Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas!!!












What we started with...


...what we ended up with...
Annie and her favourite new toy
Well, Christmas has come and gone for another year - it's hard to believe it is all over again.  We were highly organized this year - well, for us anyway!  Mum and Dad had all the gifts wrapped before the Christmas Eve church service, and so we were able to enjoy church and and carols without dreading staying up until all hours of the morning wrapping, an annual experience Dad was happy to waive from this year's schedule.  :)

James and his favourite new toy!
After church we drove around town looking at Christmas lights.  I was disappointed that there didn't seam to be nearly as many as usual this year.  While we were driving, I noticed that I could only see half a house at a time and - sure enough - by the time we got home, I had a full blown migraine.  Goodie!  :P  B this stage, it was about eight-thirty, so the other kids took one of our gingerbread houses next door as a gift, Mum and Dad made scrambled eggs for supper (we had had a cooked lunch and then didn't have time to eat before church) and I lay on the couch watching Carols by Candlelight with Santa and the ridiculous Loony Tune renditions of Christmas Carols.  I was glad when the real carols started!

For the first time in my life, Jess, Grace and I were allowed to stay up for the entire carols which ended at just past 11:00 pm.  We were very tired and I had a horrible headache, but it was really special to see it all the way through.


Christmas morning began at 6:00.  It had to if we were going to make it to church at 8:00.  (We are "open presents first" people.)  It took a while to get everyone up, but finally we were all gathered in the lounge room.  As tradition demands, we kids started with our Christmas stockings.  We don't do Santa, but Mum and Dad use the Christmas stockings for the little things that are too fiddly to wrap up individually.  These things are usually more personal items such as hairbrushes, hand cream, pens, so forth.  This year, Mum and Dad also put a mango in each stocking - YUM!  :)
Rose discovering good old-fashioned blackboards.

My present.
The way we do presents at our house is based on the principle that we are so thankful to have received that we just want to give.  Whoever receives a present then goes and picks one to give.  Then that person gives the next gift, and so on.  After a few gifts had been opened, Dad gave me one from him and Mum.  It was the entire Elsie Dinsmore series - all twenty eight books!  I was thrilled because I had rather blatantly "hinted" more than once that that was what I would really like.  I was also given a couple of DVD's (Piano Guys and Calamity Jane - LOL!), a Chris Tomlin Cd, and a tea for one teapot/teacup/saucer set.  Elise was made perfectly happy with a telescope (she loves science), Joy was over the moon with her own ipod, while Grace was extremely pleased with her leather hat and Horrible Histories DVD's.
Cleaning up!

We took our time over presents and by the time we finished, it was ten minutes to eight 'o' clock.  We quickly made ourselves presentable and hurried off to church.  We were about five minutes late, but we weren't the only ones who were late, so it made us feel better.  :)  We had breakfast when we got home... :)

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Because we had a late breakfast, we decided to have a late lunch too, which was just as well, because by the time Grace had tidied the dining room, Jess had set and decorated the table, and I had all the food ready, it was about 2:30.  We couldn't wait to call Mum to the table because Jess and I had planned a surprise for her.  When Mum was a little girl, her mother had a beautiful dinner set that only came out at Christmas.  When Nanna passed away nearly six years ago, Mum inherited the dinner set and it was tucked away safely in the sideboard.  Jess and I got it out and used it for the Christmas dinner setting.  We were not disappointed.  Mum almost cried when she saw it and she sent a photo to her dad and her sister and brother of the dishes that they all associate with Christmas.

The rest of the day was really low-key and relaxing - I was very excited that it rained all day  :).  We were really blessed to have Christmas together as a family and to be able to connect with each other.  It wasn't particularly fancy, but neither was the night that Christ was born.  In fact, the conditions into which He was born were downright hideous for a new baby and His mother.  But still He came  - Praise the Lord!!

I pray you had a lovely Christmas and that whatever you did to celebrate, you were blessed by the time with family and you Father who started this annual tradition of ours!  Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you! 





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