Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Month

Yesterday, Christmas Day, was the culmination of our month-long celebrating of the birth of Jesus Christ.  All month long, we have been reading different parts of the Christmas story, singing Christmas songs, baking, wrapping, decorating, playing, loving, enjoying each other, giving thanks for Jesus Christ.  He is the reason we celebrate this month.

As part of our annual celebration...we have our little traditions that make memories for our family.  One of those is the annual Christmas-card-picture taking.  We used to get all dolled-up and head to a picture studio for a family picture, but since The Village doesn't have a picture studio like the ones we used to go to, we now just get the kids dressed up and try to get a good picture somewhere else.  During this process there are several pictures that do NOT make the annual card.  The outtakes:

In the end I went with a collage...because no one picture was fabulous:

The other much-anticipated memory-maker involves the Christmas tree.  We usually like to go and cut down a tree--an event where we spend the day looking at every single tree before I can pick one that really looks about the same as the first one we examined.  But after last year's trip to bizarro-world-tree-farm, we ended up going to the county co-op and picking out an already cut tree.  It took about five minutes...which is definately the fast we have ever picked out a tree.  So fast that I didn't even have my camera out for it.

But decorating the tree?  That is another story.  My philosophy is that you can never have too many lights on your Christmas tree.  And, I tend to be slightly OCD about how the lights are put on the tree as well.  Dr. C thinks my two Christmas-tree-lights philosophies are exasperating ridiculous, so over the years we've come up with a system where I put all the lights on the tree and he doesn't complain when every year I need to buy more strands of lights, despite the fact that we bought the same size tree as the previous year.  This year...a new record...1400 lights on a 6 1/2 ft. tree.

We don't put any presents under our tree until Christmas Eve.  Instead, we put all of our Christmas books on the tree skirt for the kids to read throughout the month.  This year, one of the favorites was Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, which means we had to make a little tree with a carrot-base for all the stuffed animals.
And The Grinch makes an appearance at our house too.

Another memory-maker is all the baking.  This year we made cookies, cookies and more cookies, caramels, peanut butter balls, and chocolate-covered pretzels.  I think the kids ate more than they actuall dipped.

On Christmas Eve, we eat clam chowder.  This is a tradition passed down at least from my Gram (and maybe even before her), to my mom, to me, to my kids.  Somehow, that warm bowl of homemade chowder served on special Christmas dishes links the generations in our celebrations of Christ's birth.

Later, we try to alleviate some of the frenetic anticipation of Christmas morning by allowing our children to open one gift--new pajamas--on Christmas Eve.  In hindsight,  I'm not sure if this practice helps or not. 

And then Christmas morning arrived.

 And with all of the expected Christmas magic, we also recieved a little Christmas miracle.


In The Village.

On Christmas Day.

According to the weatherman, that hadn't happened here in ELEVEN YEARS.

It was so beautiful and unexpected, that before we even opened presents, we had to go enjoy it.  And enjoy it we did.

Then after a yummy Christmas breakfast, we opened presents and played with new toys and called the far-away families and just enjoyed the Christmas explosion that took place in our living room.

And so concludes our Christmas Month--with memories, joy, love for each other, and gratitude for Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas!!!


The Little Things That Keep Me Sane said...

Love it, but I just had to tell you I really like your hair! I know it wasn't the point of the story, but it is cute! We are in STL til Tuesday, just in case you happen to be here.

Cindy said...

Great post!! I felt like I got to be a part of your Christmas Month!

We also make chocolate dipped pretzels... but we don't put on sprinkles! I think we will next year! Great idea!

Talley Images said...

So so sweet... looks like yall had a ball!

I was looking through my 2010 calendar and realized that it has been almost a year since we met up... we need to do it again now that Wallace is home.

Oh, and call me next year for Christmas pictures - I would be happy to do it!

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