Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011 Wrap-up

Christmas has come & gone. It is truly hard to believe because this year has gone by so fast. I know I say that every year, but it seems like it just gets faster & faster every year!

Here is a quick wrap-up of what our Christmas looked like.

The weekend after Thanksgiving we decorated for Christmas. I take the same few pictures of the kids every year so that I can compare from year to year how much they've grown.

This is 2010:

And this is 2011:

A couple weeks before Christmas, we went to our little town's parade. Larry had to work that day, but the kids & I enjoyed it!

A few days later, Samuel performed in his school choir concert.

On Christmas Eve, we attended the candlelight service at our church. It was beautiful!

These are the Christmas cards we received. I love getting cards any time of year (and I love buying & sending them, too!!!) but I really, really love Christmas cards! Next year I'm going to try to pull off photo cards.

As you may remember from previous years (if you've been around, reading my blog for that long!) we spend our first waking moments on Christmas morning focusing on Jesus. The kids all sleep in one room the night before and we don't allow them to leave the room (because you can see into the living room where all the gifts are) until after we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and have a party for Jesus. We want to make sure that their focus is where it should be (the birth of Jesus) before we let them begin to open gifts & move their focus to that.

Fortunately, they LOVE this tradition & fight over who gets to read the story from the Bible each year. (Sarah won!)

I only took a few pictures of the kids opening their gifts on Christmas morning. I'm not sure why....I just didn't get very many taken. We began a new tradition this year in regard to their gifts and they all liked it. A few months ago, we told the kids that they would each be getting only 3 gifts because that's what Jesus got. The kids were allowed to give us a list of 5-10 things that they'd like to get.....OR.....they could choose to get the money we had budgeted for buying those gifts. Only 1 of the kids chose to get the money instead of having things to open on Christmas morning. (but I'm a big softie & couldn't stand the idea of her having NOTHING to open, so she did get one little Santa gift!) The kids all really enjoyed getting 3 things that they really wanted! No one seemed to "miss" the extra gifts they usually get and for that, I am grateful!

And again, to compare our annual Christmas Eve pictures, here is 2010:

And here is 2011:

I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas!

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