Monday, December 26, 2011

Holly Jolly Christmas

Christmas is the best time of the year. It just is. It's the time when you hug your loved ones close, slow down, and appreciate the small things. It's the time when we can appreciate that the birth of Jesus draws us all together and gives us something so special to be thankful for. We spent this Christmas away from our families, but we still made our warm and fuzzy holiday memories... our little family of three, going on four.
Claudia decorated her little pink tree, decking it out with ornaments we have given her each year, along with ornaments family and friends have sent her. This year we gave her a homemade Hungarian ornament, but her favorite ornament arrived last week by mail from Rachie & Ryan. It's a Chicago ornament and every night Claudia would touch it and whisper "Chicago!" We often reminded Claudia that Santa was watching her and that Jihermichael (Elf on Shelf) was sending reports back to Santa. She took none of this seriously. She has her moments, but my girl has been pretty good. We made cookies for Santa on Christmas eve. Claudia got a little out of control drizzelling red icing on the gingerbread men. Daddy commented that the cookies looked like they were covered in blood, and they kind of did, so we added some snowflake sprinkles. Good as new. Claudia stayed up a little late on Christmas eve. She didn't have too many questions about Santa, but when we hinted he might pass us over if she stayed up too late, she scooted off to bed. She loved wearing her little snow man pajamas from Aunt Debbie and Uncle Matthew. For some reason, Claudia had no motivation to go downstairs and open her toys on Christmas morning. She peeked down the stairs, saw her toys and slowly toodled herself down to investigate.
She was most excited about her light saber. Just so you know, she wasn't wearing any pajamas when she woke up and it took about fifteen minutes to coax her into this pair. CC's bike from Santa is pretty neat. The kids over here don't use training wheels, but they start out on balance bikes (no pedals). After they master their balance on these, then they get the real deal. I think they're catching on stateside too.
This is Claudia's baby. She firmly refuses to name the baby, but insists the child receive serious dental attention.
She didn't much care about any of the other toys, but did enjoy stomping on the wrapping paper and playing with a toy ladybug that game in her stocking. Being away from our families this year, it was a wonderful blessing to have several friends over here that were also spending the holidays in Budapest. We spent Christmas day over at our friends' house. Claudia was excited to play with her little buddies and eat some delicious food. When we got home, she spent more time taking care of no-name baby. I think she's getting geared up to be a big sister. Celebrating Christmas away from family has made us appreciate our families and miss them terribly. It was strange being away from my mom for Christmas and I missed her very, very much. But I appreciated this sweet moment where Daddy and CC inspected the tree and shared a hug.
Thanks to my new handy tripod, we were able to take a McLendon family photo when we got home Christmas evening!
You can also take pictures in the dark without getting things all blurry with that tripod. We loved our little tree and I'll be sad to take it down. The Hungarians (and apparently most Europeans) wait until Christmas eve to put up their trees and then they wait until mid to late January to take them down. Weird, huh?Claudia's Christmas artwork. She loves making her artwork and I love watching those little hands glueing, cutting, coloring and flinging glitter everywhere.
It's freezing here and we have nothing to show for it but a few measly little flakes and a bunch of ice. Not really a white Christmas, so much as it was a foggy and icy one. Claudia got the last laugh on this one. She took the "coal" out of her stocking in the morning, asked what it was and got defensive that she'd be getting this. She later dumped the coal out on the floor and began spreading it around the room. That's the last time she gets this mess.

Merry Christmas everyone!!


  1. Great family pic! Looks like you guys had a special day!

  2. So glad y'all had a wonderful Christmas! Love all the details accompanied with pictures. Felt like I was there!


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