Monday, December 22, 2008

Home Life - Our Christmas Celebration

Well, it's December 22nd and our hustle and bustle is over...

Our family is traveling to California on Christmas Day and so we did our family Christmas here at home on Saturday. DearHubby and I were actually going to postpone our Christmas celebration until later in the day and had hoped to go to a memorial service for Little Lily, a little 5 day old baby who died of anecephaly, on Wednesday. However, we were unable to find childcare for our 2 little ones and when our babysitter contacted us to let us know that our girls couldn't be watched, we decided to just go ahead with our Christmas celebration.

Our Christmas celebration didn't turn out to be as I had hoped. I really wanted to get up and cook breakfast for my family, but DearHubby and I were up late on Friday evening tidying up the house and wrapping presents and I didn't get up early enough. So, DearHubby went to WaWa to grab us some breakfast sandwiches and donuts.

After breakfast, we read a story about Jesus' birthday and explained to our girls that we celebrate Christmas because we want to remember the day of our Savior's birth. I love that we started this tradition of telling the gospel story to our children before opening our Christmas gifts because now our girls know why we celebrate Christmas! DearDaughter1 will tell you that Christmas is all about Jesus. She doesn't even know who Santa is!

I used to dislike giving gifts on Christmas because I always felt the materialism of the gift giving got in the way of the true meaning of Christmas. However, I have changed my mind about gift giving, especially now that I have children. I spent most of last week preparing Christmas cards, cookies, and Christmas gifts to deliver to friends around us. As I prepared for all these things, DearDaughter1 always asked me who those gifts were for. It was neat to explain to DearDaughter1 that the gifts were for others because we want to express our love for them as well as send them joy. In addition, when we were purchasing gifts for others, it taught DearDaughter1 how to enjoy choosing gifts for her friends and enjoy giving gifts to her friends. It wasn't all about the getting for our girls, but about the giving!!!

We were sent money from my in-laws to purchase gifts and I purchased some gifts for the girls, however, I kept my girls' gifts to a minimum. They received a few toys, but the most important gifts I wanted them to receive were the books about God we gave to them. We gave DearDaughter1 "The Beginner's Bible" and I am excited to go through this with her. Earlier in the year I bought her "The Child's Story Bible" by Catherine Vos and though it's a wonderful story bible for children, it was a little too old for DearDaughter1. It didn't keep her interest because the stories were too long for a little 2 year old (at the time). I also bought DearDaughter1 "The Jesus Storybook Bible" which we have decided to save for next Christmas. I bought DearDaughter2 a series of 6 books called "Learning About God". It's a set of 6 board books with titles like "God is Faithful", "God Knows Everything", "God Never Changes".

After opening our presents and enjoying them, DearHubby took us on a fun adventure! He belongs to an internet forum called Adventure Riders and there's one thread that's like a scavenger hunt where people from New Jersey have posted historical sites they've been to and others on the forum need to find the site. There was a picture of a historical water tower near our house that DearHubby wanted to find and so off we went. Well, our drive turned into a wild goose chase...We went to a pre-Revolutionary war village and asked directions to this water tower. Either the historian we talked to didn't know what we were talking about or she decided to send us on a wild goose chase. We ended up deep in the pine barrens of New Jersey and spent most of our afternoon finding our way out. We finally got out of the woods right as the sun was setting. The irony of all this was our cell phone reception. We hardly have any bars at home, but deep in the woods, our reception was perfect! Go figure?

So, we ended up going to the mall for dinner. I actually wanted to go to Old Country Buffet to at least give us a home style cooking feel, but the line was so long that it was out the door. We decided to just go to the food court at the mall, which I didn't want to do because I knew the mall would be crowded with last minute shoppers. We ended up eating at my favorite Japanese "restaurant", but since I wasn't in the mood for it, it wasn't as enjoyable.

When we got home we let the girls play with their toys a little longer and then we put them to bed. So, that was our family Christmas celebration. It wasn't my ideal celebration, but it was wonderful because I was with my DearHubby and children.

We did Jesus' birthday cake the next day after church. We invited some friends over for dessert and they enjoyed the cake with us!

For the next 3 days I'll be focusing on just preparing for our trip. I do have a few more Christmas cards to send out, but we are mainly done with our hustle and bustle. I have a few preparations to make for the Christmas gifts we're giving to my family in California, like put together a scrap book for my mom in the next 2 days, but I hope that will not be a stressful project.

Happy birthday Jesus and a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you!


~Bren~ said...

Merry Christmas, my friend!!!
I am still her, still reading, but busy with life in general and have no real time to comment.
Have a blessed Holy Day!!!

~Bren~ said...

Not enough coffee today...I meant still HERE...

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