Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas with Bebe and Pops

We celebrated a "Johnston family" Christmas with Bebe and Pops on December 23rd.  Our family gathered at Johnnies for a casual and easy dinner before heading to their house for presents.  This year, the Johnston kids decided that we'd buy for just the grand kids and not the parents.  We gave each other suggestions for what to get our kids, and the end results yielded lots of "so awesome, thanks!" and "oh CUTTTTEEEE!" expressions. 

William received a wallet from Rachel and jumped for joy shouting "Oh Rachie!  This is so great! I love it", and he got an ant farm from Ryan and Jessica.  Adeline was SO thrilled with her dog inside a purple dog purse and it came with a grooming kit.  She hugged and squeezed that puppy all night long.  Ryan and Jessica got Adeline a wooden shape shorter.  Anna received bath toys from Rachel and a pretty engraved grooming set from Ryan and Jessica.  We gave Elin a Cinderella doll and Reece got two large books all about trucks. 

Once we opened all the gifts under the tree, it was time for "The Big Reveal." Over the last few days, Bebe and Pops banned everyone from entering their bedroom.  They were very busy setting up the Christmas Extravaganza for all of us.  Since I was a baby, Santa left our gifts unwrapped and in distinct areas of the living room.  Every time my siblings and I ran down the stairs and into the room, we knew exactly where to look for our Santa gifts.  The tradition is steadfast and true.  Inside Bebe and Pops' bedroom were 7 Santa displays, one for each of us.  Before Pops opened up the doors, each child was told where to look for their pile.  You could feel the excitement and the kids were jumping up and down just busting at the seams.....OPEN THOSE DOORS POPS! 

The expressions on the kids' faces was priceless.  EXACTLY what Christmas with Santa Claus should be like.  The kids were screaming, the toys were flying, the joy in their faces said it all. 

William was thrilled with his race track, snow shovel, new blocks, art supplies and airplanes. 

Adeline got a darling table and chairs, tea set, snow globe, coat, shoes, toothbrush and clothes. 

Dan and I received a wet vac, snow shovel, phone chargers, facials (me!), a few things for the new house and a few books. 

Anna got some sparkle shoes, a few new hats, bath toys and a snow globe.

Elin and Reece raked it in with a gymnastics mat, blocks, clothes, a train table, books, and a tent.

Aunt Rachie scored a TV and a few things on her new house wish list!

The funniest part of whole event was when Elin stood up and shouted, "YEA FOR REECE'S TENT!  YEA FOR ADELINE'S TEA SET! YEA FOR WILLIAM'S RACE CARS! YEA FOR RACHIE'S TV! YEA FOR DAN'S BOOK!  YEA FOR ANNA'S SHOES!"  and it went on and on.  If you know how shy Elin is, you will understand why we were all shouting with her and echoing her cheers of delight. 

After the big reveal, we headed to the living room for our final tradition - reading "The Night Before Christmas."  But it isn't your typical story time.  In our house, everyone sits in a circle and holds a gift card for different places around town. One person holds the golden goose which holds a coveted $50 bill. Pops reads the story out loud and every time we hear the word "the," all the gift cards along with the goose pass to the right.  When the story is over, whatever gift card you are holding becomes your prize.  If you are holding the golden goose, you win $50.

Well guess who won the golden goose this year........

YEP!  ANNA!  Miss Money Bags Barron.

Our family ended up with cards to Best Buy, Chick Filet and Barnes and Noble. 

The night was SO MUCH FUN and kicked off our Christmas weekend perfectly.  There is nothing more special than time with family and I so very grateful to have my brother, sister, and my parents.  We have thousands of family memories in the record books and I can't imagine being anywhere else.  I am blessed beyond belief and just so thankful that my own little family has Bebe and Pops to love them. 

Thank you Mom and Dad.  My life has been incredible because of you.


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