Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

I've put this post off because, for some reason, going through tons of pictures and uploading my favorites, as well as trying to record all of the memories from Christmas just always seems daunting. But I'd like to get it done before everyone else is doing Valentine's Day posts, so here goes! ;)

Our Christmas celebrations always start on Christmas Eve at my grandparents' house. We've done Christmas with them on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, and I love the consistency and tradition of that day. We weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it this year since we had been sick the day before, but thankfully we were all feeling completely fine by Christmas Eve, so we went! Two of my loves in red :)

We had a delicious and huge homemade lunch cooked by my grandmother, and then it was present time! The kids got to open their presents from my grandparents and my parents. They wracked up!While we're on the subject of presents, I really wanted to keep it simple this year. I've just been convicted about how much stuff we have, and there is really nothing that we truly need. I think gifts can be a sweet and meaningful way for people to show love, so I'm not saying that giving presents is all bad. However, I just didn't want anyone buying anything for us just because they needed to mark us off a list. I'm SO guilty of doing that, and it just seemed so wasteful to me this year. I told my mom that if there was nothing that I needed and I couldn't even think of anything I REALLY wanted, that's a good sign that I have MORE than enough. So, anyway, we did gifts, but we scaled back. David and I literally got the kids three small gifts, and they were perfectly content with them. (Of course, it probably helped that they got a lot from other family members, too!) We didn't even get anything for each other (other than our anniversary trip we just took). We definitely don't "do" Christmas perfectly, but as our children get older, we want to try to prevent a lot of the materialism that we are all bombarded with this time of year (and all the time, really).

Ok, back to pictures now! :) It was definitely the year of the Disney Princess gift for Aubrey! Uncle Joel was super pumped about his new shirt! Ha!An action shot :)After we finished at my grandparents' house, we went to church for our Christmas Eve service. I love going to church on Christmas Eve! There is no nursery, and David had to sit in the balcony to do sound, so I wasn't sure how long the kids and I would last. My parents sat with us and handled Aubrey, and she did great. Jude did really well too! We made it through the sermon, but I had to take him out before communion. We came back in for the candle lighting and singing of Silent Night :) After church, we went to my other grandmother's house for more delicious food and family and gifts! It was so fun too, but Jude had about had it after such a long day, so we didn't get to stay long. We brought the kids home and put them in their Christmas jammies and attempted a picture. Ha! Here's how it went:This was the best one we got ;) Oh well, they looked super cute even if they weren't in the mood to pose! David and I don't "do" Santa with our kids, so we had decided not to even attempt gifts on Christmas morning. We knew that would just make things rushed and stressed, and we didn't want to get to church late and frazzled. It really changes routines up when Christmas falls on a Sunday, but it was nice to be at church on Christmas morning. I was thinking about how we are able to approach God in worship only because of what we celebrate on Christmas. Jesus came to earth and became our mediator. Because of Him, we are able to worship God without sacrifices or priests. It was a neat thought. I want to be so in awe of that fact that there is nothing that would keep me from going to church to worship God corporately on Christmas (or any Lord's Day). Not traditions, not routine, not even family. Anyway, we had no nursery at church again, so I had to take Jude out, but it was still so good to be there.

After church, we went to David's parents' house to celebrate with his family! The kids were excited to see their aunts and uncles and cousins who they don't get to see often.

Jude and Uncle Freddy.Aubrey and Caroline. (They are both BUSY girls, so I didn't get one of them looking at the camera.)Jude and Caroline sharing a toy :)Both looking at the camera! A Christmas miracle!
Next up were presents! The kids wracked up again. David's sisters, Sarah and Joy, got Aubrey a princess dress up set, and she loves it. She immediately had to put on the Belle (her favorite) outfit :) She's pretty much worn it constantly ever since. The princess is on her throne!

And she can't stand to wear "normal" clothes underneath. Everything (including hairbows and rubber bands) must come off!We attempted some pictures of David's parent with the grandkids. It started with just the boys :) Doesn't Jude look thrilled? Haha! Then we added Aubrey:And finally, one with all four! It's basically impossible to get four young children to look at the camera at the same time.After opening and checking out all of our loot, it was time for yet another wonderful meal :) We ate a great lunch, and then we visited while the kids played. We had to head home mid afternoon, because Jude was WAY past his naptime and exhausted. We had such a wonderful time with David's family!

When we got home, Jude and I napped, and then we had a very low-key relaxing evening at home. It was actually really nice to have some time with just our little family.Aubrey got her very own scarf for Christmas. She's always stealing mine! ;)

We gave the kids their gifts from us (after Aubrey had slipped back into her Belle costume). We got Aubrey some wooden pots and some food. She's very into "cooking" these days. She and Jude had tons of fun cooking together!You might notice Jude is wearing his Christmas pj's again. That's because we attempted to get a good picture of the kids in their pajamas again, but it was less successful than the first attempt. Oh well! We spent the rest of the evening just having family time and setting up some of the kids' new toys. I was a little sad that Christmas was coming to a close (I am every year), but I was mostly overwhelmed with how blessed I am. Sometimes I'm just overcome with how amazing it is that I've been given such precious, beautiful children, the best husband in the world, families who do so much for us, and most importantly, a Savior who humbled Himself so much by becoming a baby and being born in a stable so long ago. My cup runneth over!


Ashley said...

Love this! Evy got the same "Memory" game that Aubrey got! Oh, and she also got a Belle dress. HUGE hit. Completely random, but I'm so glad my friends blog - I would feel so out of the loop if you didn't. Love you, and belated Merry Christmas!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Dress up seemed like the present for Little Girls this year! Aubrey looks precious. Christmas Eve service is my favorite too!

Nathalie said...

Beautiful post! Glad to hear you had such a wonderful Christmas.