This post is filled with lots of photos from our various celebrations.
We begin celebrating on the 22nd by dinner, gifts, and spending the night at my parents' house.
Christmas Eve morning all the "kids" (Jason, Dustin, Jared, Linds, and me included) had Santa presents waiting for us. We read and/or recite (several have the passage memorized after years of teaching it to third graders...hint, hint, Aunt Mary Beth) the Christmas story from Luke, open stockings, then gifts, and then eat a huge breakfast together. Unfortunately, my camera died during the morning's festivities, so I am going to have to steal photos from my mom and add more.
Christmas Eve day was spent at home, playing with new toys and watching movies, until it's time to get dolled up for dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Egnew's house, followed by the Christmas Eve service at church. This year we not only got to celebrate London's first Christmas, but also my cousin Allison's precious twins, Stella and Everly.
There is something so special about the RSUMC Christmas Eve service. From watching the children sing (or chew gum as Connor did through most of the song), hearing the Christmas story read between songs, listening to Jason's beautiful voice while holding a sleeping London, to hearing a message from Bro. Jim, to the final moments where we all sing "Silent Night" in a sanctuary lit only by candles, each moment reminds me of the true reason for the season, the miraculous birth of our Savior.
One of my favorite songs our praise band does is "Glorious." Here is an excerpt from the Christmas Eve service.
Jason did a new (to him) song this year: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," and his voice gave me chills.
As I mentioned above, we always end with "Silent Night."
We got home just before midnight, tucked the kids in, and then hoped that they would sleep well...they did. We had to wake them up at eight thirty on Christmas morning. We opened gifts and stockings with our little family before anyone who wanted to came back over for breakfast before we packed the car to leave for our Louisville celebration.
We spent Christmas night until the afternoon of the 27th with Jason's parents. We had dinner, opened gifts and stockings, enjoyed Randy's famous orange sherbet punch, and then toasted Christmas with sparkling grape juice by the fire, one of my favorite Davidson traditions. We also went to see the lights at the Galt House on the 26th, along with breakfast at Toast, one of our favorite spots. Between London and Connor, they ate 2/3 of my French toast, which might actually be a good diet tip for me in the new year. :)
We took down the tree yesterday, and Connor got teary and asked, "Why does Christmas have to be over?" While the gifts and the decorations have ended and been put away, I hope to keep the giving spirit alive in the new year. I know we all have resolutions, but this holiday has reminded me just how quickly these anticipated events pass, and if I am not present in each moment, I will miss something. And moments like these, I do not want to miss.
Blessings to everyone in 2014!