Christmas 2013

The Christmas celebration this year was made complete with our first official white Christmas experience.  Yes, people, there was snow on Christmas Eve into the morning and lots of it!  As we left our church service on the 24th the snow flakes were peacefully falling and we drove with the music loudly playing and all six of us looking at Christmas lights.  There was one display set to music and it was beautiful, but my absolute favorite was a neighborhood we found accidentally on our way home.  The entire neighborhood had lined their streets with luminaries.  It was magical.  The snow falling and brown paper bags with the glow of candles flickering in the night sky.  Almost made me cry.  Silly, I know. 

Not the best photo, but at least you can get the idea (somewhat)

Nonetheless, that was our evening.  Our new jammies, Italian dinner, white twinkly lights and the six of us gathered round the table reading our Jesse tree devo.  Then there was the first present and The Polar Express and hot chocolate and sibling sleep over and of course Christmas Vacation playing while Husband Jared and I finished our wrapping. It was early to bed for us for we knew the Things would be rising early, as per their tradition!

 Traditional before church family photo

From the attire above to this in a matter of minutes
cooking in the kitchen, yes his shirt says, "son of a nutcracker",
name that movie...
Christmas morning came and our feet did not hit the floor before 7am.  In this house that is nothing short of a miracle.  Typically, Thing 1 barely sleeps Christmas Eve, then she hovers over her siblings until they wake, usually around 5:30am, and that's late.  We were joyful when we came down stairs to find the Things had made our coffee, it was ready to drink and the coffee cake was in the oven.  What a gift!  They were "patiently" waiting to open their stockings and once we debated on the order of the process we began.  Each little presie being opened with such care. 
 Of course their stockings were too full to even hang
from the mantle so here they are lined up
Christmas morning is always special to me.  All my people near, snuggled in close, eyes sleepy but filled with anticipation.  The Things now read the birth story of our Savior in place of Husband  Jared or myself and their voices every year make my heart full.  Sometimes it even feels as though time stands still.  Especially this year.  I love to look around at every one's faces, listening intently as though they've never heard the story before.  Hanging on each sentence until finally, they hear, He came. 
Then it's off for round one of breakfast, coffee cake, while I whip together the brunch.  Or something like that.  Back to presents and celebration.  Then movies and games and naps and ping pong and laughing and more togetherness.  Oh, and maybe a sip or two of bubbly!

For the sake of my failing memory, I will once again include photos of the Things' ornaments for this year as well.  They were all pleased with my choices and thankfully no explanations were necessary.

Footie nutcracker, no ad line needed!

 Crocheted cupcake for the baker

 Ceramic Starbucks cup, this was the year she became a customer for life!

Paper mache shark, because,
well, she caught a shark this year and that's a pretty big deal!
Husband Jared and I shared glances throughout the day.  Looking first to each Thing and then each other.  There was gratitude and joy, so much joy!  Each year changes a little.  The Things grow and mature but at Christmas time it's as though all six of us are kids again.  I mean, of course we are the parents and behave like grown ups.  Grin. 
Merry Christmas to you and yours!  I do hope that the season has been filled with rejoicing like never before! 

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