Heather is still recovering from Christmas and a day at the hospital, so I thought I’d tell you about our Christmas Eve. When she’s feeling better she’ll tell you about our Christmas Day.

Getting married complicates Christmas a little because you suddenly have to find a way to celebrate with not one but two families. Luckily for Heather and me, we’ve come up with an arrangement that allows Annie (and us) to enjoy the holiday with both sides of her family.

Since my sister, Monica, and her family moved to Southern California a few years ago, we’ve started getting together to celebrate Christmas – along with our parents who come down from the Bay Area – on Christmas Eve. This allows us to have a “Spohr” family Christmas, and then another celebration with Heather’s family the next day.

This year’s Spohr family festivities were at Monica’s house, and started with the adults catching up while the kids either played Wii (Danny, Spencer, and, uh, me) or enjoyed a tea party (Annie, Michaela, and, uh, Heather). Later, we ate lasagna and tried to dream up baby names for our newest family member who will be arriving next year.

giving auntie monica her present
Annie playing Santa

Exchanging presents was next, and Annie cracked everyone up with how over-the-top excited she was. She literally shrieked at the top of her lungs while opening each and every one of her gifts. Best of all, though, was when she raised her hands over her head as if her team just won the Super Bowl upon opening my sister’s present of the Play-Doh Princess Castle. (I guess she wasn’t kidding about wanting that Play-Doh.)

helping michaela open her present
Annie and Michaela about to tear into a present

It was a terrific evening, but it wasn’t long before it was time to say goodnight so we could get Annie in bed ahead of Santa’s arrival at our house (and so that Mommy and Daddy could start wrapping). On the drive back, however, Annie could not stop talking about playing with her Play-Doh princess castle once we got home. I tried my best to talk her into waiting until the next day:

“But you need to go to sleep so Santa can come down our chimney and bring us your presents. If you’re not asleep he won’t come to our house!”

“I don’t need Santa to come,” Annie replied. “I got Play-Doh!”

Since it was Christmas Eve, I cut the kid a break and let her play some Play-Doh. There may have been a few (or few dozen) shrieks of joy out of my little Play-Doh addict.

Thankfully, Annie’s lids soon grew heavy and she gladly went to bed to dream about her next Christmas celebration in the morning. The kid really lucks out with this two Christmases business, huh?