Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

First of all I have to say that I am grateful for this time of year. Those who are willing to serve others in celebrating this joyous season and bring those who are a little bit stubborn (me) to humble themselves and enjoy the love of mankind. This Holiday season was yet another year when our family was running on a single income. It was hard not to worry about getting the kids the things they wanted. This time of year gets hard for many parents because we want to get our kids everything on their wish list. Plus seeing their excited faces as they tear open the paper hoping it's what they had been hoping for is pretty much fun for everyone. But I shouldn't be surprised that each year they don't get EVERYTHING on the list and I always feel grateful that under the circumstances we couldn't afford this or that. I feel blessed that my kids always are happy with what they get. I just have to remember as a parent I don't have to get it all.
What I am learning (and it really takes every Christmas to remind me), that getting the kids involved and doing things together as a family is what I hear them talking about to their friends. It's in my children's actions and childlike wonder that brings the true celebration of Christ's birth.
So hopefully next year I can remember this fact and all I need to do is feel the true spirit of Christmas and I am sure we will be guided to make each and every Christmas a memorable one.

First on the list of things to do together were ginger bread houses.

Then visit Santa. We also had Grandma and Grandpa come with us this year.

Daesha wanted to make some earrings from these plastic beads that you melt together with an iron. I thought that she did a really great job. She is planning on wrapping them up and giving them to her friends.
I loved doing these hole punch pictures when I was little. So I got online and printed off a few Christmas coloring pages, taped them to some card stock paper and used a easy grab thumb tack to punch the holes.

Here Deasha is working on the manger scene. Then below they are displayed on our french door. Daesha did the elf with the present and the angel and of course the manger scene. I did the reindeer and Santa. Keegan did a fantastic job on the Christmas tree.
Of course we always participate in a random photo op

Most don't know that this picture above taken at 1 in the afternoon completely describes my kids. Daesha still in her pajamas and enjoying the comforts of home. Keegan in his best dress and eager to go do something with his friends.

Then came one of our favorite family get togethers. The Christiansen Christmas Eve party. Our family new tradition is Navajo tacos and lots of other great things to eat. This year my nephew Josh made the best chicken and white bean chili. I can't wait to try out the recipe myself. It was so good! And for dessert we have a chocolate fountain and everyone brings something to share to eat with the chocolate like strawberries, oranges, bananas, apples, cherries, pineapple, marshmallows, cheese, graham crackers, rice crispies, and cookie dough.
We always do a game were we have to unwrap several boxes to get to the prized small box inside. This year my nieces friend won a coveted quilt my sister-in-law made.

We also play the candy bar game and do a white elephant gift exchange. The kids love playing in all the paper and confetti after the unwrapping is done.

For Daesha's white elephant she got these sweet grills that wouldn't fit in her petite mouth. Daesha was missing in action during this game. Once she came back down I knew exactly were she had been... notice the chocolate all down her shirt? Yup she was doing exactly what she wasn't allowed to do with out an adult helping her. Chocolate fountains and kids do not work well together. Ever.
Keegan got some monster like teeth. But this picture just looks like he has old man yellow teeth and a super huge tongue.

Daesha's cousin Josh tried wrapping her back up in a box.

She almost fit!

After all the games it's time for the real gift exchange. Grandma and Grandpas gift to the kids and grand kids!!! Here are the kids waiting for the mark. get set. GO!

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