believe in the magic.

I love Christmas morning. I wait impatiently every year for the kiddos to get out of bed and make their way down the hall. Since my Mom and Tom usually stay with us the night before, Brent and I split up and sleep on the couches. That means I land myself a spot in front of the Christmas tree all night and I love it. My mom always protests about not taking our bed and I get to feel all selfless about giving up our cozy down comforter…but in reality, who doesn’t want to sleep in front of their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve??? In my opinion, it’s the best spot in the house.

And it means I get to be the first one to spring up, turn the tree lights on and ready myself for this shot every year…

The one where Sarah creeps in with that sly, bashful look on her face, wondering if Santa really came. I wish I could bottle up that magic.

B-Ro likes to take a bit more time in the morning. He was spaced out for a good five minutes of present opening.

But then it was on like Donkey Kong.

As I think I’ve mentioned here before, Santa brings our children three gifts (plus stockings) each year to help them remember the three gifts that Jesus received from the wise men. This year Ephraim was a the recipient of a Wall Tracks system for his Hot Wheels cars, a Thomas the Train set, and a marble roll. But the big hit seemed to be something from the stocking that Mommy never buys. I guess Santa is allowed to bend the rules. Squeezy fruit.

(Yes, I’m irrationally opposed to squeezy fruit. I get that it’s just applesauce in a convenient little pouch but, come on people, how lazy are we??? Not surprisingly, I reserve a similar hatred for gogurt.)

And here B-Ro is opening his homemade gift from Sarah. If you follow the Photo A Day then you might have wondered just what was hiding inside this beautiful pink package for B-Ro that was marked, “For my love, Ephraim.”

Well ladies and gentlemen, it was the must-have toy of the season (at least in our house): a decorate your own toilet paper roll! Sarah made her Daddy and me matching prince and princess ornaments out of toilet paper rolls. Since she couldn’t figure out how to make a car ornament like she wanted for Ephraim, she decided a make-your-own kit would be perfect. It came complete with beads, tape, and (you guessed it!) a toilet paper roll.

It was a gift worthy of a little brother bear hug.

Unlike her brother who had asked for nothing, Sarah made an extensive list for Santa this year. It must have been hard for the big guy to choose only three. But somehow he did.

Sarah received a pink Razor scooter,

a make-your-own jewelry kit (wonder where he got that idea…),

and an origami set…

Santa also snuck a few rings into Sarah’s stocking since “jewels” were on her list.

(Aren’t they on every girl’s list?)

This year there was also a stack of gifts marked “to the fam, from the fam” with every board game that could possibly be competitive between a 4 year old, 6 year old, 31 year old and (cough, cough) 36 year old. We Cobbs are a competitive lot and it doesn’t matter how we’re matched, we play to win. I’m not afraid to take my children down in a good old fashioned game of Sorry.

But as it turns out, they beat me.

It as an absolutely love Christmas (despite that defeat). Definitely one for the memory books. Thanks for the making the drive, Mom and Tom…

And thanks for believing in the magic, Sarah and Ephraim.

Gayle SJanuary 4, 2012 - 12:37 pm

Wow, looks like it was an amazing Christmas for your family! I love seeing the excitement and joy on your kids faces! It really is such a magical time!! This Christmas was the best for my family as well. With a 5 year old girl and a little boy who was almost 3 it was perfect age for the magic!
Technical photo question for you. Do you use a speedlight or some other flash for these indoor pictures? Or is it just natural light in the daytime and flash at nighttime?
Thanks for your help!

TraciJanuary 4, 2012 - 2:42 pm

Would you mind sharing what games you bought? I put the penguin game you mentioned last time on my wish list. Dd who is 6 received Qwirkle and Dh and I have really enjoyed playing it with her!

Thank you! Traci

MelissaJanuary 4, 2012 - 3:36 pm

Looks like a fun and happy Christmas morning! I think it’s really nice that your family does 3 presents in honor of the three wise men! A lot of bloggers lately have been posting pictures with stacks and stacks of presents and no mention of the real meaning of Christmas, so I think it’s great how your family celebrates!

ReneeJanuary 4, 2012 - 6:43 pm

I gotta say, I have a true and unabashed love for squeezy fruit. I have 14 month old twins and most days the squeezy fruit is the one thing preventing them from having a meltdown at the grocery store. Or the pediatrician. Or playgroup. Or stuck in traffic. I always keep at least 4 in the diaper bag. However, at home we eat the homemade stuff. With spoons.

heather mayberryJanuary 4, 2012 - 7:53 pm

completely with you on the squeeze stuff. thought i was the only one! yes, completely irrational.

j.j.January 4, 2012 - 8:49 pm

Gotta love the magic. We mamas are weirdos waking up before the kids:)

adminJanuary 5, 2012 - 6:19 am

Traci, off the top of my head I know we gave them Sorry, Payday, Guess Who, Sequence for Kids, Perfection, Crazy Eights, and Mancala. Payday, Sorry and Crazy Eights are the favorites.

Renee, with toddler twins I can understand the root of your squeezy fruit affection! =)

Stacey TJanuary 5, 2012 - 6:59 am

I just wanted to let you know that after reading your blog last Christmas, I *stole* your method of present giving in that Santa brings 3 gifts (and stockings) just like the wise men brought baby Jesus 3 gifts. Santa also brought a family gift… a marble run and board game for us to do something together as a family. Thank you so much for the idea. It made Christmas have more meaning. We also gave the kids gifts from Mom and Dad and they gave gifts to each other (in which their reactions were priceless). Because of your blog, our family now has a new Christmas tradition and I love it!

Juli PJanuary 5, 2012 - 10:32 am

I remembered your post last year about the three gifts from Santa and had to keep reminding myself of that when we were planning Santa gifts this year. Thank you for the idea and thank you for reminding me of the true meaning of Christmas.
My kids each received a Wii remote from Santa, they each received a game (one got scrabble jr. one got boggle jr.) and then one other thing.
Santa left the actual Wii console as a family gift, so mom and dad have control….and control time on it.
I remember my mom sleeping on the couch on Christmas night (not Christmas eve) every year. I found myself doing the same thing this year. The Christmas tree is magical.
Your Christmas pictures are beautiful! and your Christmas looks to have been just magical also!

Aunt LuJanuary 5, 2012 - 5:59 pm

That look on Sarah’s face is priceless!

KelliJanuary 10, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Fruit! I just stocked the shelves this morning at work and came across that stuff! I was like “who buys this?” Now I know.

Key TagsJanuary 10, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Your Christmas morning looked really fun 😀

custom plastic cardsJanuary 10, 2012 - 3:29 pm

Very cute Christmas morning and the way the photo is taken makes the moments look absolutely adorable.

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