Saturday, January 14, 2017

Family Christmas

Christmas. The BEST time of the year - for so many reasons. Traditions, activities, advent, parties, decorations, baking... so many things that delight and increase expectation. 
Our Christmas Eve traditions began with a candlelight service at church, followed by opening new Christmas jammies, and then a buffet of appetizers while watching a Christmas movie.
Christmas morning dawned, but the "don't get out of bed until 7:00" rule still applied and thank goodness everyone followed it. With Christmas on a Sunday, our typical flow was altered, but if I'm honest, it was altered in the best possible way.
To pacify Christmas morning excitement, the kids opened stockings before we left for a joyous hour of corporate worship. Gathering to praise the reason for the season? Merry Christmas indeed!
By mid-morning we were home, back in Christmas jammies, and opening gifts. And because each person opens one gift at a time, it took two hours to open gifts. Or maybe that was because Jaxton refused to tear open the wrapping paper, and instead insisted on making teeny-tiny rips and paper shreds. Everywhere.
After a round of Happy Birthday Jesus, blowing out candles, and having brunch, it was finally time for the annual scavenger hunt. OHMYWORD. The most anticipated part of Christmas Day for my kids!
Grady's clues had the kids running in and out of the house, finally leading them to our master bathroom where their last gifts were waiting. The boys yelled when they opened air soft rifles; Annalyse got very quiet and calm and overwhelmed with "the Bitty Baby that I've really, really wanted;" and Jaxton mounted his new bike and tried riding around the bathroom. A lovely sight: the whole family making memories and enjoying quality time together in the bathroom.
By mid-afternoon Christmas gifts were over and the kids went separate ways to play with new toys and shoot new guns. And that's when Grady flipped on basketball, I cozied up next to him, and we relaxed. Together. Kind of alone. And it's a small sliver of my favorite part of Christmas each year.
Each year we end our day with a non-traditional Christmas dinner: homemade pizzas. We eat in the living room while watching another movie together and it's the perfect way to close out a simple, but special, day together.
We are rescued because He is the Way.

We have certainty because He is the Truth.

We know victory because He is the Life. (John 14:6)

And it's because a baby came.

This is joy! This is Good News! 

This is Christmas.

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