided to only do two or three presents total next year. At one point during our "real" Christmas morning at the farm, I asked Hero if she wanted to open another present and she quickly and politely declined: "No, thanks." So, ya know, live and learn.
All this is to say that because we had more than just a few presents, we decided to split up Christmas morning into two days: one at home on Dec. 24th with just our family and one at the farm the next day. In reality, there were actually three separate present openings because we stopped by my parent's house on the way to the farm so Hero could open the presents from my mom and dad.
I think the magic of Christmas morning may be more for the parents (and grandparents) than it is for the kids.
But, nevertheless, it IS pretty dang magical. It was really fun playing Santa and setting up the presents around the tree and remembering how my parents did the exact same thing for me for so many years and how much I loved it. Lots of nostalgia and feeling like real, grown up parents for the first time in a way. And then bringing her into the living room that morning and just watching her face and reaction to it all. Pretty sure she was mostly still a bit confused by the whole experience but definitely happy. She especially loved the train set and I'll never tire of hearing her say, "Choo choo! All aboard!"
After presents I made a special Christmas breakfast of pancakes (of which I burnt almost all of them) and cheesy eggs. And then we packed everyone up and were off to the farm!