It's been a while and I just have honestly been pushing off this post.
Our Christmas celebrating started in November when Advent started. I tried really hard everyday to help the kids focus on Jesus being the reason for Christmas. Not Santa and presents. I don't know if it worked but their young so if I keep it up every year then maybe it'll all work out in the end.
We started the gift giving the Sunday before Christmas. This year we made gift bags for all the people who had helped us out throughout the year. A way to say thank you for caring for us and helping us out. Then that week we headed to my parents for Christmas celebrating. It was different this year. I have to say I do miss the Apricot Salad, Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Aunt Sandy's fruit salad, cookies and cheesecake. But we had some yummy Pizza and then Roast and Rice and Broccoli the net day so that was good. The kids were very excited about their gifts. I received some clothing and these things you put in the micro wave and you can make chips. They are yummy! Eli received a drimmel and he is eager to drimmel something. We had a very nice visit. The first night we were there Lilly was up ALL night coughing. Something about that Mid Ohio Valley air. I always get stuffed up when we visit. But she was all better the second night and slept well.
We left my parents on the 23rd so we could spend Christmas Eve at home doing Christmas Eve stuff and so Eli could get ready for the service. We baked cookies, picked up the house a bit, and watched movies together. We also went to church together, it was a very nice service. That night the kids didn't say anything about setting cookies out or anything. I put them to bed and then thought about it, oh well. Santa still came, amazing.
In our home Santa brings one gift and fills the stockings. Santa doesn't wrap either. So there is the clear distinction between what Santa brings and what we get them. They usually get 5 gifts, one from Santa and then one from each of us. The kids are getting to the age where they want to get things for each other so I think next year I am going to let them go shopping for each other, instead of me picking it all out.
So anyways we woke up Christmas morning. Okay well Daddy woke up and then Silas shortly after and he was up for a good hour before the rest of us. We had some very excited kids. They were happy and fun all morning. We are pretty sure that Lilly ate a Squinkie-the green goblin. She had it in her hand and then it disappeared, who knows.
We always have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. Ellie used to protest but this year she ate them and liked them. I like this tradition. Maybe I will move to making them homemade but for now they are Pillsbury, you know the yummy ones in the can. We had a great morning together.
We all got ready and headed for Kayla and Dan's. We had a nice day of visiting, eating, game playing and present exchanging. The kids again were so excited. Eli and I received a Wine Cooler for Eli's dad. It's awesome! I also received some kitchen items and a blank cookbook. I quickly converted it to the Our Favorites Cookbook. With all the experimenting with recipes we have been doing we are finding a lot of new recipes we like and I figured this was the best way to keep them. I also got more Microwave chip maker things. We had a good day with the family. There were some tears but it was all good. In going through somethings and Eli's parents home we found some gifts that Savilla had gotten all the sisters. We also found some items she had gotten for the grand kids. She got Silas a pair of Spiderman rain boots and Ellie a froggy jewelry box.
Our last Christmas celebration was at Eli's grandparents. It was held on New Years Day. So we went up early and spent the whole weekend. It was a nice visit with the family. While there I had the opportunity to take Melva's nieces Senior Pictures. It was something I had never done and i was nervous. Luckily Melva went with me and helped me out with posing. I think the pics turned out pretty good. They aren't as good as a professional could do but I did the best I could. I am still wanting to do some more editing on them and try some things on them but I think they aren't bad.
After getting home we took down the tree and prepared the house for Silas' birthday celebration. We let him have pop and gum on his actually birthday and took him out to eat and got him a milkshake. But we waited till people could come and help us celebrate to have a party.
As I reflect back on all of this I think this Christmas season was the most relaxing and enjoyable we have had in a while. I felt like I was doing really well until I got sick and then I kind of lost my steam. It took 2 rounds of antibiotics to kick strep and whatever else it was. There are things that I want to change for next year but I really like doing the advent calendar and the advent wreath. I think it was a good season.