Well, we woke up this morning....Dan and I actually slept in until 9:30 and the Christmas decorations came down. It's not that we don't like Christmas, but I guess it is kinda our family tradition to take everything down the next day. We had successfully not watered our tree and killed it weeks ago so it was dropping needles like crazy anyways. We jus can't seem to keep any sort of plant, succulent or tree alive. Anyways, I am currently sitting downtown at the Marcus Center in the middle of the atrium blogging while Abbie is backstage waiting for her performance to start. 2 more shows and the Nutcracker season comes to an end.
I will say that this Christmas looked a lot different this year for our family. That came with a lot of mommy guilt for me. This was the first year that I was working full time and that made Christmas look a lot different. We didn't even get to decorate a ginger bread house. I made sugar cookies (which are currently sitting unfrosted in a box on top of our washing machine) just waiting to be decorated. I could sit here and tell you all of the things we didn't do this Christmas....but that would bring everyone down, so I have to focus on what we DID get to do!!
We were able to take each child shopping and out to dinner one on one. Our kids do a sibling exchange and then we take them one at a time to shop for the sibling they picked! They have so much fun with it. Best part of it this year.....3 of the kids used their OWN money to buy their sibling gift!! YAHOO!!!!! They get to exchange with each other on Christmas Eve and watching the JOY and excitement on their faces is just precious.
Along with my new job comes some pretty big responsibilities. One of them being Jingle Jam. This is a huge outreach event we do and a big Christmas family service. That has been all consuming for me this year. Practices and planning was my life for a while. I tried really hard to leave it all at work and come home and be a mom and wife...I don't think I balanced that quite well....but I am learning. Anyways, one of our family traditions has been to go to the Country Springs every year to look at the lights with the kids. It was Christmas Eve and we hadn't gone yet. I made it my mission on Saturday to get the kids to the lights! We finished Jingle Jam, cleaned up, set up, napped, went back to work Christmas Eve service and then we did it....we made the drive and got to look at the lights!!!! What a blessing that was to be able to keep that tradition alive!!
The kids seem happy with their gifts. Molly got a microphone, Sadie got some organizing things, Abbie got a ballet barre, Kenadie got some zsum zsums, Gavin and Griffin got pedal cars and Lanie got a gymnastics mat. We try to keep it simple and functional yet fun!! My most favorite tradition ever is that we sit down as a family on Christmas morning and read the birth of Jesus account from the Bible. Each kid brings down their Bible and they take turns reading. This year Lanie was able to read some of it!!! I bet next year Griffs will be reading too! It's fun to get gifts, but it's even more rewarding to teach our kids what Christmas is really about.
Dan picked out one gift for Gavin and Griffin...otherwise I did the rest. The one gift Dan got the boys was a set of Nerf guns. After Gavin got a huge welt on his side from being shot....I asked Dan what the age suggestion was on the box. Um....14!!!! Ha! So, our 8 and 5 year old boys have nerf guns that leave welts....cause we are that awesome!!
Overall, Christmas may have looked different this year for us, but that doesn't mean it was a bad thing. Time was spent together. Memories were made. Jingle Jam is over and I have this week off to spend time with the kids. What an incredible blessing this time of year has been to me. I have learned so much, met so many new people and grown to learn more and more what really matters in my life.
So, from our very crazy wild family to yours....A very Merry Christmas!