Our First Married Christmas

Warning: Somewhat Long Post!!!

Last Christmas, I had a really hard time with the fact that I knew I was going to marry Joe, but we didn't get to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas together. Ok, we did get to see each other for a while, but not having him around for the main events was kind of not fun for me. Granted, our families didn't know for sure that we were planning on getting married, I'd like to think they all knew it would happen, but I don't think that anyone knew we had already talked about it and were figuring out how to make it work money wise and time wise. Well, I may have sort of let it slip to my mom while we were decorating the Christmas tree because I said something, sort of thinking out loud to myself, about how I'd probably want to set my ornaments aside when we took the tree down, and I think my mom's response was, "Why? Are you planning on something happening? You'd better not be planning that already!" or something like that.

Being together this Christmas made it even more great that it would usually have been! It was tricky figuring out family time, but once we made the decision, it was perfect, and it should be easy to figure out every year from here on out!

Christmas Ornament Wreath

The cute wreath that I finally finished for our front door!

Christmas Eve was kind of lame because Joe had to work, but when he got home from work late at night, we sure had fun! I spent the night with my family, having dinner and dessert and watching Elf! I was so excited for Joe to open his presents and look in his stocking that I spontaneously created a new tradition that we'll call Midnight Christmas. Because technically, once you hit midnight, it's Christmas right? (I found out today that in some South American countries, they actually do this, and it's called Feliz Navidad). So Joe and I got things ready to take to our families the next day, watched a Mormon Message about the true meaning of Christmas and played The Game of Life until it was officially Christmas and then we hit the tree! (Unfortunately this tradition can only be tradition as long as we don't have kids.)

 It's Christmas!!! Santa came!!!! ;)

Our First Married Christmas

I have to admit, I left the presents for our family under the tree for this picture so it would look fuller.

I was so excited for Joe to open his presents! We took turns opening a present, opening our "biggest" (or smallest ones in this case) together at the end. So, Joe's "big" present was his ipod Classic that he's really been wanting for when he mows and now when he drives to different Target stores every day. The only thing he really cares about having on there are his audio books, he's a silly man! I also got him this really cool foosball thing that is small and fits on a normal kitchen table! Endless fun in our little apartment where we can't fit or afford the full size version of those types of things. In his stocking he got Reese's, Mt. Dew, goldfish crackers, mini Reese's, (all of his favorite junk food!!), Walk the Line because I think he mentions weekly that he loves Johnny Cash and wants to see this movie and we couldn't find it on Netflix at all, my FM transmitter that I'm letting him use for his ipod in his truck because I rarely use it on my 15 minute commute and I know he'll put it to good use, an itunes gift card, some Love Coupons for dates and stuff from me, and the card game Play Nine that we play all the time at his sister's, it's a lot of fun and I wanted to own it! Oh, and nail clippers and nose hair trimmers hahahaha! It was so fun watching him open his presents because he had no idea what they were, except the ipod, but that's ok!

Our First Married Christmas

The stocking has his candy in it, that's why he's holding it up.

Joe kept telling me that my presents were dumb and he hoped that I liked them, which was funny because as he bought them he'd get so excited about his genius ideas, until the minute that we were going to open them! I think he did a fantastic job because each gift that he got me had thought behind it! The first thing I opened was a vanity mirror, the ones that light up and magnify your face so you can put makeup on! We had one in our hotel on our honeymoon and I was obsessed with it! I kept telling Joe that one day I absolutely had to have one in my bathroom, and now I do!!!!!! See how much I loved this little thing?

Close-up Mirror

Anyway, then I opened a digital picture frame, which I have always secretly wanted and is so awesome! I think this is Joe's way of guaranteeing that I won't make him hang up any more frames ever, but this is just not the truth hahaha, but I'm so excited to put pictures on my frame, I thought about which ones I'd add the whole time I was falling asleep last night! My "big" present from him was a Nook!!! He'd been telling me that this present was something that I'd never mentioned or said I wanted but that I wanted. This baffled me, I couldn't figure it out (I'm obsessed with figuring out presents, but not peeking, I just like to feel smart) and I told him last night that it was one of my thoughts I kept having but that I'd mentioned it before so I didn't think that was it. His response? "You said you wanted a Kindle once, but not the Nook." Tricky, tricky! Ok, so Joe was so not excited about my stocking, but it was kind of fun! I think I got 3 pounds of candy; rolo, kit kat, hershey's milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and reese's! My favorite was after Joe put my stocking under the tree, he told me that there was a candy in there that neither of us liked, but oh well, and when I figured out which one it was (the special dark), I laughed because dark chocolate is my FAVORITE!!! Joe goes, "Um...yeah...I knew that hahaha!" and then he told me how he stood in the candy aisle realizing that he didn't know what my favorite candy was. It honestly depends on the day, I love anything chocolate, but there are a few that I favor over others. The little presents in my stocking were a garlic chopper contraption because I cut garlic all the time and that knife chopping so close to my little fingers is probably scary (we won't say how many times I've hit my fingernail with the knife), a back loufa scrubby thing and then a purse size bottle of Advil because I get headaches all the time and never have drugs on me! My husband was so good at being thoughtful about gifts and he even kept them all a surprise!! I'm impressed!

Our First Married Christmas

My huge stash of candy is halfway shown in the corner

Since we were trying to make it to my parent's ward by 11 the next morning, it was probably good that we got our presents out of the way early, but not so smart that Joe stayed up until one setting up his ipod and getting it charging and stuff and I sat and read my Nook thing and got it charging. For breakfast, we were having orange rolls and I'd gotten them out of the freezer to raise the night before, thinking they were probably going to be huge, but I don't think I realized just how big they'd raise to!

Christmas Morning Breakfast

It was pretty great to go to church in my home ward, and it made it a lot easier to make time for both of our families when we didn't have to wait until one to go to our ward. I loved getting a chance to be a part of the ward Christmas program again, and nothing can beat my home ward's musical numbers, it's the truth! After church, we ate a snack and then opened gifts with my family. I was so excited to give my brother his 'Bazinga' shirt with Sheldon on the front, I was so proud of it! Joe got my sister the green expansion pack for her Killer Bunnies game, we got my mom a really cute No Soliciting sign because she's wanted one and my brother told her, "You could put it by the phone." I'm not sure it works that way though, and we got my dad a gift card to Chili's or Macaroni Grill or two other places, one of those kinds. My youngest sister gave me hot chocolate and marshmallows, our favorite treat, and my parent's got me a pea coat that I really wanted and The Best Bites cookbook that is pretty darn awesome and I'm excited to cook from! Joe got three new audio books that he wanted, some new gloves, and the newest Coldplay CD. It was fun to spend some time with my family and hang out! We're the first married people in that family, so we're pioneering the path for the rest of the traditions.

Next it was down the street to Joe's parent's house for Christmas dinner and presents there! Christmas dinner was so yummy and a lot of fun, so many interesting conversations happen in that house and it's not a family night if everyone isn't practically in tears from laughing so hard at least once! After dinner, we opened gifts. It was kind of fun to watch the nieces and nephews open their gifts from grandpa and grandma and get so excited! They were all so excited to show us the gifts that they'd gotten from Santa and show us how they worked and the cool things that they could do. I got a bundt pan and a sheet cake pan that I've been wanting from my brother-in-law, Joe got an itunes gift card to go with his new ipod from his sister, Joe's brother had redone our wedding video and gave that to us (watch for uploaded cake smashing videos), and then we got chocolates and some money to get us something fun from his parents. I was so excited to give my in-laws this present:

Where Cousins Become Best Friends - Vinyl

And no, this is not an announcement of any kind, I just love that every Sunday the cousins are running all over doing things together and becoming pals, it's so fun to watch! We played some Just Dance and I kicked my sister-in-law's butt on my first time playing, and then we all played a new game that my father-in-law.

Our First Married Christmas

And this picture of Joe playing with our niece's new Barbie play and learn Blackberry thing. He was playing a matching game where you match halves of purses, shoes and clothes. Let's just say he played this game for quite a while.

Lots of family, fun and food today! I am glad to have tomorrow off work to recover from the day! Joe has been uploading audiobooks to his ipod and I've been exploring the library online of ebooks so I can put some things other than the scriptures and conference magazines on my Nook! Tomorrow I'll put together my stuff for the digital picture frame, it will be fun! Sorry for the length of this post, it was a big weekend!

What traditions did you start for your first year of marriage?