and so it's all over for another year... i love christmas, so much. i just always lean back the day afterwards and think wow! all that work for one day. thank goodness it is only once a year! haha. i love also that as a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, that we know what christmas is really about. that christ was the first gift, given by a loving father to save his children.
i love to give gifts and this year was no exception, i went to a lot of effort to find the perfect gifts for the children - and when it was all laid out i was like - heck! that seems like a lot of gifts, but as they were unwrapped it wasn't that crazy... madeline and joseph loved their gifts. they each had 3 gifts from santa (as well as little things in their stockings) one containing two books, a piece of clothing (maddie's was an anna corononation dress (from frozen) and she was stoked!) and a toy. perfect.
i also always leave one gift unwrapped deliberately... so that there is something to distract them early in the morning, which enables us to have breakfast and the likes before gifts. as you can see in the above pics, madeline's was a my little pony dollhouse i found on gumtree (an australian online buy/sell/swap page) for just $10!! and joseph's a playset that a friend was selling on facebook for $50. score!
i always purchase things throughout the year, to ensure that when the birthdays and christmas come i am not having to fork out large amounts of money all at once. it has really worked for me too. especially now with children!
doug bought me this beautiful star for my pandora bracelet... amongst other things (he spoils me rotten at christmas time, and i am always unwrapping long after everyone else is done.) and surprised me with two tickets to les miserables, which is showing in perth in just a few weeks! i am beyond thrilled, i love musicals and am so excited to see it again.
and i did well for him also! i had mum and dad buy a hand carved drum from samoa and have it shipped home with all their items. he was so happy... which made me happy. he had been looking at them over and over during our stay, but hadn't even considered the possibility of purchasing one as we really had no way to get it home. but mum and dad made it happen! they also brought him home some wonderful traditional gifts and a big bush knife haha, which he was thrilled with.
the kids had a play outside with the hose (it was verrrrrrrry hot) while i finished making my food to take to dinner at jared and donna's under the watchful eye (and camera) of their sweet nanna. how wonderful it is to have my parents home - and what a great picture. they really are adorable children.
joseph tearing into his present from aunty renee and uncle isaac, who arrived to spend some quality time with mum and dad... worked well for doug and i who were dying to take a nap, after being up most of the night wrapping gifts for the kids! the things you do for love...
this was by far my favourite gift that arrived at our home, a little matai doll sold at the shop that mums friend owns in samoa. i saw them online and was dying to have one for him, only to find out that she had already spoken to her and gotten the fabric to bring home and make him one. i am in love!
and apparently he is too!
we arrived at jared & donnas house for dinner to see these two little girls running around in matching red dresses, madeline had worn her red christmas dress and emma had to match. so adorable. i remember loving to wear matching clothes to other people at that age too!
i made a christmas trifle... mmm trifle. as much as i would love to have a winter christmas just once, i love that in australia there is sun, swimming, dresses and icecream! apparently there had been a disaster with the trifle donna had made for family lunch (with her side of the family) and everyone started asking me how i had made mine, so recipe to follow in a few days!
my nephew ben and i
cuddles with my sweet babies
and a token selfie with my mini me - laura.
what a wonderful christmas. i am so grateful for such a beautiful family!
madeline was exhausted by the end of the day (joseph was long asleep by this stage) but still insisted on sleeping with her new anna and elsa stuffed dolls (from aunty renee and uncle isaac) and the care bear from us. what a gorgeous picture. ♥
we were sad to not have doug's parents with us this year, but all going well - they'll be living here by next year... fingers crossed!