2013 Christmas Recap

This was the weirdest Christmas of my life…I’ll explain why in a minute.

Christmas week was so full and every day had a hint of Christmas to it. On Sunday Eleanor went to her first Sunday service. She had already made a little appearance at church on Wednesday, because I was so eager to get back, but Sunday was so fun. We sang Gospel centered Christmas carols that stir your heart to love God even more, and then we heard a powerful message from the Word.

Eleanor wore a beautiful red Christmas dress that my mom picked out for her. It was paired with tights, a headband, and a tiny gold cardigan. It felt like I was playing with a doll and I loved every minute of it.

I didn’t realize how fluffy Eleanor’s dress was until I went to pick her up from out of her carseat. My eyes grew large as I started talking to myself, “Where is my baby? …All I see is dress!” After digging through layers of red tulle I finally found a peaceful baby sleeping. In that moment I again realized how much I love having a baby girl.  On Monday, the 23rd Mark and I decided to have our little Christmas as a family. Sunday night I worked hard to get all the present wrapped for the boys and Eleanor, while Mark ran to the store to pick up all the ingredients for our Christmas breakfast. When everything was ready, we let the boys each open one present. Our new Christmas Eve Tradition is to open new Christmas jammies, have hot chocolate, pop popcorn, and watch a movie together as a family. After the movie we shuffled the boys up to their beds and prayed they would sleep in until at least 6a.m.The next morning when everyone was awake Mark led our family worship and the boys hung the baby Jesus ornament on our advent tree. (I would love to share more about this tradition in the future.) Then Elias and Owen opened their stockings. Excitement was building as the oven yelled that our cinnamon rolls were done cooking. The boys licked their sticky fingers as they finished their last bite then it was on to presents.Elias had asked for pretend food so we saved that for his last present and he could hardly contain himself when he actually got what he wanted. His face made me laugh and laugh. Christmas is so much fun with little kids. Owen got a Noah’s ark toy and hasn’t stopped saying “No-ah!” in days. He is such a sweet boy.

I made Mark save all the gifts he received from his students this year and it ended up being so fun. He got all sorts of amazing gift cards and of course several yummy Christmas treats.I gave Mark his gifts, but wasn’t expecting anything on Christmas morning because I had already opened my two presents early. But lo and behold Mark was sneaky and pulled out a present hidden behind the tree. I felt like a little kid when he handed me the bag. And my heart nearly skipped a beat when he explained that the Starbucks tumbler I was holding would get me Starbucks every day in January. Talk about the perfect present for a sleep deprived mama!For the rest of the day we sat in the living room and played and listened to Christmas music. It was perfect.Then on the 24th we enjoyed a leisurely morning and afternoon at home before we headed over to see Mark’s family for a Christmas Eve dinner. Mark’s mom set up their tree, wrapped all the presents, and brought out a delicious turkey dinner. Mark’s brother- Nathan traveled to be there and met Eleanor for the first time.

Nathan brought Owen the winning gift this year. When Owen opened the train set he looked like a kangaroo. He jumped up and down and screamed “YAY!” It was the best reaction. It was so fun to get to talk, eat, and open presents with everyone.

That night when we got home the Christmas weirdness started. My mom texted me and said that the flu had suddenly hit their house and that we might have to postpone Christmas. We had worked so hard to get all of my siblings together at the same time, so I just stared at my phone for minutes as the news sunk in.

We prayed everyone would be well by the next morning, but at 7a.m. mom texted with news that several people were still really sick. With Eleanor only being two weeks old we both knew we couldn’t risk exposing her. We were all so sad to not be together. For the first time in the history of my Christmases, we wouldn’t be celebrating with family on Christmas day. That felt so weird.

Mark knew I was disappointed to not see my family, so he turned up the Christmas music, and started building a cozy fire. He brought me a hot chocolate and then we  sat around in our pajamas all day. We ended up having one of the most fun family days ever. The boys played with all of their gifts from Mark’s parents and brother, and we even had time to watch another Christmas movie together.

Throughout Christmas day I felt like the Lord was showing me how amazing it was that he actually took on flesh and came as a little baby. Because I wasn’t distracted by all of the normal festivities, I had time to see how blessed I am that my Savior became a man and later died to take my sin upon Himself. I was so thankful for that.     

It ended up being a good thing that we postponed Christmas because that night and the whole next day I ended up having what I called “The wrath of Khan.” I was so sick. It was so bad that even my elbows ached. I had a pounding headache and couldn’t get warm, and I seriously looked like a pathetic chattering chipmunk as I huddled under my blanket by the fire. Thankfully I got an antibiotic and soon felt like a human again. And that was the end of all the Christmas weirdness. Finally on the 27th everyone was feeling better so we could meet with my side of the family. Four little boy cousins ran around in matching jammies and Eleanor wore her little Christmas tutu. My dad shared a little bit and then we all tore into stockings. Mom worked so hard getting everything together and managed to pull off one of my favorite Christmases yet. We enjoyed a feast, tons of presents, Christmas music, Elf, and mostly just being together.

My brother deep-fried his first turkey, which tasted amazing, and Mark should have won some kind of “assembling award” for putting together two big wheels and a table.

I forgot my camera, because I was too excited about seeing everyone, but ended up taking pictures with my mom’s camera. I’ll have to share some of those later.

It was such a great Christmas. We are so blessed to have both sides of the family and a great church in town.

What did you do for Christmas?