A Very Merry Christmas, Part One

 Several days before Christmas, we celebrated with my side of the fam.

We gathered together for a lovely dinner (my mom made all of my favorite traditional things - YUM!) & gift exchanging.

 Just as we sat down to eat dinner, there was surprise visitor...
It took a moment to register with Will
 and then he really got it!
 Since Santa Claus heard we were leaving town for Christmas, he made an early stop just for Will & Ellie!
(He does this to raise money for missions!)
 He came bearing gifts & Will was ecstatic!
 Ellie buried herself into Lovie's shoulder in hopes that perhaps Santa wouldn't notice her

 Santa remembered visiting each of us when we were small children & he assured Will he had Honey's address & would be delivering gifts on Christmas Eve to her house.
 And then Will opened the box to discover the gift that has topped his list for weeks!
 Meanwhile, Ellie began to warm up to him.
She decided to stare him down for awhile.
It was hilarious.
 She hardly flinched - just stared SC down!

 The best I could do for a picture of her "smiling"
("Mom!  Are you serious?!")
(I think this will be an expression I see a lot when she turns 13.)
 So very happy

 After dinner & the surprise visitor, we opened gifts!
Ellie & Megan
Megan gave me cool feather earrings she made using real peacock feathers.  I love them & feel much trendier in them!  Thanks, Megan!
 Ellie enjoyed rocking her baby in her new cradle...
 Will & Uncle Adam
 Ellie also received a new stroller for her baby & a high chair
 Will started a new thing this Christmas & it may be my favorite ever!
He loves surprises & builds up the anticipation even more by closing his eyes while he unwraps the gift.
I love how he is truly savoring the moment & doesn't want to spoil the surprise a second too early!

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