So we started pouring the egg-nog, hunted a tree, bought decorations for the new house, and jumped in both feet first into Christmas spirit.
This year it was about more than just the traditional Christmas pomp and circumstance for us, we wanted the preparations to also be a time of reflecting for us. With every decoration we put together, every gift we wrapped, we relished the blessing of the little girl running about and her laughter that fills our home.
I think she has forever changed the way we look at Christmas. No more Christmas stressing, if some "thing" was going to cause us to turn into commercialized Christmas crazies, then out it went. It simply wasn't going to be a part of our Christmas celebration. And ya'll, that tree garland almost got tossed; it took weeks to finish haha! ;)
This was our first year with an artificial tree. With Grace getting older, and more adventurous (she loves to touch the tree); we decided to not let her become one with sappy fingers ha! :)
This year I was going for a completely "home-made" tree, but the garland took foreverrrrrr, so it's only half home-made; however, the way the tree topper turned out made my heart sing. So, I wasn't too deterred by the store bought ornaments. Maybe, I'll finish those by next Christmas *hopefully*. ;)
Jonathan was originally pretty bummed about the artificial tree, for him it's all about the smell of the evergreen. So, I surprised him with table top trees placed around the house and real garland on the mantle.
The silver star tree topper is from our very first tree together. It's tradition for us to feature it every year somewhere in the decorations. The silver bulbs were also from our very first tree.
When he would walk in the door, home from work, he said it didn't even smell like we had an artificial tree. Mission accomplished! ;)
My immediate family made the trip down this year, since Grace wasn't up for travel. And for me, family is my favorite thing about Christmas; which brings me more joy than any pretty package. We are already talking about special ways we can incorporate our extended family into our holiday celebrations, and work around the distance. I really want to impart to Grace the joy of being surrounded by her massive family on Christmas, that my parents gave me.
This Christmas we were really excited about stuffing the stockings, this would be her first Christmas to be able to pull all the toys out by herself! So naturally, we stuffed all three stockings ha! And per our Christmas breakfast tradition, I served up some of my hot cinnamon rolls; while we waited for Grace to greet the morning.
But once she woke up, it was stocking time! At first she was unsure of the really big socks, but once she realized they were full of toys; she was 100% about emptying them. By the end she was rooting around in the foot of the stockings, just to be extra sure she got every last toy out. We were laughing SO hard!
After watching her with the stockings, we couldn't wait to see her reaction to Christmas presents!! She actually wasn't that interested in them, until she realized there were toys in them; then she wanted to open all of the packages.
Even the ones that weren't hers! ;)
You could imagine her disappointment when she discovered that theirs' weren't filled with toddler toys haha! ;) However, what kid can stay disappointed long, when Santa stops by to deliver the last gift?
Also worth noting, Santa is fun for all ages! ;)
Also worth noting, my husband is an incredibly good sport! ;)
He is SO incredible in fact, that I like to let him know how much I cherish him each Christmas by cooking him a small feast. Really good food and Christmas are synonymous to him, so I try my best to make it happen.
Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin
with Red Wine Sauce
Roasted Asparagus and Red Onion
Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Crescent Rolls with Honey Butter
And assorted pies & wine
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic Christmas! I'd like to thank my family for driving down to spend the day with us; y'all are the best! We can't wait 'til next Christmas!
And to each of you reading, Merry Christmas from our house to yours!!