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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Christmas

 

* NOTE:  I originally wrote this soon after Christmas and I thought it was lost forever.  However, it was magically recovered today.  I’m going to try to get this blog caught up before our next huge event coming up!

I absolutely love when we spend Christmas at home.  Not that I don’t love when we are in Colorado with our family, I do love that too.  I love getting all the cousins together to play, having big meals with the family, and the fact that sometimes there is snow on the ground.  What I don’t love is being there for seven days, running between two houses all week, trying to make sure we spend equal amounts of time with each family, keeping the girls happy, etc.  I feel like that every minute we are there is scheduled with some function and we are always spread so thin.  I’m not complaining about it, it is just the facts.  We do these things, even though they aren’t the easiest or the most convenient, because we love our families and value the time we spend with them- but let me just get something out there.  It is in no way a vacation nor relaxing!  I still remember the first Christmas that my family didn’t travel to Texas.  I was 20 years old and it was one of the most relaxing Christmases I’ve ever had.  No hustle and bustle, no packing into the car and driving for 15 hours, no getting up in the wee hours of the morning to drive back home.  Were there down sides? Yes!  I missed seeing my grandparents and cousins that year, and every year since, but is was great in its own way.  It was simple, relaxing, and I loved it! 

This year was the third time we’ve spent Christmas at our own home.  The first year it was just the two of us and Hannah.  Kyle had to work on Christmas day so nothing was “normal” about it.  We made it work with what we had going on.  Hannah opened presents over a series of days instead of all at once.  It was different in the way we celebrated that year, but was Christmas really different?  Christmas is celebrating the birth of Christ, and that never is different. So, while the way we celebrated was different, what we celebrate will forever be the same.  As we get older, have our own families, and start our own traditions I’ve heard the phrase often, “Christmas will be different this year.”  This Christmas I really started thinking about that statement and the more I thought about it, the more I realized: Christmas is never different.  Christmas is celebrating the birth of Christ and that will never, ever, ever change.  Christmas isn’t about how many presents are under the tree or how many family members we can cram around a table.  If we think it is about those things, we are setting ourselves up for major disappointment when our idea of a “perfect” Christmas celebration cannot be achieved every December 25th.  Kyle and I were discussing something this Christmas season and he said, “Just because that’s the way we did it in our families growing up doesn’t mean we have to do it that way in OUR family.”  Not that what we did growing up was bad in any way, but it is ok for us to change it!  We’ve started some great family traditions the past few years and I love them.  We have cream of crab soup every Christmas Eve and this is a tradition what will most likely continue even if we move away from the crab capital of Maryland.  Why?  Because it has become what our family does, what our children will remember, and a reminder to us that we once lived thousands of miles away from all of our family and instead of trying to recreate everything we had ever known, we had the confidence to branch out and start something new.  Does the crab or the soup really have any significance?  Not other than the fact that we live in Maryland and are crab crazy around here.  It is mostly just that fact that it is delicious.

This year Kyle’s parents were with us for Christmas.  Was is like any other Christmas they’ve ever had?  Probably not.  There was no Christmas Eve service, as our children were too sick to go, there was no fine China put out on the table, as I’m too lazy pregnant to drag it all up from the basement, there was no Honey Baked Ham, as I’m too cheap and just bought one at Costco.  It was different, but is different bad?  Honestly, I don’t know, they may never come back for another Christmas ever again.  For me, it was wonderful, because instead of focusing on the things we didn’t have (my parents, the girls’ cousins, our siblings, fine china) I focused on what we did have.   What we did have was: snow falling, squeals of delight from two little girls, grandparents, chocolate fondue, way too many gifts, matching tuxedo t-shirts, and of course, cream of crab soup!  I think this Christmas season I was reminded of how much we have to be thankful for.  Even as families grow and change and try to cling to pieces of what has always been, we are growing as people, learning to be flexible, and embracing new ways of doing things for every holiday, I was reminded over and over again that all of this is secondary.  Every single last bit of it is secondary to the fact that God sent a savior to rescue the world.  THAT is what it is about, and only that! 

So…how did we celebrate this year? 

Tradition: Kyle gets us matching T-shirts every year in our stockings.  This year’s theme was “Keeping Christmas Classy.”

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It snowed on Christmas Eve, which was a nice surprise!  Funny story: now Sadie will look out the window and say, “It’s not snowing, Christmas Eve is over.”  IMG_9712

This one was up first and ready for her stocking.

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Her first Christmas where she understood what was happening.  She loved it!IMG_9740IMG_9747

This girl slept in until 8:30!  I love the joy on her face!

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Sadie helps Gramma.

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Celebrating Christmas with your young children is the best!

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After Sadie opened these horses, she wouldn’t open anything else.  I had to open all the rest of her gifts for her.

We had an awesome Christmas this year!  Obviously I need to work on taking more pictures of the adults and having someone take pictures of me.  Kyle was with us, I promise!  We are ready for next year’s Christmas visitors…who will it be??

3 comments:

Kim said...

Beautifully said, Alexis! Of course, we will come back again because we LOVED every moment we had with all of you:) And, I did not miss washing all of that fine china! I was thankful that you included us in your family traditions. We had such a great time.

Beth said...

#1 - I love the tuxedo shirt picture. It's "classy." :)
#2 - I want to implement cream of crab soup into our Christmas. Seriously, what's not to love?
#3 - Very well said, all of it. Love you.

Brian Peterson said...

Alexis,
All you have to do is invite us. You KNOW we'll be there! Remember the fire we had going on Christmas Day? It was very relaxing! All of it.

Love,

Bompa (Dad to you) :)