We had a wonderful Christmas!! But, really, every Christmas is wonderful - not because of the presents and parties and carols, but because we are celebrating Christ...God's love shown to us through the birth of His one and only Son, Jesus. So that "whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
But, all of our Christmas celebrations this year were fantastico! (We've been watching a lot of Dora in our house!)
Our celebrations started in early December, when our little family of 5 celebrated early due to work/drill/travel plans. We put up our tree on December 9 and had our family celebration the next morning. The girls were precious opening their gifts from us, exclaiming over and over, "I love it!!" Creek...well...he mostly slept through it :) One of my favorite memories came first thing in the morning that day...
We bought a present for Jesus this year - clothes, diapers, wipes, and formula for our local crisis pregnancy center. We let the girls put the items in a Christmas gift bag and it was the first gift under our tree. When AB came out of her room early, early that morning - all of their presents were under the tree. But she couldn't see the present for Jesus, so she asked where it was and immediately started looking for it. Precious.
We skyped that day with both sets of grandparents to show them our presents and spent the rest of the day just being a family.
Our travel plans took some serious thought this year. I grew up being home on Christmas, but also getting to spending Christmas Day and the days surrounding it with family. I want both for my children, but living 8 hours away from family....something had to give. We decided that this year we wanted to be surrounded by family, so we headed to Tennessee a few days before Christmas.
The day we got there, my parents took the girls Christmas caroling with our church. I'm told they brought smiles to lots of faces. Jacob spent a day in McKenzie with the girls and his side of the family, while my mom, sister, and I went out to lunch and get the supplies for a Pinterest project my sister wanted to do. Creek got to stay home with my Nana!
Christmas Eve was spent doing our traditional baking cookies. We headed to my grandmother's for dinner, then to my other grandmother's to visit family, and back to my parents house. It was so great to wake up on Christmas Day. It's great to wake up every day, but Christmas Day...there's just something special about it. We spent the morning at my parents, opening presents - and making my dad "need his sunglasses" a few times.
The girls were supposed to help me make cupcakes for our Happy Birthday, Jesus Party....but they were preoccupied and it was probably better not having 4 little hands helping me since I was using my new BabyCakes maker and trying to figure it out.
We headed over to my Nana's that afternoon with our BabyCakes and had a late lunch. For dessert...a Happy Birthday, Jesus Party! We read the Christmas story from the Bible and put together a nativity, sang Happy Birthday, and enjoyed our super yummy cupcakes.
A couple of days after Christmas, we got to spend the day in McKenzie with Jacob's side of the family. We had a great lunch with his grandparents, aunt and uncle, sister, neice, and 2 of his cousins. Then we spent the afternoon with his other grandparents, another aunt and uncle, and 2 other cousins. Sometimes it's crazy running back and forth between the two towns where our families are, but it really is a blessing. We both have families that love us and we never have to choose which family we will spend the holidays with!
Now, the decorations are down, the gifts are somewhat put away, and the bags are almost, slightly unpacked. "Christmas" is over. But the good thing is, Jesus is not over. He's never over. Because of His birth - our reason for celebrating Christmas - He is never over. He is always and forever!