First of all, Happy New Year! I cannot believe that another year has come and gone.
In my mind I'm repeating, Hallelujah! We made it through another Christmas! I'm so happy that it's all over.
We really did have a great Christmas, but it felt like a complete whirlwind this time around. The fact that I'm just getting around to uploading the bazillion pictures reflects how much we've been juggling over the last month.
The spirit of the season still seeped in here and there, but it definitely wasn't in the quiet moments I envisioned we'd have with our eyes all aglow sitting next to the tree each night. I was reminded that life is not going to miraculously slow down at some magical point.
And even though I have an overwhelming urge to finish up the de-cluttering of our house, put the last of the decorations away, make room for new toys, and produce sparkly clean countertops, I figure I better document a bit of the holidays before the entire month of January passes us by.
We took a quick trip to the desert to spend Christmas with my family. Our Christmas Eve festivities were unconventional as usual, but we clung to those traditions nonetheless.
No Christmas would be complete without transforming my mom's color-coordinated tree into something tacky. The tree has been adorned with a different items throughout the years. We've stayed up late giggling while placing kitchen utensils, balls of yarn, sticky notes, stamp pads, and toys on the tree. This year, we decided on an office supplies theme.
We kicked off Christmas Eve with one of my dad's famous meals and a feature presentation of The Magic Show Extravaganza. Ever since the magician came to Blake's school, he has been begging to do our own magic show. Since my brother and I had a lot of experience producing magic shows in our basement growing up, we were almost semi-professional in our presentation.
(Let's just ignore the fact that the lighting wasn't good and these aren't the highest quality photos.)
Blake put a lot of gusto into his tricks.
Everyone (except the Scrooge, but who could really blame him?) participated in the grand event. My dad made some coins magically disappear in his pocket. Our final trick even featured a disappearing person. The table with the blanket over it helped slightly with that one.
Let's take a closer look at two things that made the magic show especially classy.
1. The gigantic fake fire pixelating on the TV. The crackling noises it produced added a nice touch.
2. The stocking holders.
While we were adorning the tree with staplers and scissors and rolls of tape, the guys rearranged the letters of the stocking holders.
Extra classy. I can't believe I'm even sharing this with the public.
Originally, the stocking holders read "Joy, Peace, Noel."
We laughed pretty hard about all of the "special" touches.
Then it was time to open the traditional matching pajamas.
After we changed, the Scrooge (aka Troy) pointed out, "The magic show was nothing. I'm about to do the strangest thing I do all year." The final gift of each Christmas Eve contains rolls of toilet paper and individual kazoos.
The tradition dates back years and years, but let's just say it involves a parade and the humming of "Stars and Stripes Forever" and leave it at that.
I think the Scrooge secretly likes our fun family festivities.
And one thing is for sure, the boys love these traditions. They are going to grow up thinking that these things are completely normal.
Then it was off to bed while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.