We had a really nice Christmas this year. As usual, we spent Christmas Eve with my family at Grammi’s house (where I grew up). We had a yummy dinner, went to the packed Christmas Eve service at our church (they had a snow machine this year that excited the kids!), and opened stockings and plenty of presents until late in the night. My sister’s boyfriend and his 3-year-old daughter joined us this year, along with my aunt, dad and mom, and the four of us.
The kids were completely spoiled again this year (I guess Keith and I were too!). A few of Li Li’s favorites were: Her Zhu Zhu pet, mini booklight, princess shoes, coloring supplies, puzzles, a sleeping bag…..
Some of Koen’s favorites were: Zhu Zhu pet, hole punchers, race track, scooter, legos, a helicopter, Leapster, CD player, and his new air craft carrier.
We copied a tradition of our friends and had our first Christmas Eve slumber party. We left Grammi’s house around 11 pm and set up our sleeping bags around our tree at home. Koen fell asleep pretty quickly (after being promised he could set up his new race track in the morning), but Li Li must have caught her 2nd wind because she couldn’t hold still. It was fun to wake up and snuggle together by the tree in the morning before enjoying yummy sticky buns and opening more presents. We finished the day with a visit to my Aunt’s, looking at Christmas lights, and doing Advent.
A Christmas highlight for me was a gift from my Grammi, who passed away in April. Leading up to Christmas, I really started to miss her again as she was always a part of our Christmas traditions. My Mom wrapped some of Grammi’s jewelry for my sister and I and put it under the tree with a note “with all my love.” It is precious to me to have that jewelry and to have her be a part of our celebration this year, our first without her.
Another highlight for all of us was our Advent Book reading. Starting December 1st, we would read our book which has scripture and pictures hiding behind beautiful doors. Every day you start back with door 1 and work up to the new door for the day. As the days progress, the kids memorize what they’ve heard every day and the truths really seem to sink in. We would also read a Christmas story book every night, add an ornament to our little Advent tree, sing a song and pray. The kids looked forward to it every night.
Thank you Jesus for your Gift – giving us so much to celebrate!