I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did! :) I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older (or busier) but Christmas went by too fast, in my opinion. The days just flew by and I had a hard time just stepping back and enjoying it. Nevertheless, it was still wonderful!
Our family does Christmas in many different stages, at different times. We have our own family Christmas, then Christmas with Mama's side, then Christmas with Daddy's side, and then another Christmas with Mama's side when my Aunt and family come in town. So, we have at least 4 days when we're celebrating Christmas (I say, the more the merrier)!
This post is about our personal, family Christmas. We've always (as long as I can remember) done our family Christmas on the morning of Christmas Eve. We do it then because we get up early to go to Na-naw and Paw-paw's house on Christmas day. If we did our family Christmas the day of, we would be getting up at 5 or 6 A.M. and everything would be rushed. So, we don't do that...and I like it that way!
This year, though, we did part of our family Christmas the day before Christmas Eve! A few years ago we started a tradition. After Thanksgiving, we put all our names (minus Judah) into a hat and everyone pulls a name out. The person they get is their "secret pal" and we have to try and bless them constantly until our family Christmas. We do their chores, make their beds, leave candy on their pillows, etc. Then, on Christmas Day we give our secret pal a present and they have to guess who their person was. I love this game because it's a great reminder that Christmas is about giving and not getting. Plus, it's an adventure to try and bless your person without letting them find out it was you! :)
Anyways, instead of doing our secret pal gifts on Christmas Eve (as we've done every year before) we did them the night before Christmas Eve. :) This helped spread out the presents and keep the gifts from just becoming a stack of "received".
The night started with one of my favorite meals: hamburgers on the webber charcoal grill with toasted buns, au gratin potatoes, and veggies of some sort.
After dinner (sorry, no pictures), we started settling down in the den. Mama, Hannah, and Lexi then practiced a song they were to sing at our church's Christmas Eve service:
Hannah's face in the photo on the left cracks me up! :)
Then we opened the Christmas cards we received in the mail, or from friends at church:
'Siah opening his card.
Hannah (left) and Mama (right) get a turn!
Once all the cards were opened, read, and hung in the den the gift opening began! We started with Lydia because she was the youngest one to participate:
You can never go wrong in getting candy for someone! ;) Eden was Lydia's secret pal and, along with the candy necklace, she gave Lydia a coloring book.
Josiah was next, and after quite a few guesses at who his secret pal was, he guessed me (Kimber) and was correct!
'Siah got some sour octopuses, a foam football, and a wooden elephant painting set. [Siah was very sweet and came around and gave all of us one of his sour octopuses once his present was opened!]
Eden's secret pal was Lydia! Lydia got Eden some pretty hair clips...
...and a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. :)
Seth's person was Hannah and she gave him a wood kit and some various, silly items, such as these glasses:
Daddy had Caleb and Dad wrapped Caleb's present so tight he had some trouble opening it! :)
He got a light (and obviously bright too)!
Lexi's secret pal was Mama and she gave Lexi some horse shampoo. Now don't laugh, Lexi wanted this for Christmas (she put it on her list!). :)
Seth was my secret pal and he bought me a lovely smelling candle and horse movie. :)
Lexi was Hannah's secret pal and she gave Hannah a eyebrow brush and a hair clip.
Mama's secret pal was Caleb and he bought her a huge pack of Smarties!
Josiah was Daddy's secret pal and he filled the top of Daddy's present with balloons. In this picture, Daddy is trying to imitate one of the smiley faces 'Siah drew on the balloon. :)
Once Daddy removed all the balloons, he found a Christmas ornament in his present! Obviously an ornament fell off of our decorations and ended up in Dad's bag. :)
'Siah got Daddy a little drum!
Now for a funny story: Daddy was beating on his new drum for a minute and then he flipped it in the air...and it hit him square between his eyes, causing a little scratch (with some blood, of course!). So, Daddy had to wear a little band-aid right between his eyes (just above the bridge of his nose) for Christmas! :)
After the secret pal presents were over we ate some hand-cranked, home made ice cream! :) It was really good...especially with Trader Joe's Candy Cane Jo Jo's!
After ice cream we opened the presents we siblings bought for each other and Mama and Daddy. Lexi had lined her presents for each of us on the steps:
The gap on the stairs represent the present for Hannah, Caleb, Seth, and I. We had to go on a "hot-cold" hunt for ours. We found it in the freezer and it was...Oreo Klondikes!
My present to all my siblings were some Airheads. I also got Daddy Queen Anne Cordial Cherries and Mommy, a box of Ferrara Pan red hots. :)
One of the most exciting gifts for Hannah and I that night was from Daddy and Mama: a new phone! Since a mishap of my own a few months ago with the phone we (Hannah, Lex, and I) shared, we were left with no phone. So, whenever I went to the barn, I would take Mama's phone, and, if Dad left for work I wouldn't be able to get into contact with those at home (and vice versa). Also, if Daddy was at work and Mama needed to go out and do something, someone had to go without a phone...and that wasn't good.
So, Hannah and I both got a phone! :)
Playing with her new treasure!
It was getting late by this time, and more Christmas was to come the next day, so we all went to bed...and slept well. :)
P.S. - There are at least 3 more Christmas posts to come. :)