The morning of December 18th, we got the greatest surprise.
My brother, Colin, called from Beijing and said he had found a ticket and was coming to spend Christmas with us in Zurich! I was over the moon! I admit that up until that point, I had been having a hard time getting excited about Christmas on our own. I have a big family back in the States and the holidays are always loud, with tons of children running around and so much conversation and catching up with the dozens of relatives you haven't seen throughout the year. It felt a litte sad to be missing out on that. But, once we got going on Coco's presents from Santa and got the tree up, everything felt so festive and jolly that I was ready for our little family Christmas and really in the spirit of things. Finding out that my brother was coming just made everything better. :)
Christmas Eve we went to mass at 7pm and Coco didn't go to sleep until after 10! Naturally, on Christmas morning she decided to sleep in so we adults had a nice quiet morning while we waited for her to wake up. J got a fire going and all the decorations were so cheerful. Coco's Brio stove loaded with pots and pans and wooden spoons was waiting by the fire and the tree had lots of presents nestled underneath, including a scarf I started for J five years ago and finally finished! ;)
Then we made some Stumptown Coffee as a special Christmas treat. We normally just drink capsule coffee from our Nescafé, so we don't have a coffee grinder. Grinding the coffee in the mortar and pestle was a labor of love that Colin and J both seemed to enjoy quite a bit.
Then we got out the champagne and made Mimosas! Mental note: get dressed and wash your face on Christmas morning from now on. ;)
We had our Christmas breakfast casserole already in the oven and Coco was still sleeping, so I decided to sneak in and take a picture of her sleeping.
Then she woke up! Happy and groggy. I coaxed her out into the living room.
She could tell immediately that it was not a normal morning.
She walked straight over to her new play kitchen!
And didn't waste any time beginning to play!
It took some patience, but we managed to get a good self-timer shot.
Then we opened gifts and Coco thought it was absolutely amazing that there were toys and clothes inside the wrapping. She was fine with just the bow! ;)
Our Christmas morning concluded with a big breakfast and a messy living room with presents and wrapping everywhere. It was so delightful and relaxed and fun. Colin, J and I agree that having children makes the holidays magical again. What do you think? xo