To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Christmas 2013

When Noah was 2 and Emilie 5 months old we threw in the towel on having our own Christmas traditions on Christmas Day.  Like many we're blessed with multiple places and people to celebrate with.  We decided then that we'd celebrate our Christmas the week before on Sunday. 

Over the years we've created our own traditions.

On our Christmas eve we gather around Michael who reads us the love story of Christ's birth from  Matthew. 

After the kids are asleep Michael and I get to work prepping stockings, putting out last minute presents, and setting the breakfast birthday (breakfast birthday parties are a tradition in our house, and we make sure Jesus, who is so much a part of our family gets his party too).
 In the morning the kids rise (this year they all slumber partied together in Josie's room. Can I just say that I L.O.V.E. that my high schoolers are not to cool to pull an all-nighter with their lit'l sis!)

As is tradition after they rise they wait for me to be ready at the end of the hall with the video camera in hand. This is the only day they do not complain about me and my camera; they gift me with allowing me to capture ALL the memories my mama heart wants.

They open their stockings. Always happy for a few little treats and a fresh set of day-of-the-week undies.
And because I have a teenage boy...
Next we gather around Michael to read the story of Christ's birth- the Gift we really are most grateful for- from Luke.
 From there we enjoy breakfast together. Jesus has become a fan :) of donuts and treat cereals for b-fast (Life cereal is obviously His treat cereal of choice) This year donuts were fresh from the local bakery (a warm Boston cream had my name on it).

After breakfast we tear into the presents.  The past few years the kids have chosen to use their own money to purchase gifts for each other.  These are the gifts they are begging to share and open first. And that, well, that is my favorite present.
 Because Noah and Emilie are big high schoolers only Josie remains to make me school-made Christmas gifts.
This wrapping melts my heart. I love being Mommy.
 I'm to hang a family Christmas snapshot on this frame she made.   It knocked my Reindeer socks off that she remembered that Peace was my word for 2013.

For each of us a thoughtful gift means so much more than an expensive one. 
This thoughtful gift was the one I was most excited to give this year was to Josie. We cleared a kitchen drawer, filled it with new cooking supplies, and wrapped it up for our cook. 

She was over-the-moon excited.
After presents we typically go to church.  This is always the Sunday that there has been a Christmas cantata or a focused time of Christmas worship.  It's exactly what my Spirit craves this season. However, this year we needed to wrap our Christmas up early because family from Australia and Maui were visiting! We mixed things up a bit, and went Wednesday (listen to a delicious rendition of Away in a Manger from our church, The Well, here). 

The kids requested foods I would NEVER make for this year's Christmas feast-
BBQ spare ribs and homemade Mac n' Cheese. Guess who added the salad and broccoli to the mix?
 A moment I don't want to forget from our Christmas was after gifts were open, when Michael and I sipped coffee and snuggled together on the loveseat for a very long time.  We sat there quietly watching our kids.  Neither of us said a word, but I am certain we both felt "and I can't afford it but it's mine." And the reason we experience such wealth; such fullness of life, is because of the Savior Jesus, who was born for us that first Christmas.
I know that Christmas 2013 is "so last year," but pray that we would ALWAYS BE MERRY because of the life we have been gifted with because of and in the Lord our God.   

 Live in Peace,


Kathleen said...

There are so many things I love about this post.
1. You love Boston creme donuts. Me too.
2. Your children receive thoughtful presents that are given from the heart.
3. The focus is on Jesus. Not the stress or the insanity of the holiday. I'm not surprised at all by that but I still loved reading it.

Linda Z said...

I love that you are sharing your Christmas memories in January! They are so sweet! I love the dinner they chose! I'll bet it was very delicious! :) Your home looks so Christmasy beautiful, and I love all the thoughtful gifts! :) I think Jesus may enjoy Chocolate Chex, too. :)

Gina @ Not So Random Stuff said...

what a gift, all of it!

So glad you had a blessed Christmas, and I so love your traditions.

Also, your kitchen drawer idea inspired me and I did the same for Cayden for her birthday. Since then my kitchen has been the origin of many lovely treats!

Valerie said...

I absolutely love reading your blog. This post was one of my favorites :)


Kelli said...

Love seeing your Christmas pictures. It seems like with the craziness of life Christmas was months ago your post reminds me it was only weeks ago....