Monday, January 07, 2013
We had a blast celebrating Christmas! First, some attempts at a few family pics while we were somewhat done up! (Mind you, this was after 3 hours of church, and no one was quite in the mood for cooperation at this point! Oh well, worth a try, right?!)
I have decided that Christmas Eve is almost more special to me than Christmas day. Mostly because it is the time reserved for just our family, to engage in our special traditions, to just be together, to have some fun, but also invite the Spirit into our Christmas celebrations. I love this night!!
We made our cookies for Santa, and I always have the BEST helpers!
We re-enacted the Nativity story. My mom first helped the kids with the story by using some cute flannel-board characters. My dad read from Luke 2. We stopped and discussed and explained things to the kids so they would really understand what was happening. They already knew the story so well and I loved that! Then we acted it all out. This was our first year for this and it was both hilarious and touchingly sweet! My parents joined us and had the BEST clothes for our wise men (all their garb from India)! I seriously could not breathe, I was laughing so hard! I mean, seriously, would you look at everyone?! BUT, on the flip side of funny, there was little Kaiya. Our sweet, tender-heart. She really, really wanted to be Mary and I knew she would be the perfect one. From the second she put on her clothes and wrapped up her little baby doll, she brought the Spirit. With no prompting at all from us, she carefully held her baby close, snuggled it, stared deeply at it with loving eyes, nuzzled it with her nose, and never spoke a word. She was so quiet and so pensive about the whole thing. It really reverenced the mood for the rest of us and I am so grateful for this little girl and how she touches our family! Once we were all able to settle down and be more serious, it was really precious to watch, as gifts were brought to the babe and everyone knelt before him. It was so, so sweet to watch. And little Kai, even after we were finished, she would not put her baby down and stayed in character long after we were all done. She was so reverent! It was one of my favorite memories from this Christmas!
We opened our jammies.
We sprinkled reindeer food out on the lawn.
The kids said their good-bye's to their favorite Christmas friend, Frozie-Rosie, who had appeared that morning, riding a train around the Christmas tree. How they have loved that little Elf and all her silly tricks and magic!
We left our cookies and milk for Santa.
We watched Christmas Story.
We laughed and snuggled and played ourselves out until it was finally time to say good-night to the little ones, so we could get busy on the work ahead!
Chris and I enjoyed some National Lampoon's and some cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, while we wrapped and assembled and organized everything for the day ahead!
Christmas day was everything you always hope it will be! Our kids had a blast with their gifts and I think Santa (we) did pretty good this year -- luckily our kids are still so easy to please! We enjoyed such a delicious feast, thanks to my mom, spent the afternoon with my parents and my sister, and then we were off to spend the rest of the evening with Chris' parents and his Grandpa. It was a really nice time with them too, talking and enjoying their company. They are always so thoughtful and helpful in their gifts to our family and we so appreciate the efforts they make -- especially with such a LARGE family! We have some very generous and kind parents and grandparents, that's all I have to say.
(Chris got the coolest antique gun from Germany, from my parents! so cool! and a VERY sweet Sig Sauer from his dad too! he was one happy guy this Christmas!)
So, we can end the season feeling really happy, really satisfied with all that we were able to do and experience together as a family, and sooooo thankful for all that we have been blessed with. Most importantly, a loving Savior who came into this world in such humility and left this world in the same humble grace, after sacrificing everything for you and me. I love Him with all my heart. When I think of all that I lack and all that I would like to become, I think of Him. He is my perfect example, and yet, He is so patient with me when I fall short of who I should be. I know that somehow, in some way that I cannot comprehend, he felt my every pain and weakness, and therefore has a perfect understanding of me. I am both humbled and grateful for that understanding. I honor Him, I am grateful for His willingness to come to this imperfect world to show us all a better way. Thanks be to Him for this beautiful season that we celebrate!