2013 Christmas in Review

Saturday, December 28, 2013

We had a great Christmas!

A few years ago RJ and I asked our families if they would consider coming to us for the holidays rather than us traveling to them. It's tough hauling kids on an 8 hour drive to have them celebrate multiple Christmas with too many relatives pinching their cheeks and kissing their faces. (Our families live close to one another.) The last time we did it 2 year old Landon and 29 year old Mama were both exhausted.
Everyone has been incredibly accommodating and we've been able to spend Christmas with family while still in the comfort of our own home.

This year Oma and Grandpa came a few days early to maximize play time with the boys (and give RJ and I time for a date night out to see Catching Fire - which we both LOVED.) Then Aunt April and Uncle Ryan joined us on Christmas Eve.

It was so special to sit in church all together singing traditional Christmas hymns. Is there anything better than a room full of people belting out O Holy Night and Joy to the World? It's one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

RJ made an incredible Christmas Eve dinner of cooked crab steamed in ginger and lemongrass. We had our traditional Happy Birthday Jesus cake. And the kids got to open a puzzle and Christmas jammies and slippers before crawling into bed.

We did a few things differently this year. I didn't put any presents under the tree at all so when Landon woke up on Christmas morning and saw the pile he was flabbergasted. It was pretty awesome.

Also, we did do some Santa stuff this year. I had the kids put stockings out in their room telling them if they were full in the morning it was from Santa. We also said that their big gifts (a new bike and a Rody) were from Santa. I must admit, the Santa thing is pretty fun. Landon's excitement at waking up and seeing his stocking full --then running down to our room overcome with disbelief and awe was pretty cute.

At one point he told me, "Mama, Santa does camoflauge. That's how he can come into my room and I couldn't see him. And he does it to help Jesus give the presents out on Christmas."

We've told Landon that Santa is a make-believe person based on St. Nicholas; and St. Nick was a kind, Godly man who helped share Jesus' birthday with others by giving gifts to the poor. At this point Landon doesn't really understand the difference between make-believe and real-life which allows us to watch him enjoying the excitement of Santa without feeling like we are lying to him. And, we still keep Jesus the central figure in the story.

It was such a special day with family and fun and traditions. We were gifted beyond measure in the presents department. My family members are good gifters - we really take time to find exactly what we think the receiver will love. And we closed the day with take-out Chinese (our guests had left and I didn't feel like cooking!) and the Christmas story. It doesn't get much better than that.

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