Celebrating Christmas with Family


This Christmas, we decided to all get together as one big family on Christmas Eve.

I remember some of the most special Christmas' we had as a family, we celebrated and opened gifts on Christmas Eve. Of course, this was as we got older and realized we didn't have to wait for Santa Claus to bring our gifts to us on Christmas morning. Jim and I also decided when Jake was born that we always wanted to spend Christmas morning at our house and watch Jake open his gifts from Santa and from us at home.

So this year, instead of getting up on Christmas morning, watching Jake open his gifts, and then trying to convince him that Grandma and Grandpa had more for him to open and that his new trains and train track would be waiting for him when we got back, I threw out the idea to my family of us getting together on Christmas Eve.

They all loved the idea, so Christmas Eve it was!

When we arrived at my parents' house, the stockings were definitely hung with care...

I tried to get Jake to sit in front of the tree and smile for a picture, but instead he struck and pose and was fixated on the gifts waiting for him to open...

In fact, when we walked in, he went straight for the tree and said, "Presents for me?!" Wow, how much he has changed in a year!

So right down to business it was...

It was so much fun to watch him open his gifts with so much excitement. He actually "got it" this year, unwrapping each gift all by himself with full understanding that what was inside the package was for him. I can honestly say that he had more fun this year than ever, and so did we.

After all the gifts were unwrapped, we ate an awesome, home-cooked meal by my mom...ham, sweet potato casserole, lasagna, potato salad, baked beans, rolls...completely scrumptous. She also baked cupcakes with homemade icing, and we all gathered 'round to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, who is the real reason we celebrate this time of year.

My dad read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2, and we spent time sharing what Christmas means to us and how thankful we are for His blessings on our family this year, 2009.

Jake and Emily spent several hours playing with their new toys, and then we headed home to wait for Santa to arrive on Christmas morning.

Thanks mom and dad for another day and Christmas full of love and wonderful meaning.

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