Celebrating Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that Advent has come and gone already. I feel my usual feelings of sadness as something comes to an end, and the realization of not doing all that I had hoped of doing. But I think it was a good advent, a good preparation for Christ's birth. I'm realizing that less is more with our children. Meaning, focusing on a few good advent practices and doing them well, instead of trying to do the thousands of different ideas that I come across. And we did.

And now Christmas!! Now we get to celebrate for twelve days this glorious event of Christ's birth. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I am so grateful to have a camera so that I can capture the looks, faces, presents....all of it, because it all goes by like a whirl wind.

We decorate our tree on Christmas Eve. This was my very first ornament as a baby. Every year I hang it with special care remembering just how many Christmas' I've celebrated.
Since being married, we've always spent Christmas Eve with TJ's family. We went to 4:00 mass and then over to his parents house for dinner and of course, present opening!

Tom makes the worlds best lasagna. Honestly. I love it so much I could eat the entire pan. But even if I got the recipe, I could never make it like he does.

It's so funny to me how different families open presents. There are a couple of ways to do it. You have the very casual, calm, way of one person handing out one present at a time. Everyone watches with anticipation as they calmly peel away the wrapping paper. They look at the gift and then hold it up for everyone else to see and ooh and ahh over. Then the next present is passed out, but not before the wrapping paper of the first gift is so nicely placed into the garbage sack.

Or there's the everyone has their own pile of presents way and they open their pile at their own rate. No one is really watching what others are opening, you just work on your pile. You don't really take any gifts out of their plastic covering, you just pile up your goodies and wait until your home to take things out.

Our way at the Casady's is madness. A good madness nonetheless, but it is indeed madness. We begin with our kids digging around to find the packages with their name on it and then they plop it down on the floor and start to dig in. Ripping is a better word. There is lots of ripping of wrapping paper. We have four children remember, so multiply this times four. Then every present is taken out of it's box immediately. There is no waiting until we get home. We've got all extra hands working on prying the darn toy out from the wires and tape that is so securely holding it in place. Knives get brought out and you hear a lot of stand backs so as not to harm a child with the knife. And the wrapping paper and boxes? Get thrown on the floor and if your lucky someone will eventually start throwing the paper away! It is crazy. But you know what? Our kids love it. They have so much fun opening presents and playing with each toy for about thirty seconds before moving onto the next one. They will always remember opening presents this way. The rest of us? Well, we're trying to open our presents while dodging Nerf gun bullets and straining to hear who the present is from over the sound of Woody's very loud robotic voice saying your my favorite deputy.

Aunt Kelly and Uncle Andy got our family the Wii this year for Christmas! I don't think I've ever seen Thomas be that excited over something before. It was really awesome to see both he and Annie running and jumping while shouting WE HAVE A WII.....WE HAVE A WII!!! Thank you Kelly and Andy for being so generous and for the wonderful memories they will have of opening that Wii on Christmas! You truly made their night!

After the fun and excitement at the Casady's we head home to put them to bed. Our tradition in the morning is that they come into our room very early, and we read the birth of Jesus from Luke. Then we light a candle and walk down into the darkness singing Joy to the World and stop in front of the manger. Jesus is there. We light our advent wreath, all four candles and the white candle that has now been placed in the center. I love beginning Christmas morning with this simple ritual of remembering Jesus first. It is because of Him being born that we are celebrating anything at all.
I about lost it when I went into George's room to gently wake him up. I said, good morning George, it's Christmas! Would you like to wake up and go downstairs to open presents? He says with his eyes shut, maybe tomorrow.....I'm too tired. Seriously. I kid you not. What three year old would rather stay in bed and sleep on Christmas morning?

I think this is the winner for this year. Look at them all. Priceless! They have to wait a few seconds at the top of the stairs before getting to see what Santa brought under the tree.

Why is he so happy you may wonder?

Oh, because he now owns two pair of Packer pants. What have we done?

And then after we've opened our presents at home and played with them all, we head over to my parents house for the best tasting brunch ever. And to open more presents, of course. We missed having aunt Meg with us and wished that mom and dad's skype was hooked up so we could have opened presents with her watching!

My dad's the passer of presents at our house. Although this year my mom took over!

We've been married almost ten years and have never owned a toaster. Laura and Jarod thought it was about time we did!! Thanks you guys! Can't wait to have toast!

And we got to watch Andrew celebrate his first Christmas. There is nothing like your first child on their first Christmas!

This is now Bev. George stared calling her Evelyn Bevelyn and now its just Bev. I laugh every time I hear him say.....No, Bev or hey Bev, do you want to play trains?

We got to use our new dining room for Christmas Day dinner!

We toasted to many things. Good health, our children, good jobs, and our family. So, so much to be grateful for. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

fullofgracex7 said...

You certainly have a glorious gift! Your pictures are a storybook in themselves...they're just fantastic. I'm still smiling thinking of the smile on George's face due to new Packer pants! Kind of like the way Millie's morning meltdown changed when she had a pile of new pacifiers in front of her! You did an amazing job of capturing your celebrations. Merry Christmas!