Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! I love the story of Jesus’ birth, I love the lights and decorations, I love the gifts, I love the traditions, I love everything about it! We have always celebrated Christmas at our house.  We never did Santa, but we have always had a tree, gifts, decorations, and lots of memorable traditions we have developed over the 17.5 years we’ve been a family.

We got together with my extended family last weekend. I love when all the cousins are together, and this year only two of them were missing.  Madison will always be missing, but one nephew and his wife were unable to be with us, and one brother in law.  We had a great time.  Here is a shot of the whole family together.  I’m ducking awkwardly in the front because we used my camera and it was on a timer.  I had to run in at the last minute…


At our house, Christmas Eve is my favorite day.  There is just something about that evening that seems “magical” to me.  I have always loved it.  Most of our family traditions occur on Christmas Eve, and I really like it that way.  This year I had all of my shopping done, and my gifts wrapped ahead of time, so I got to enjoy the whole day with my family.  We started out with a lovely brunch together…


In the evening we went to our church’s Christmas Eve service.  I got to play this year, and we had a guitar and cello playing as well.  It’s my favorite service of the whole year.

When we got home from the service, we had dinner, and then we all worked together to assemble our breakfast casserole for Christmas morning.  It has to refrigerate over night.

We each open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it is always a new pair of pajamas.  We put those on right away!

We all gathered on the couch for our next tradition, which is to watch “The Polar Express”.  Andy’s video camera takes still shots, so we snapped one of all of us ready to watch the movie…


We always stop the movie right before the hot cocoa scene, and I make cocoa for all of us to drink while we watch the movie.  I can’t remember how many times we’ve watched the movie, but I love it!

The next tradition is one Andy has been a part of since he was very small.  Every Christmas Eve his dad would gather the kids around him, and he’d read “Twas The Night Before Christmas” to them.  Oma would snap a picture, and it was fun to see how the pictures changed over the years.  One Christmas when our kids were small, Oma & Opa gifted us with a copy of the same book Opa would read to the kids.  They included pictures of Andy and his siblings, and we have added our own since we started this tradition with our own kids.  As I said, we never did Santa here, but I love the tradition, so we have kept it up.  That was next on the agenda after the movie last night.  I snapped a picture, and my lovies are laughing, because I know the story by memory now, and I was reciting along with dramatic hand signals…


Then I just snapped a picture of them, because I love them!


We sent the kids to bed after this, and I got stockings ready.  The kids woke us up around 9:30 on Christmas morning, and we always head right to the stockings.  It’s kind of fun now that the kids are older, and they do a stocking for me.  :)

After stockings, we head to the living room for gifts.  Before we open our gifts, I get to read several Scripture passages.  This is my favorite tradition on Christmas day.  We read Isaiah 9, Micah 5:2, and the accounts of Christ’s birth from Matthew 1, and Luke 2.  Daddy prays for us, and then we open gifts.

It is also fun to open the gifts that the kids now choose for us.  Morgan is so thoughtful, and remembers EVERYTHING you told her you would like :).  I got a small calendar that I bought for my dear friend Ellen.  Morgan was with me, and knew that I was almost tempted to keep it for myself.  She bought it for me for Christmas. :) It has an old hymn for each day coupled with Scripture.  I plan to post them on FB this year, and just enjoy each day’s entry.  I also got a beautiful hot beverage cup, and a Paris cover for my iPhone…


After we opened our gifts, we sat down to our breakfast casserole, fresh croissants, cinnamon rolls, and juice.  I had a cup of tea in my new cup :)

We’ve just been enjoying our gifts today, and each other’s company.  We have to pack tonight for a small trip to see a dear friend of mine, and the kids are VERY excited to get to stay in a lovely hotel with a huge pool.  It will be the first trip in our new van, and it will be great to take some new movies we got for Christmas and watch them on the way.

I hope you have had a blessed Christmas! My heart has ached so much this week for the dear people in Newtown, CT who are having a much different Christmas than they anticipated this year.  How I pray that God will draw near to them, and truly be their Emmanuel (God with us) this Christmas.  We have so much to be thankful for…we’re all together here another year.

May the joy of this Christmas fill your hearts and minds, and cause you to reflect on the REAL reason we celebrate…the ONE Who came so that we could have life everlasting.  Happy Birthday Jesus…how we LOVE you and worship You!

I leave you with a few more pictures of our day…

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1 comment:

Anita Johnson said...

Cute photos, Kathryn! I can't believe I am an Oma this year! Our special night is Christmas Eve too...something very magical about the lights, the quiet, the anticipation of his birth. Merry Christmas to you!