We'll resume this walk down memory lane with Christmas Eve. Clara was still getting over her RSV, but not contagious anymore, so we took the risk of going to our Christmas Eve service. It's just really hard for me to imagine Christmas without this sacred tradition. We sat in the balcony and Clara did a pretty good job of remaining still (enough) to get through it. She loved singing the Christmas hymns that we'd been singing at nap and bedtime during all of Advent.
When we came home, she got to open her Christmas Eve present.
Which was of course new Christmas jammies!
We're working hard on building independence since I'm about to be a little, uh... distracted with her baby sister.
She and Daddy went out with reindeer food to spread on the lawn.
And we left out cookies and milk for Santa, carrots for his reindeer and a note!
Christmas morning, Clara was up and ready to go... at the bright and early hour of 9:15! I think the excitement must have worn her out. We were all up and drinking coffee just waiting for her to decide it was time to rise!
Daddy carried her down the stairs and then she took off running...
Santa brought Clara a new art easel and lots of art supplies!
And since the strange item that Clara kept insisting was on her Santa wish list was a "toy dog" (and I have no idea what she had in mind) she got this singing and dancing Snoopy. (Truth: It was a gift from her Aunt Johnna and Santa shamelessly re-gifted it to fulfill this wish list item. Thanks for understanding, Aunt Johnna.) I don't know if it was what she had in mind or not, but she has LOVED that thing more than words can tell.
Rufus was pretty overcome with the excitement of Christmas morning, too.
We took a break to enjoy the traditional Christmas morning breakfast, which in our house is breakfast casserole, Moravian sugar cake, and fruit. Grits were bonus.
Some other breaks were taken for munching on candy canes before she unwrapping resumed.
Don't worry, we didn't forget Rufus. He got this big package of new things to destruct.
Here are some more shots of the opening and savoring.
Stockings are always last.
This gift from Sweet Mama was so big it had to go into one of those giant bags. Instead of pulling it out, Clara just climbed in with it.
It was a lion chair for her (comings soon) big girl room!
And here are a few family shots.
After naptime, Big Daddy came for the second half of Christmas celebration! Rufus is always happy to see him.
How precious is this little girl?!
More spoiling, more opening, more playing...
The next morning we headed to Elberton to celebrate with Mama K and Daddy Bob. Clara got this awesome grocery cart and fun play food to put in it!
And a sit and spin from Aunt Liz and Uncle Hugh.
She got lots of love from Daddy Bob.
And visited with Memaw and all her friends at Magnolia Estates where she loved seeing all the beautiful Christmas decorations (and riding on Memaw's walker!)
Whew. I'm tired just remembering it all! Thankful for such amazing family, special traditions, and my most favorite holiday of the whole year. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! We sure had fun celebrating!