This year we made the great decision to fly across the country to spend Christmas with my in-laws in upstate NY. The great part is that we avoided any major snowfalls and for a large portion of our trip it was colder in Las Vegas than it was in New York. I’ll consider that a serious answer to prayer.
We had a great time enjoying all the Christmas traditions that my wife grew up doing. I was glad we did it since we’d never had a chance to do it before and I’m not sure how long my in-laws will be there for us to do it in the future.
Since we were traveling across country with 4 kids, we decided to leave all our family presents at home and just let Santa and the crash grandparents give gifts in New York. Luckily we flew Southwest and had 2 free checked bags per person (yes, that meant we could have 12 checked bags). We ended up only using 8 checked bags, but that was still far more than we’re used to taking. A year and a half ago we “moved” to Hawaii for a month and only checked 2 bags for the entire month (aren’t we awesome?). Turns out that Christmas gifts and snow clothes and gear takes up a lot more space.
We had a great Christmas gift opening extravaganza in New York since the crash grandparents went a
little lot overboard on the gift giving. It’s hardly something to complain about since it’s a really kind thing for them to be so generous. Plus, our kids didn’t seem to mind too much either. Who am I kidding? They loved it.
With that said, I was especially excited to have our “Second Christmas” at home. I think my excitement for the second Christmas mostly came from the one time I visited my grandparents as a kid and my parents did the same thing for me. If I remember right, I got a recorder at my grandparents house. However, I remember the wild anticipation of my siblings and I as my parents got our second Christmas ready. I was hoping to create a similar memory for our kids.
Since we flew in late, we decided to do our second Christmas similar to a normal Christmas day when the kids woke up to Christmas. Here’s a look at the spread (sorry it’s not in better focus, but I was tired when I took it).
It felt just like Christmas morning back at our house even though it was January 2nd. It was awesome to see the kids excitement two times in one year. However, it wasn’t the tree or presents above that got the best reaction. Just off to the right of the above picture was what caught the kids eyes the most:
Yes, those are some
big huge massive stuffed animals. They’re literally bigger than our children. When I saw them, I knew they’d make for a great Christmas morning. I was definitely not disappointed. How can you really argue with a pink unicorn that big? We’re going to have tons of stories with these animals I can already tell. I’ve been told, for example, that the boa has choked out the pink unicorn, but that story is unverified.
You might also notice in both pictures is a really massive box. The day of our second Christmas, Crash Kid #1 had mentioned about how the size of some of the boxes indicated a good present. He’ll learn over time that the most expensive things come in small packages, but he’s not there yet (thankfully!). With this idea in mind, I decided to give him the biggest box we had for Christmas. Not just any box of course. It was the biggest box and as you can see it’s pretty large. You could probably fit one of the stuffed animals in it. Plus, we loaded this big box full of all the other boxes we’d received (Thanks Amazon).
In case you’re not sure you’re reading this right, Yes, I gave my son a box full of boxes for Christmas! Aren’t I sweet? Some of you might be wondering about my choice of gifts. Lest you think that my dad instincts are out of whack, guess what the first gift Crash Kid #1 started to play with after opening his gifts was? That’s right…the boxes!
Everyone always said that the kids loved the paper and boxes more than the gifts themselves. I just cut to the chase and made the gifts the boxes straightway. You can be sure if he disobeys you’ll hear this echoing through our house, “You better obey or I’m going to take those boxes away.” Have you ever seen how attached kids are to their box creations? It’s a powerful thing.
We closed out the second Christmas with our traditional swim through the wrapping paper and a lovely blueberry muffin breakfast with bacon, eggs and grape juice.
Man I loved my second Christmas!