"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Christmas

Christmas is almost here!! Can you hear the excitement in my text? Well, it is there whether you hear it or not. We have so much planned, so many traditions, some new traditions with new friends, and we are going to see some family and very dear old friends. I think this Christmas may not ever go outdone for it feels like the top of the world. Tomorrow we begin-- well I say we begin, but really the girls have begun their Christmas with giving and serving a whole month ago when they gave up their birthday parties and instead hosted a Christmas shoebox packing party. Since then they have participated in packing food for Haitians, and shopped for angels on an angel tree, and shopped with our church family for some needy school kids. They have started our Christmas off with a big bang. Now we head into the celebration phase-- I guess you could call it that??? Tomorrow, we have dear friends joining us for a pre-Christmas dinner of turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and other yummies AND a special birthday cake for Jesus. Our pre-Christmas dinner will end in a birthday party for Jesus. Then on Christmas Eve Ernie said he was taking the girls shopping for me for Christmas. They are going to have a daddy and daughter shopping day-- Oh, to be a fly on the mall wall! That night we will be going to our church Christmas Eve service as we always do and worship Jesus as a family with our church family.

That brings us to the 25th. We have our traditions some created by Olivia and others passed down. As a kid my family always made sure we were up well before a normal morning to open gifts first thing. Well, the girls besides getting up way early, do open their gifts on Christmas morning. BUT not until after we have had our traditional Christmas breakfast. This started Olivia's first  Christmas when she was only a few weeks old. Our breakfast always is centered around this delicious oatmeal pancake recipe I found during pregnancy in a magazine. While Ernie is making pancakes, the girls get to open their stockings. After breakfast the girls head to the Christmas tree and the one who finds the pickle on the tree (a German tradition we started a couple of years ago, but the pickle ornament is a staple on our tree as my family always had a pickle on our tree growing up) gets to go first and pass out the gifts. We always open one at a time taking turns in order to milk it and so we can see the girls open everything and enjoy their excitement. BUT before we open our gifts Olivia makes sure first we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. This year, she wants us to stand in front of the tree, hold hands and shout Happy Birthday to Jesus.

For Christmas I get the day off cooking (for the most part). We have a big breakfast cooked by Ernie and then just have snacky or finger foods the rest of the day. I prepare them on the day before, and just have to bake the prepped food. We usually have cheese and crackers, fruit, nuts, sausage balls, pretzels...

This year I want to add another tradition. I want to take the girls to the movies. This year we are going to take the girls to see the movie Tangled. This is only like the third movie they have ever seen in a theater (well Olivia's, it may be Sarah's first). I think it would be a fun tradition, to go to the movies on Christmas day. We will see.

The day after Christmas, Ernie goes back to work (taking down decorations through the night), but the girls and I are going after church to my parents house where my sister and her family will be in and we will get to spend several days with them there. At some point I will get to visit with my brother and his family too. As an added bonus my best friend from my school years and my roomie in college is going to be at her parents house next door to my parents, so I will get to visit with her and her beautiful, growing family!

I think this Christmas is going to be tops! I wonder if it could get much better?

I want to wish everyone who reads this a Merry Christmas. Don't forget why we celebrate! It is a pivotal moment in our faith. God is with us. He came not as a king on a throne, but as a lowly babe born of a virgin girl and entered the world in the lowliest of circumstances. Born in a cow stall, visited by the recluse shepherds. HE came for this purpose. He came from His throne to be a servant; He humbled Himself in birth and lived this way till His death-- a death on a cross so that we would be reunited to His side. The fact that HE was born in such a way to fulfill all prophesies from hundreds of years prior to His coming means HE is who HE said HE was.

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