Before the actual Christmas holiday we traveled to Iowa to visit with Bob's family and then Mary Ann's family. Our first stop was Dubuque to Jack and Jeans. It was such a wonderful turn out and a great opportunity to see people who have hardly spent any time with Amelia due to our living so far away. Another benefit of moving back to the Midwest! Next we traveled to Riverside to Katie and Allen's for the annual Beck Christmas.
For the actual holiday the Wagner's were the first to arrive. We basically shifted everything (except Santa, he can't change his entire schedule just for us!) one day to accommodate traveling relatives.
On Christmas Eve we attended Mass. We almost didn't make it! Our church has an "old church" downtown that holds daily mass and a "new church" a few miles north that holds weekend mass. We thought it would be fun to experience the old church as they were holding Christmas Mass in both so we headed out early, but not too early as we had a toddler in tow and low and behold we were turned away as they were full! We jumped back in the car and sped to the new Church with only a moment to spare. They were full too so we had to stand in the back/lobby area. Thankfully there were speakers for us to hear and plenty of room from Amelia to run around so it all worked out in the end!
We let Amelia open one gift before bed then set out (almond)Milk and Cookies for Santa and a carrot for his hard working reindeer!
On Christmas Day Eric and I immediately popped out of bed when we heard Amelia making noise on the monitor. We checked to make sure Santa had indeed come and ran upstairs to get Amelia. We walked her down the stairs and into the living room where she was shocked to see what Santa had brought her! I can't count how many times she said "Oh WOW!" We allowed Amelia to open one more present and then we waited for Abby and Laz to arrive before digging into the rest.
Once Abby and Laz arrived we did our usual Christmas Even appetizers a day late, opened stockings and opened presents. Amelia played delivery elf and loved every minute of it!
The next day my mom arrived and we spent the day cooking and listening to Christmas music. We ended up with a beautiful, delicious and actually pretty healthy meal featuring ham, cheesy potatoes, brussels sprouts and an AMAZING kale salad made by Abby… I was eating the vegan "Parmesan" topping by the spoonful if that tells you anything!
Later that day Abby and Laz headed home and Bob and Mary Ann left the following day. We opened presents with my mom and enjoyed another week visit with her as well.
We are so blessed to have such wonderful family near and far to spend the holiday with. Merry Christmas!