Of course, as always, we were very busy...however, just as the saying goes, 3rd times a charm. Our 3rd Christmas together went very smoothly as far as dividing up our time between our families and remaining relaxed and stress-free throughout it all. What a blessing!
Christmas Eve Eve
(yep, this is a phrase we use...in order to fit everything in...we start early.)
We went to our annual play tradition to see A Christmas Carol.
|from left to right--Chad (my brother's best friend), Matt (my brother), me, Justin, Mom, and my aunt|
That same evening we exchanged presents with just my immediate family.
We ended the night back at home reading the Christmas story from Luke to get our minds and hearts focused on the true reason we celebrate...the birth of our precious Savior.
We started at my grandpa's (on my dad's side) for his annual Christmas Eve breakfast (yum!).
|left to right--my uncle, my grandpa, and my dad|
Next, was the annual tradition of Dollar Gifts at my grandparents' on my mom's side.
Our next stop was Justin's aunt's and uncle's house for a Christmas Eve dinner of wonderful lasagna and garlic rolls, plus lots of entertainment by adorable kiddos.
|from left to right--Jennifer (my sis-in-law), Gentry (niece), Emma, Cooper (nephew), Alex, me, Hadley (niece), Ella, and Nicki (Nicki is Justin's cousin's wife and the other three kiddos are their little ones)|
We had time this year to come back to our house and open up gifts between just us two (and Boone). Justin's "big" gift was a new Fossil watch and mine was an art easel!
|by our tree|
|hubby with his gifts from me|
|he wrapped these himself!|
Our evening ended with our candlelight service at church (and traveling in a winter wonderland to get there...yep, we had a white Christmas!)
Our morning started early...we headed to my mom's and dad's house to open "Santa" gifts with my brother. (This is a tradition that my mom and dad have carried on from our childhood. Such fun!) Our "big" gifts included a KitchenAid mixer for me, a compact drill for Justin, and a new flat screen TV for our bedroom for both of us.
|waiting to open gifts|
We then went next door (yep, next door) to my grandparent's on my mom's side to open up gifts. This was just round one for the day, as we take turns opening up one gift at a time. Takes lots of time...but I love being able to see the expression on everyones face as they open their gifts...plus it allows for tons of stories and laughter as we share where we found the gift, how we found it, or listen to my grandpa explain with each gift that he opens that he really doesn't need it...plain and simple. Ha!
|back at my grandparents'|
|my grandma always stuffs stockings for all of us (which she made)|
|with my aunt|
We left there and headed down the road to open gifts with Justin's immediate family. Our nieces and nephew made that a fun, exciting time as each toy they opened lit up their faces with excitement. Later that day the rest of Justin's family came over to his mom's and dad's for a Christmas lunch.
Our day ended back at my mom's and dad's for a nice Christmas steak dinner (a tradition we started a few years ago) and the completion (round 2) of opening gifts with everyone from that morning.
|around the tree at mom's and dad's|
|the pretty table...love my mom's Christmas china!|
It was such a blessed, enjoyable time. As always, we loved every moment of being with family. Both sides are always so wonderful and flexible to help us include every festivity possible.
I have loved reading about your Christmases as well.
Praying you have a blessed and Happy New Year!