I tried to keep it calm and mellow, the better to mask when I needed to go hide in the bathroom and cry for a few minutes, and, of course, I had to honor my Southern heritage of eating one's pain, and that meant---
Cookies! ALL THE COOKIES!
|Syd and I made the gingerbread dough the day before, let it chill, and then Matt and I cut out the house pieces and baked them that evening after dinner. The next morning, a cup of coffee in one hand, I melted some chocolate and assembled them. After breakfast on Christmas Eve, they were ready to decorate!|
--and a couple of cookies for Santa--
|Will has posed with her finished gingerbread house just like this every single year since she was five.|
--and yet somehow we ended up with over a dozen gingerbread cookies extra AND an entire batch of homemade sugar cookies, to boot...
|Okay, this gingerbread person might be a *little* inappropriate. I'd possibly broken out the bourbon by this point...|
|Syd got to this Millennium Falcon before Matt did, and decided that it was a bunny.|
|Meanwhile, Will turned the actual bunny into an alen.|
|Syd decorated these to leave out for Santa.|
|And I don't really know WHAT she was thinking when she decorated this guy!|
As much as I miss Pappa, I will say that it was nice to go to sleep in my own bed on Christmas Eve, and to wake up in my own bed on Christmas Day, sit in front of my own tree on my own floor--
|Santa brought Syd a Rapunzel doll and Will some magnetic Thinking Putty.|
|Will's grandma gave her a game of Exploding Kittens.|
|I bought the kids this marker airbrush, and as soon as I'm done writing this, I'm going to go snatch it out of their arms and play with it!|
|Syd gave Will some bracelets. She liked them.|
|Will gave Syd a charger for her tablet and a pair of headphones. She REALLY liked them!|
|Somehow even the cats and the dog ended up with presents.|
|Gracie LOVED her cat toy.|
|Luna did NOT like this Santa hat.|
|Will is super into dragons, so I bought her this handmade stained glass one from Glass Castle Arts.|
|My brother-in-law and his girlfriend bought us our newest Most Favorite Game EVER.|
|She has been in this blanket burrito pretty much ever since.|
Oh, and eat cookies until our tummies were no longer comfy. Can't forget the cookies!
It was... okay. And next year, I have high hopes that it will be better than okay.