Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas // 2015

We started our family's Christmas celebrations early by attending our church's candlelight service the week before. The big kids sat with us while we sang carols and listened to the Christmas story, and it was so neat to be together. One of my favorite things we do every year.

I spent the two days before Christmas unpacking, doing laundry, baking goodies + prepping food for Christmas Day. I had cooked food to bring to the Shindle Christmas gatherings the weekend before, but it was crunch time when I got home to get everything ready!
We spent Christmas Eve together at home. Reading the Christmas story in our Advent book. Praying together. Opening one gift of new Christmas pajamas. Calling Santa on our Santa app. Setting out cookies + milk for Santa. Thanking God for the magic of Christmas.

By 11pm, Santa came.

Stockings were filled.

Christmas morning started at 7am. We prayed together and read the birth story in our Advent book.

Stockings were emptied with glee.

Our Christmas morning breakfast of sausage balls + breakfast casserole + cinnamon butter braid + fruit + homemade hot chocolate in the crock pot:

Before the big race to open presents upstairs:

Let's just say, Santa did good.

Our three little elves/crazy people:

And then the gift opening celebration began! (We give 3 gifts to the kids + stockings + a big gift from Santa. Some small things like movies, etc. are packaged together as one.) Scot handed out each gift to the kids one by one to make things more fun.

One interesting thing about Christmas this year:

Jacob loved getting gifts from us and showed so much emotion and excitement when he opened each one. Connor yelled and screamed when he opened his gifts. And Brooklyn...well, she was very quiet and didn't show a lot of emotion in the beginning, even if she opened a gift she had asked for. We finally asked her if she was okay and she said, "I like to give gifts to people instead of receiving them, so I don't really know what to do."

That girl. Crushed my heart for good.

We shocked Brooklyn with her last two gifts. She went crazy she was so excited!

Grammy + Papa stopped by for a couple hours that afternoon and we opened more gifts:

Three things for sure:

1. According to the big kids - it was the "best Christmas ever."

2. We all had so much joy in our hearts. Complete and total joy. The fact that we could have a relaxed, cozy day like this in our new house is just unreal.

3. We are truly blessed and thankful for this life we have on earth. And we all it owe to Him.

Still enjoying their new toys that evening:

Our candlelit family Christmas dinner of cheesy baked chicken + mashed potatoes + steamed veggies + olive, bacon and cheddar rolls while reading Luke 2:

Our Christmas was full.

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