Eric and I were both excited to see how Keenan would react on Christmas morning. We decided not to wrap most of his present but to have then out of their boxes, free from all of the wires that take so long to undo and have them ready to play with. Keenan was a bit stunned when he saw all of his new toys. "AUTO, AUTO" he shouted when he saw his new car, which or course makes lots of noise. When we tried to get him to unwrap the few that were, he kept shoving the presents back at us, wanting us to do all the work.
Keenan had actually found his big present from my parents about a week before Christmas. I couldn't find Keenan one morning and as I was walking around looking to see what he had gotten into I hear this "Vroom, Vrooom" sound coming from my room where his toy was hidden. When I pulled back the curtain where the toy was not so cleverly hidden, there was one happy little boy sitting on his new 4-wheeler pushing all the noisy buttons. The happiness was short lived when I pulled him off the toy and shut the door to the room. Every so often over the next few days Keenan would pull me into my room and point where the toy was and say "please, please." He was very happy to see his toy again on Christmas morning.
Keenan seems to think that all toys are rideable. Keenan's on his new Little People's tactor compliments of Aunt Lisa (we let him open this on Christmas Eve).
Keenan also received the Little People's barn and animals which he loves to play with... mostly to open and close all the doors so it'll make noise. Compliments of Gramma Louise and Grampa Ed.
Of course I had to get at least one picture of Keenan under the tree with his new sweater on. Compliments of Gramma Debbie and Grampa Mike (Boppa, as Keenan calls him)
During the holidays is always when I miss my family the most, especially this year beings that we are sooooo far away. It just doesn't feel the same being in Kyiv. The stores didn't have outrageously huge Christmas displays and Christmas music that had been out for months. The outdoor displays were minimal. It all makes me very thankful that we at least have our internet phone and our webcam to stay connected! Being away also makes me remember my first Christmas away from home and appreciative that I was able to spend Christmas with my husband, son and a bunch of our friends here.
The year after I graduated college I had just started a new job in Boulder and had to work on both Christmas eve and Christmas. On Christmas after our shift ended a bunch of us headed to a bar named "The Catacombs", I was amazed and shocked to see how many people were out at a bar on Christmas. I thought they must be crazy, why aren't they home celebrating. To me Christmas was eating dinner at Gramma Betty and Grampa Ben's then going to midnight mass. In the morning after opening presents there'd be a big brunch with lots of family. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and reading. Basically... lots of family time.
Our Christmas day was spent mostly with Keenan playing with his new toys, Eric checking out his new computer game and me in the kitchen baking. Maybe next year I'll do the baking the day before. I decided to try something new this year, something that seemed fun to turn into a tradition for us. It's called "King Cake" and it's a New Orleans tradion (from what the internet said). You shape a cake into a round "crown" shape and hide a small object inside, typically a plastic baby. Whom ever finds the hidden object is supposed to have good luck. The top of the cake is decorated with green, yellow and purple frosting or sugar to symbolize the three wise men. I was very proud of my King cake and excited to take it over to our friends' house with an extra gift for the finder of the hidden coin... that is until my friend's step father referred to it to me (not realizing I was the baker) as the ugly cake.
Now, Eric and I refer to it as the Ugly Cake. True, it wasn't a thing of beauty but it was kind of tasty. Maybe I just need to learn a few decorating skills...
Here's Keenan playing in a little buggy at our friends house.