We had a wonderfully hectic Christmas in the Gafford house. It started early on Christmas Eve when Aunt Kate came over with some presents for Jacob. Her Godmother gave her an ornament each year that she now has hanging on her tree. Kate asked if we would like to continue this for Jacob, and we said yes! Kate brought some great toys, a cute outfit, and the first ornament: a small Hallmark keepsake ornament that looks like the Fisher Price airplane we grew up with. The door even opens on it! I put the date on the bottom of it so when it appears on his Christmas tree in 20ish years, he’ll remember where it came from.

Growing up, we would always go to my Mamaw & Papaw’s house on Christmas Eve for dinner, then to church, then back for all the presents from them. As kids, Adam and I would beg Mom and Dad to get us home so Santa wouldn’t skip our house. Now that we have a wee one, the tradition has continued.

We picked Mom up and went to the first Christmas Eve service at church. This was the “Family Service.” Last year we went to the 7:00 service, the Candlelight service, and it was PACKED. The children were not well-behaved and that just didn’t sit well with my Mom (can you imagine?!). We got to church early and picked a prime seat for listening to the message, but also for escaping with a restless baby. It was a great service for young children…but some people still need to take their noisy kids out to the “crying room” when they are making a ruckus. Although, it was better than last year.

After church we headed back to Gia and Papaw’s house. We warmed up dinner, I put together the high chair Gia bought for her house, and we settled in for some yummy grub. After dinner, the focus turned to Jacob. It was way past his bedtime, and at first he was reluctant to be awake. The first present he opened was from us. As a new tradition, we are going to give our kids a new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear for the picture-crazy night and following day. After opening and getting into his pajamas, he started on all his presents from Gia and Papaw. We had Dad on Skype for the event, and Jacob had a great time tearing paper and pulling tissue paper out of bags. He scored some great presents, some to leave at their house for when he’s there and some to take home to our house. As a rule, if he opened it and it made A LOT of noise, it went home with us.

Jacob fell asleep on the way home, so Hayden and I got ready for Santa’s visit. I think the best part of having a young baby on Christmas morning is that there is no expectation of waking early and rushing to see what presents were left by the jolly guy! When we finally started to head downstairs, we had to start another tradition: the picture coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. I told Hayden it was his job to carry Jacob down this year since he would have a better chance of not having bed-head than me.

Jacob got a red Radio Flyer wagon from Santa and another noise-making zoo toy. At first he was confused by the wagon, but then he quickly realized it was his, as you can see in one of the pictures. It looks like he’s pointing to himself saying, “This is mine!”

Gia came over early to watch Jacob open the rest of his presents under the tree and to have breakfast. Then she went home to have lunch with Adam, Jane, and little Charlie. Charlie is still not well enough to be around another baby, especially one who goes to daycare and has the sniffles 100% of the time. After lunch, Gia came back to our house to have dinner and hang out on Christmas. Dad joined in again on Skype.

All-in-all it was a great Christmas. Jacob received some wonderful toys that he’s been busy with ever since. All the bigger toys have helped him learn to pull up to a standing position, to work on his fine motor skills picking up smaller pieces, and keeping him busy so Hayden and I can relax for two minutes!