Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

This year we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family up in Washington.  My brother Cameron game up from California with is wife and daughter.  This was the first time our entire family had been together in over 3 years.  I knew my brother was coming, but he didn't tell my mom and she was brought to tears when she saw him walk through the door.  

It can be a struggle to find the perfect balance of Christ, gifts, traditions, baking, and family at Christmas. Josh and I have talked a lot about what we want for our family and I am really pleased with how this Christmas Season (from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day) looked in our home this year.  A lot of fun activities together as a family, a lot of talk about Jesus, lots of talk about giving, very little stress, and couple of gifts for the girls.  I did get tongue tied for a minute when on Christmas Eve Madison asked if Santa was coming.  I have thought long and hard about it but still have not come up with a "stanta tradition" I was happy with.  Over the past month I have read about 5 or 6 different Santa Traditions that I had considered incorporating into our family, but when Madison asked if he was coming, all 5 explanations spewed out of my mouth at once.  It went something like this..."I don't know, well, you already have lots of presents under the tree from people who love you, um...Santa was a nice man that lived a long time ago, maybe he is coming,do you want him to?, um the real santa is dead."
Madisons response:  (wide-eyed) "Santa is dead????"
And from the other room Josh:  "Steph?  What are you saying?" (He is a Santa fan)

So...Santa filled the stockings this year, and probably will every year until the stop believing. 

I put a ton of pictures up and still can't believe there were activities that didn't get documented with pictures, like the Christmas Eve Service, our favorite meal of Swedish pancakes, playing the girls' new game on Christmas Eve etc.  I don't know how we crammed all of this in to about 48 hours...

Baking Cookies with Grandma

My Niece Delaynie
Reading books with Dad
Bunny Slippers Knitted by Grandma (I LOVE them!)
Decorating the Gingerbread House
Lucas, Alyssa, Makenzie and Madison
Baking Jesus' Birthday Cake
(I forgot to take a picture of the final product but it was shaped like a star and baking this cake was probably the highlight of Madison's 2010 Christmas Season)
Reading The Nativity Story with Grandma
(My Grandma gave me that very book when I was 3)
The girls with Uncle Lucas
Alyssa, Delaynie, Cameron and Jeremy on Christmas Morning
Stockings (from the dead santa)
Cameron's Family
Dress Up Shoes
(so uncomfortable, but so worth the pain!)

Cameron's Family Again
A very sleep-deprived 2 year old
Baby #3 and a burn from baking Christmas Cookies last month
All of the siblings
The view from my grandparents house, where we spend Christmas Day afternoon.
 Chatting with Dad on Grandma and Grandpa's porch

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