Christmas and New Years have both come and gone. I don’t know where you are at with it all, but I feel like it FLEW by this year – more so than other years. Seriously, where did time go?
We had a fun week leading up to Christmas – we had one of our sweet staff team members from NC State over for dinner, we took the kids to see Christmas lights (PS – if you live in the Raleigh area, look up the lights finder on the WRAL website – it was a hit and pretty accurate – loving the animated shows everywhere!), and we spent time just being together as a family.
Christmas Eve, we went to the Christmas Eve service at a local church and not only was it really good to center on the meaning of Christmas without getting caught in the hustle and bustle, but they also had an area where they were blowing snow (more like ice, but who’s counting?) and had the kids sledding down it. It was 75 degrees out and the kids were sledding – oh crazy, crazy weather. Then, we came home, read the Christmas story, and pigged out on appetizers. I love that we do this every Christmas eve because it definitely isn’t something we do the rest of the year – and really, who doesn’t love wings, cheese dip, meatballs, and tons of other bad things?
As a kid, I remember waking up at something like 4 am on Christmas Day. Thankfully, my kids haven’t started that yet, and we had a leisurely start to Christmas morning. I made Crock Pot Grits (think grits with cream cheese and sausage – yummy!) and Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. I just learned this recipe a few weeks ago and as my sweet in-laws helped make the cinnamon rolls the night before, they were gracious enough to run the store, get more supplies, and try again when my first attempt resulted in them failing to rise – note to self, yeast is one of those things you CAN NOT use when it expires. Two attempts were worth it – they were SO GOOD!!
It was so fun to see the kids open presents and to see the sheer joy on their faces. I love having kids at Christmas time and living life with them and seeing holidays through their eyes. Blake was more interested in eating the paper he pulled off than getting a present, but it was fun nevertheless.
Emerson was thrilled to get a Cinderella dress just like her sister and we had a blast playing with their American Girl look-alike dolls and clothes.
It was a very sweet and restful day. We try so hard to instill in our kids that Christmas isn’t about presents or lights or parties. The real meaning of Christmas is the birth of a sweet baby boy born years and years ago in Bethlehem. Jesus – who gave up his place in heaven by becoming a little baby, lived a perfect life, rescued us from our sins by dying for us, overcame death by his resurrection, made it possible for us to have a relationship with God despite our imperfections, and is preparing a place for us in Heaven. What greater gift is there? I pray that my kids know that THIS is the real reason we celebrate.