Monday, December 24, 2007

Ghosts of Christmas Past

There are two Christmas traditions that have evolved in our family that I just love for some reason. It's probably a girl thing, since they both involve clothing.

The first one is picking out Christmas dresses for the girls. I'll never forget how I bought Bria's when I was still pregnant with her (she was born in October) because I loved it so much. Seven years later, I'm a little obsessed with finding dresses that at least sort of match now that I've got three little girls. And I love the Sunday before Christmas because they all wear them.

The second one is the Christmas Eve pajamas. The kids always need new pjs around this time of year anyway and it is so fun to watch them open their one gift on Christmas Eve because it so effectively starts the excitement for Christmas morning.

I thought I would share a few photos of these traditions through the years:
This is Bria's first Christmas, 2000. She was 2 months old and tiny and that is the dress I fell in love with. And the hat. I adore the hat. My other two have always been too old by their first Christmas to wear that hat, but I did have Sophie wear the dress last year a few times.
Christmas Eve 2001. Bria's dress this year, complete with patent leather Mary Janes and a matching headband, was from Osh Kosh. All of it. Wasn't she just adorable?
Christmas morning 2001. Those were Bria's first Christmas pjs as that was the year we actually began the tradition. She couldn't believe we were actually going to let her touch the gifts after nearly a month of being told no. Christmas morning 2002. Bria was so grumpy that morning! Here she is in my lap wearing her Christmas pjs after just having opened her stocking. You can see the box of tic tacs she's holding in her hand...we gave her those because my dad always had them and she was constantly asking him for them. I was about 7 months pregnant with Chloe can see the IV line on my right arm. I can't find a picture of her Christmas dress that year, but it was green velvet with white lace.
Christmas morning 2003, at my parents' house. This was our first year in Arizona and we were dirt poor. No Christmas jammies this year...Bria actually wore the same ones from the previous year and my mom had just happened to buy Chloe a pair that were very similar, so I was happy about that. No dresses either, they both wore hand me downs. Bria did get the hula hoop from Santa she'd been asking for for months, but she couldn't use it right away since she broke her foot on Christmas Eve jumping down the stairs...look closely and you'll see her cast. Christmas 2004: our family picture which I sent out with Christmas cards. I got the girls velveteen dresses for their holiday dresses that year. Bria's was black and I loved the sleeves on it, and Chloe's was a more traditional maroon. Their jammies in 2004 were not Christmas themed...I couldn't find any I liked, so we just went with normal footie sleepers. This picture was taken with Joel's grandparents on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve 2005. I had just found out I was pregnant with Sophia in early December, and by Christmas I was super sick. Joel even has video of me running to the toilet on Christmas morning. It is basically amazing I even got my camera out to take this picuture of them in their pajamas! My favorite part of this photo is the random necklace hanging on the tree. I found all sorts of things like that on the tree that year...they wanted to help it look pretty.This was our Christmas Card in 2005 (thanks Hilary!) and the pictures of the girls feature their Christmas dresses. It was the first year they wore identical dresses, and it's pretty much been that way since...all two Christmases we've had since then. Christmas dresses 2006...Sophie's first. All identical maroon taffeta decorated with little pearls. The photo is black and white because I ran out of color film...yet another reason to be glad I switched to digital!Christmas Eve 2006, in Seattle at my brother's house. They aren't even looking at my camera since 2 other people were taking pictures, but this is the only one I have in which Sophia is not screaming. She was obviously not fond of doing the annual pj picture under the tree! So we'll settle here for her eating a bow and the older two looking somewhere else.
And the moment you've been waiting for: Christmas dresses version 2007. Bria and Chloe have identical dresses, but I couldn't find the exact dress for Sophie, so I found something similar enough. Aren't they gorgeous?

As for this year's PJ's, they're still safely wrapped up under the tree. Perhaps I'll edit this entry later with a picture, but for now, you'll have to do without.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Awh... those dresses are A-dorable. Delightful tradition. You don't want to spoil that with a boy now, do you? :)

  2. They are gorgeous!! Wow, the best yet!

  3. You are wonderful! Great tradition! We do the same and although my boys could care less - they would be sad if they didn't get new too. :)
    Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Beautiful, Lara! Love your Christmas photos. I still need lessons from you, obviously! : ) Merry Christmas!

  5. Love the dresses this year...I need to post Elodie's but she wasn't in the mood for pictures and we were scrambling to get out the door for church so the pictures are pretty generic..we will have our official photo shoot soon! Wink! Wink!

  6. We do the same thing too - new dresses and PJs. Though this year they didn't get new dresses because I really couldn't justify the extra expense... and their dresses from last year still fit and looked absolutely beautiful. Aw well. I did splurge and get the pjs though. And my oldest "caught on" this year - as I was handing out the boxes of PJs to be opened, she said, "Wait a minute... aren't these pajamas? Don't you ALWAYS get us pajamas?"

    Oh yeah, I do. :)

  7. Fun traditions and cute pictures! This year we did the pj thing for the 2nd time. This time, Santa dropped them off at the front door. (Maddy's idea) The kids LOVED it!

  8. What great pictures. I always love to look at past pics, but there is always some sadness associated with it because they will never look like that again. I LOVE their dresses this year. At least I think that was their Christmas dresses they wore to Matt's church when we were down there.

    Can't wait to see you guys awhilst your U.C. journey.

  9. Ryanna had Sophie's same Christmas dress. How funny! Thank you Wal-Mart for cute & affordable Christmas dresses.