We've been referring to this morning's festivities as “Christmas 2.0,” but my sister pointed out that it's more like 4.0! We spent an evening with Jamie's mom (Christmas 1.0), an afternoon with his sister and her family (2.0), Christmas Day in Grass Valley (3.0) and then today, with my family (4.0)
So it's Christmas 2.0 where a tree and breakfast is involved!
My parents, sister and her family came over bright and early this morning, to celebrate together; we had an incredible breakfast and exchanged gifts… I made Creme Brulee french toast that is TO DIE FOR. (Sorry, I forgot to snap pics! It. Was. Gorgeous.) I wouldn't call it Creme Brulee though, I'd call it “Sticky Deliciousness French Toast” instead!
I used this recipe from allrecipes, and added chopped pecans to the caramel part. Rich and delicious, and I'll definitely make it again in the future! One tip not mentioned in the recipe; don't let it cool too much before serving! The caramel part set up a bit and we had to put it back in the oven to re-soften it so we could even serve it! Oh, and flip it caramel side up when you serve it! Beautiful and gooey and delicious, and doesn't need any additional butter or syrup or anything. I doubled the recipe, but I probably wouldn't have regretted adding an additional egg or two…
OK, so amazing french toast, mimosas, fresh pineapple… lots of delicious (if I do say so myself!) food is always important at a good party!
Enough about the food!
We were especially excited for this morning, because we gave Max his big gift, and Faith and Jose also got their big gifts! We made the kiddos wait this morning, so you'll have to wait too! (Until the end of this post, anyway!)
I love the chaos of Christmas morning. Max and Faith running around like banshees (confined to the kitchen while Jason and Katie smuggled in the big gifts!) and Josie trying to keep up. The chatter and the music and the food (there it is again!) and the warm home with the chilly day outside… I love it all.Katie and Jason are apparently of the same mind… I feel like this is sort of Gift of the Magi-esque, but without the tragic twist at the end! Their (surprise) gifts to each other:
My mom gave both families the Elf on the Shelf for next year… I'm really looking forward to it! Even though we received it this Christmas, we won't name him or bring him out until next Thanksgiving, since at this point, Max only names things what they are or “Nuffin,” so we're going to hold off on naming our elf until there's a little more variety to Max's naming habits!Josie only looks slightly overwhelmed…
This was a very literary Christmas on all fronts, so each grandparent took a kid and read some books after the excitement of gift opening was done.
And finally, the BIG GIFTS! I totally forgot to snap a shot of all three of them lined up on the hearth, but here's a cell phone pic of Max's from last night, all wrapped and ready to go!
Faith is so “helpful” when it comes to opening gifts… she quickly jumped to Max's aid when he appeared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of wrapping paper he had to contend with. (Get outta my way, kid! This is a job for a REAL preschooler! LOL
Once he finally got all the paper cleared away, he *literally* squealed, he was so excited! Admittedly, it might have partly been because we took his tools away (the ones now hanging on the pegboard) a couple of days ago so Jamie could get everything set up, but we're pretty sure he's mostly just in love with his workbench!And because Jamie's a big believer in “Go Big or Go Home,” Max has lots of room to grow and still use his bench!I'd like to take a moment here and brag about my incredible woodworking husband! He came up with this idea on his own, brought it to reality, and made something that's more amazing than I ever could have imagined. In this Christmas of homemade gifts, this is the icing on the cake; a spectacular piece of art that was made with more love (and scrap wood) than anything he's made before. The tabletop itself is a piece of butcher block that Jamie got from his dad, Ed. Ed got it from *his* dad, who had had it in his workshop when he passed away. So Max is the fourth generation of this family to own this piece of wood, although he's the first to have it as a piece of something. All I did was paint the trim (that's all me, baby!). Otherwise, this is exclusively a gift from a father to his son, and I love it.
Faith's big gift was a dollhouse. It was kind of a family project; Jamie did some construction/demolition work, my mom helped choose furniture and floor coverings, Katie did the most work, stripping and repainting and everything, but I really love how it turned out.
Turned out, you ask? What is there to “turn out” when you give your kid a dollhouse? Well, this dollhouse had to be updated, because it was originally built in about 1980, by our Grampy, as a gift for a 3 year old me and a 1 year old Katie. The 70's linoleum has been pulled up from the kitchen floor, and the green and yellow paint has been replaced by pink and blue, but the soul of it remains. Katie and I spent many hours rearranging the furniture, helping our toys live their lives in this house, and I look forward to watching Faith and Josie do the same.
Jamie had had some concerns the other night that Max wouldn't care about the workbench once he saw the dollhouse… we needn't have worried! While after a while the dollhouse living room was filled with tools and the furniture from the dollhouse got a tune-up on the workbench, they each loved their respective gifts!(Oh, and Josie got a Cozy Coupe police car, in which she loved cruising around our living room (and almost taking out the Christmas tree in the process!)
For us, this morning was more about the giving than the getting… I've been really excited about the gifts Max and I made for my mom, sister and Faith (a separate post about those later! Sorry!), and we of course, have been chomping at the bit to give Max his gift! We got some great things, a gift certificate for a couple weeks of day care from my sister (awesome for when Max's regular lady goes on vacation!) I got a gorgeous new coat from my mom, and my dad gave us the gift of FUN! A family membership to the California Academy of Sciences!