This year we started a new tradition with the kids. We heard about the Elf of the Shelf from one of my favourite blogs, http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/. I got it in mid-December and we started it right away. I believe it was Dec. 13th. So the idea is that you get the Elf of the Shelf and he comes with a book to read. Basically, the Elf shows up at your house right after Thanksgiving each year. He watches you and your kids and each night he leaves the house and reports back to Santa on your goings on. Then he shows up each morning at your house in a different location (it's so much fun watching the kids run around looking for him)! Your kids can talk to him about good or bad things they've done or tell him what they want for Christmas so that he can report back to Santa. We named our Elf, Frank, after my grandfather and it so fits him :) I love this new tradition.
So Christmas morning Ryan, the kids, and I all got up. Santa had eaten the cookies and milk we left for him and he had also taken Frank back to the North Pole to get him rested up to come back to our house next year. The kids ran down the stairs and saw some of the bigger Santa presents out and around. We opened all of our family presents and then had a great Christmas morning breakfast. All the family came over (my parents, Ryan's parents, and my sister and her boyfriend) around 3 pm. We opened all of the family presents and then had Christmas dinner (which included delicious beef tenderloin that my husband made). Overall it was a wonderful Christmas!
Me and the kids just before opening presents, me and Ryan (this picture was taken by Little Miss :) ), and Little Miss opening a present from Nana (with Ryan's mom, Meme, and my mom, Nana in the background)
I will tell you that that afternoon I started to feel really achy and sick. After everyone left it got worse. I ended up being super sick for 5 days after Christmas. My poor husband spent his entire Christmas vacation taking care of me and our kiddos.
Our tv room before Christmas morning, my father in law with the picture frame that Ryan made for him, and Santa's letter to the kids :)