Eric’s First Christmas Here

Although I hoped with all my heart that Eric would have been with us last year for Christmas, it just didn’t happen. BUT this year he was here, and I loved every minute of it… and I think he did too.

This year was bittersweet and different. Although Eric was here… we were missing the other 1/2 of the Morgans as they serve on the other side of the world. There was so much joy surrounding the fact that Eric was at every celebration, but still a sense that something was missing. But… everyone was exactly where they were suppose to be, and that, my friends, is a great thing.

I’ll walk you through our Christmas gatherings… I know you are itching to know all about them. Ha.

Every Christmas Eve evening we head over to my Nanny and Pawpaw’s house for food, family, and DIRTY SANTA! The tradition of playing Dirty Santa on Christmas Eve at their house started in the 1970’s! That’s crazy, huh? Since then, the fam gathers at the grandparents’ house and duke it out to get the best gift there is. There’s usually Chick-fil-a cow calendars, funny men’s boxers, nice blankets, embroidered somethings (my aunt’s specialty), gift cards, and a few gag gifts that you if you it… you are stuck with it.

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The looks of our family has changed A LOT since the 70’s, but the thrill of playing is still there.  We tried to explain the game to Eric and he didn’t seem to thrilled about it until we arrived and started at it.  He loved it! He laughed at everyone opening the gag gifts, got a hoot when the stealing of the good gifts commenced, and was so excited when he got to keep the present he wanted (a super nice ihome speaker!). It was a blast!

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This is my cuz, Ryan. We’ve been BBFs since forever. He’s nine months older than me and always lived in another state. Whenever he would visit the fam in Alabama, we were pretty much inseparable. He even spent the night on Christmas Eve with us most years… and Santa even found him at my house (I was seriously so amazed that Santa knew to bring Ryan’s presents there!). Every time we see each other it was like nothing happened, we didn’t grow up, and life is still as simple as it once was.  It’s good to have a cuz like that. 10394020_10101005763518846_5008999690474918068_n

My sweet fam. It was so, so, so good to have Eric at my Nanny’s this year.

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My mom and me. Pretty cute, huh? 10881563_10101005763389106_5866657278046214605_n

How precious is this tree? I just love it. My Pawpaw has taken over the preparation for the Christmas Eve festivities since that’s no longer something my Nanny wants to do, he decided he just wanted to put up this white tree and ONE ornament… Merry Christmas 2013! He’s just precious isn’t he?10868006_10101005763134616_4391197938840282916_n

Here’s my Pawpaw. The best man I know. I told Jacob when we got married that he had big shoes to fill because my Pawpaw is my standard.  He’s doing pretty good so far… haha.

Next up… Christmas morning.

Eric isn’t a fan of Santa, as he puts it. I guess growing up in an orphanage and never having the luxury of ask and receive puts a damper on things. I actually think if we tell our future kids that Santa is real that Eric would be a little peeved with us. I’m okay with that. We still like to have a little fun with the Santa stuff… especially my mom… but always keeping Jesus as the focus of course.

Anyways, leading up to Christmas the only thing that Eric kind of asked for was a Play Station 4 (“Ouch!” says the bank account). We told him that he would need to save his money and buy it. He was okay with that… but only had about $40 to his name. We went and bought it on Black Friday… but he had no clue. We wrapped it and had it hidden under the tree for good keeping.

On Christmas morning, Jacob and I were SO excited about Eric’s first Christmas. We just knew he was going to get up so early so he could open presents and play… that’s what we need. I don’t think he got the memo. Jacob and I woke up like little children at 6:30 that morning just waiting for Eric to wake up. Nothing. Finally… at 8:30… he comes waltzing down the stairs.  We both screamed, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” He was a bit overwhelmed. I asked him if he was ready and excited to open presents. His response = “Umm… not as yet.” WHAT?!?!?! So we reasoned… the dogs would open their gifts first to start the morning off and then we would all participate. And that’s we did…

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Check out the hot sauce!!! We found his Belize favorite, Marie Sharp, and got him a stash! Hooray! IMG_5070

We might have spoiled him a bit… more. But.. after 14 Christmases of not getting anything to call his… what’s a family to do? I kept asking him what he thought he was going to get for Christmas… he had no idea. Hehe.

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Jacob got him a new ESV study Bible…IMG_5094

and a Keurig! Maybe we can officially be adults since we kind of drink coffee now.  Does that count? IMG_5088

Mom got her some salsa, tupperware, and a super cute picture of her grandson. IMG_5075

I got some new sweatshirts!! HOORAY!! I seriously wear a sweatshirt everyday… even in the summer, so I am pumped about these!

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I also got this amazing necklace from my bestie, Emily. It has maps from Costa Rica, Kenya, and Belize… 3 countries that I love. Love this gift! IMG_5072

Walter with his bones! IMG_5054

Jubi needed her picture taken too.

Now… for the grand finale of Eric’s presents…

We saved the PS4 for last. We handed him the box. He ripped into it and screamed! And then he hugged it! He was so excited! WHY DIDN’T WE VIDEO THIS REACTION?!?! Ugh…

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So hilarious! Then… he got scared. He said, “Is this a cruel joke?”

He had got some crazy colored socks in a Pop-Tart box earlier, so he had a sudden fear of this being a joke! So… he had to open the box and check every piece to make sure it was true. Funny. I assured him we weren’t mean enough to do that to him!

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Check out that smile! I know Christmas isn’t about the material gifts… I get it… but when a simple gift can bring that huge smile… it was worth the money spent. He was super thankful and so excited.

We were able to Skype with our fam and enjoy opening presents together… despite miles apart and time difference. Eric and Jojo both got scooters for Christmas so it was fun to see them enjoy those together.

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I got a Circut!!! HOORAY!!!! My life is forever changed… and I apologize now… all of your gifts from now on will be Cricut projects. Yay!

We also got to spend some time with the Morgan family and the Gardner family!

IMG_5117Morgan fam

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Morgans with the Gardners

It was a very Merry Christmas! So thankful for Jesus. So thankful for family. So thankful that Eric is home. So thankful that our family is exactly where they are suppose to be.

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