I can’t believe it was already our 3rd Christmas with the Littles, who are really not so little any more. This year, everyone was old enough to remember what Christmas is all about, which is both good and bad news. They truly had a lot of fun.

On Christmas Eve after dinner, each child in our family gets to open one present. That gift always contains pajamas.  This was instituted the year I realized that my kids always looked neglected in the holiday photos because I had not given a thought to their Christmas pajamas. So everyone gets pajamas, and the photos look great. (Except this year I could not find the camera on Christmas morning. Oh well, best laid plans!)

Last year they were so excited about that Christmas Eve present and so disappointed when they figured out it was pajamas and not a toy. This year, The Captain took charge of the situation and reminded them that the gift could not contain a toy since Santa would not arrive until after they went to sleep. Therefore, everyone was overjoyed with their new PJs and wore them not only that night but the entire next day.

We had a scaled down Christmas with no travel, few guests, and no where to be except church. For me, it was the sweetest Christmas of my life.  It was chaotic. It was messy. It was loud. It took forever for the 7 of us and Grandma to open our gifts. And it was magnificent. Because after my two close calls this year, I was so very grateful to be right here, right now, alive and well.

In the end, that’s what really matters to me. I don’t care how pretty our tree was (gorgeous) or if everyone liked their gifts (though they did) or if everyone behaved (uhm, no). I am so grateful for my loving hubby and our five beautiful children and so, so, SO grateful that we said YES to a sibling group of three back in 2010. We had no idea how full and beautiful life could be!

I don’t have a picture of all 5 kids together (due to the camera issue!) but I do have this iPod snap of the three Littles after church. You can taste their enthusiasm. Enjoy!DSC_0011 (1)