Babes In Toyland

When I was growing up, one of my favorite Christmastime movies (and let's face it, I probably watched it throughout the year) was the 1986 made-for-tv version of "Babes In Toyland."Do you know it? Keanu Reeves as the dashing protagonist, Drew Barrymore as the saccharinely sweet little heroine? Super cheesy plot and terrible cinematography? Yep. And absolutely perfect and adored by me. I'll admit it, I'd still watch it, and I'm sure I'd enjoy it, too! 

Fortunately, our Christmas this year was not in peril of being ruined by my Uncle Barnaby and his minions of foul-smelling monsters. The busyness of life and frenzied schedules, maybe, but not droning, glowing-eyed monsters.


The boys had a fantastic Christmas! Actually, I think they had around five. You read that right. Five. We're developing a tradition of spreading the unwrapping out over several days. I think this is more for the parents than the kids. Keeping up with five kids under the age of four tearing through presents faster than you can say, "Jiminy Cricket!" is a little overwhelming.

We began the morning as we have every year since we were married: sitting on the bed, reading through Luke 2:1-20 and praying together. Normally, we'd also open stockings, but we didn't do stocking gifts this year.

After we gathered as a family, and after breakfast, we got dressed and snapped a few pictures. Christmas Eve and afternoon had been so completely hectic that Kyler and I had decided to just keep the boys in their footsie pajamas instead of changing them into their dress clothes. Rehearsal had run way late, we hadn't eaten, and the service began in half an hour, so we just gave up on dressing them up that night and decided to do it on Christmas Day.

They all looked so handsome, if I do say so myself.


The tree and presents were something to behold this year. Gifts for seventeen, arranged beautifully in my in-laws' living room alcove was absolutely staggering. You can't see them, but the window seat and a handmade cradle contributed nicely to the dimension of it all.
 What a sight!

As you can imagine, there was lots of unwrapping to do. Cam was a fantastic delivery boy. (Truth be told, we had to keep him busy delivering the presents, lest he tear them all open himself!) He was just beside himself with joy, and it was fun to watch!





And of course, there were the presents themselves.
We had quite the array...

There were dishes and dinosaurs,


cars and cameras and clothing,



and books and blankies for the babes.


Packages revealed pillows and pelicans,


movies and moose pajamas.


more books and even a bicycle helmet!



Tool sets and taggies (MJ is thrilled, can you tell?)


And later, there were trucks!


And even more to open!
We found sheets, and snacks, and shirts.



Yes, they're shirts.


And finally, there were cookies, cousins, chillin' (and crying), and cow flashlights that mooed (hands-down the prize-winning present...way to go, Ogee!)






 Naturally, the aftermath was almost as fun as the unwrapping!
Who can resist boxes and bubble wrap? It's like getting two presents in one!


The Daddies enjoyed some marathon tickling with their boys, 



Ogee enjoyed some snuggle-time and napping with his only granddaughter,

and Kayden kicked back for a movie.
Who doesn't love a little Wonka on Christmas?

It was a beautiful day. A White Christmas - the first I can remember.
A perfect time to treasure all the things I have been given, and be thankful for so many blessings.


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