I love Christmastime for so many reasons. Celebrating Jesus’ birth, focusing on Advent and Jesus’ past coming, present coming, and future coming. Picking out presents for people and blessing them during this time of year. The excitement of the weather getting colder. Christmas lights. Christmas traditions. I could go on and on. This week, there were a lot of reasons why I love Christmas time.
1-Special Parties and Concerts –
We had our staff Christmas party which capped off our team planning during which we planned for next semester on campus. We had a great time eating at a nice restaurant, playing games, and exchanging gifts. It was full of fun and laughs! We absolutely love our Queens Cru Staff Team. We have been on teams before with bad staff teams, so we absolutely know what a huge blessing this is.
We also had dinner out as a Christmas party with our church small group. We love this group of friends (missing the guys below) and are loving learning about the Bible, praying for each other, and getting to know each other. The food at the restaurant was so good (Queens Bully), and we were selected by the manager as her table of the night to provide free dessert for. We were full, but when you get offered free dessert, yes please.
Both of the girls had winter concerts at their schools. It is different from us to be in a place that has so many other religions and cultural groups and one of the different things is that they don’t talk about Christmas, Jesus, or Santa in school or around the neighborhood. So, instead of a Christmas concert with spiritual songs and Santa songs (like in the South), they sang Hanukkah songs and songs about snowmen.
2. Celebrating and focusing on Jesus’ birth – We do “The Advent Event” with our kiddos and it is so fun to see them walking through the Bible and learning about the storyline of the Bible leading up to Jesus’ birth. Our church throws this huge party for the kids every Christmas called a birthday party for Jesus. The kids love singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, jumping in inflatables, and enjoying extra special birthday treats.
3 – Enjoying our first snow of the season – We love that we actually get cold weather here and that we get to enjoy snow. Turns out, most of our family LOVES the white stuff and enjoys playing in it, running errands in it, and watching it come down. Usually, in NYC, the snow doesn’t start until the end of December/January, so we were shocked when it snowed three times this past week – accumulating multiple inches each time. One of those times we were out running errands in it, one of those times we were walking to school in it, and a few of those times we didn’t even know it was going to happen.
This picture is from an area in Forest Hills (this isn’t our area as we live near a bunch of tall buildings and no houses) on the way to the girls’ school called Forest Hills Gardens. It has these beautiful multi-million dollar houses. While we could never afford living there, we love looking at them, especially during the snowfall.
4 – Visiting Santa and going ice skating with a Christmas tree in the background – This weekend, we ran into the city to go ice skating and to visit Santa. It was fun watching the Ed and the girls skate with a big Christmas tree in the background.
Last year, we visited Santa at Macy’s and while it was fun, it was a multiple-hour process. This year, we took some friend’s advice and went to see Santa at Bloomingdales. It was fabulous!! It was so quick (in and out in 15 minutes), Santa looked so real, they let you take your own picture, and not only did he ask the kids what they wanted for Christmas, he also took the time to sing Jingle Bells with them. Thankfully, none of our kids were scared and Blake couldn’t get enough of him. It was so sweet. Kinsley doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, but its funny – I think she is having more fun pretending for the little kids.
5 – Watching Christmas movies – Ed and I love Christmas movies and we love getting to share them with our kids. Our kids favorites right now are Home Alone and The Polar Express. This weekend, we let them eat dinner on the floor while they watched a Christmas movie. They will miss them when Christmas is over!
I pray you are enjoying this Christmas season as much as we are!