Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas time

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
Families drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas time was truly wonderful this year. Quieter and colder than Christmases in the past, but still full of friends, family and love. 

We sent lots of Christmas cards to friends and family far and near. We keep moving, so our stack to send keeps growing. But luckily, we are blessed to hear from loved ones from many walks of life. Sending Christmas cards is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and the cards we receive are my favorite piece of holiday decor. They stay up long after the tree and other decorations come down. Mondays are always great mail days in December. 

We loved having Ryan home this year. Thanks to mandatory shut down at John Deere! 

Christmas is always full of wonderful music. I am the accompanist for our chruch congregation's choir and I had a stack of music to prepare for all month. I loved it. The Monday before Christmas, we participated in a multi-family musical evening. Lots of people performed various instruments (Leah even rang some bells!), we all sang carols and I got to perform Sleigh Ride with my friend Haley (who also used to play with her mom). It was such a fun night. I hope to make it a tradition! 

Christmas Eve we made a delicious crab dinner (can it be Christmas Eve every night?). We left food for the reindeer outside on our deck, watched a movie as a family and then tucked the girls in. They didn't fall asleep until 11pm and it seriously made my heart soar. Two sisters, giggling in their room, speaking their own language to each other, both so excited for Christmas morning. They did finally fall asleep and Santa came! With our help, he set up shop in the front room and hung the stockings on the couch (married for 10 years and we still have never had a fireplace!?). 

In the morning, the girls were ecstatic to receive their gifts. Leah got a horse (named Apple) and she loves to pet it. Kate got a kitchen that is sure to get plenty of use. She currently uses the water dispenser as a soap dispenser and then cleans her hands in the sink. Pretty clever if you ask me. Kate was our official present-hander-outer...and after all that hard work, she made it known that she would not continue until her morning banana had been consumed. Once fed, she was happily playing with toys (and their boxes) again. Leah was thrilled to see that the reindeer found the food she left for them. 

Christmas afternoon we had our friends the Oakes over for a delicious ham dinner and enjoyed a quiet evening with them. 

Church was cancelled the Sunday before Christmas due to bad weather, which was a let down because it's always one of my favorite Sundays. Luckily, the musical program I had prepared for for months was actually performed the Sunday before that. And, we got gussied up the following Sunday instead, so we really just lengthened our Christmas celebrations. Never a bad thing.
It was simple and perfect and we were spoiled out of our minds. We are so grateful for our multitude of blessings and our incredible family and friends all across the globe. We are grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ and for the time we can all take to celebrate His birth at this time each year. 

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