Disclaimer: I am so sorry that I'm late posting this. It was supposed to get posted at midnight last night, but I didn't get it finished before that. So I am finishing it this morning and then posting it!!
Today we're taking it back a notch, lol! The past two posts have been so fun and I am delighted to have been graced by the presence of these wonderful women, but today it's all about home. This will be a step=by=step revealing of how we celebrate Christmas in my family!
Ah, Thanksgiving. A time spent with your loved ones amongst a feast fit for a king. What could be better? ; ) Anyway, I love Thanksgiving, I really do, but (as you all now know) what I really look forward to is the Christmas season. So the day after our Thanksgiving festivities is the day that Mom starts instilling her "Christmas Rules". Of which inclueds:
So, we clean that weekend, that way we can do everything we want to do! Usually our cleaning is finished that weekend, so Alicia and I get out our fake trees in our room, our villages, and nativity sets. Yes, you heard me right, trees in our rooms! It's a pain in the butt to set up BUT oh so rewarding. I just love the look of it : )
This is the week that we get our Christmas tree! We always get our tree from my cousin, who sells them at Grandma's house. We always pick it out on Friday night or Saturday morning, uncle brings it to our house (because he has a truck!) and helps us move it in, then we decorate on Sunday. This year was no different. We looked at a couple trees that were a good height, but pretty gappy
or too skinny,
always something wrong with it, right?
I won't go into too much detail on the tree because there will be a tree post coming up!!
This is usually the weekend that we get our mom's village set up and the little Christmas tree with lights. Oh, how could I forget about the Nativity Set? This is basically a time to get all of our holiday "stuff" out to decorate. I don't have pictures uploaded yet, but they're coming!!
By this time this year, I will be done school with only my two finals left. That is so great to say!! This weekend is when we hopefully get started on wrapping presents. Mom is ahead of everything this year and got a little bit of wrapping done last night, go her!! This is also when a lot of our "relaxing" comes into play. We spend a lot of time watching movies and TV - especially Lifetime and the 25 Days of Christmas.
We also play a lot of games!! Some of our favorites are:
Nothing too specific usually. This is usually when we make our sugar cookies and gingerbread boys (and girls of course!). This year will be interesting since Christmas is on a Saturday. Mom and Alicia have school until that Wednesday, December 22 (all day that day then they're done). I'm not sure when I will be working until, but possibly even on Christmas Eve. We will spend family time as much as we can and enjoy the season as it comes to its' end.
This brings us up to Christmas Eve, folks. An exciting day, but also a little sad. Soon this holiday will be over for another whole year, but don't dwell on that. Enjoy it while you still can!! One of the things we do in the morning is move all our gifts to the three of us out and put them under the tree. It's neat to get to see our hard work, time, and money essentially under the tree!! We then will bring down the presents to grandma's house for the next day. This includes presents for about 10 people from the three of us. You have to understand we really do go all out, we've got a couple HUGE boxes usually! Lol....we like to give gifts in my family : ) This year, as I said before, might be a little different because Alicia and/or I might have to work, but we'll deal with it.
That night is our Christmas Eve service at 7pm. We go to a small Methodist church in downtown, so nothing extravagant, but our church does look beautiful. In more recent years we got our newest pastors: Pastor Sandy and Lory, a husband and wife team. Pastor Lory really likes the children getting involved, so we have started doing a Christmas pageant during the Christmas Eve service instead of hearing it read to us. We shut out all the lights except for a "spot light" which goes in the front. Interspersed throughout the story are songs. So when the wise men were walking to get to the baby Jesus, example, they walk around the whole church while we sing We Three Kings. It's very cool! However, it just wouldn't be complete without the star being lit high in the rafters of the church ceiling, beautiful!!
After the service, we always have our drive. We drive all over town, looking for Christmas lights, and listening to Christmas music. This is a tradition I definitely want to continue with my kids because I remember loving it as a kid. Now, it's a peaceful, reflective time for the three of us. We don't talk too much usually, we just soak in the true meaning of Christmas.
When we get home, it's the same thing every year. There are two presents that mysteriously showed up under the tree. They're always unmarked but "must be from Santa". It's always pajamas! They used to be matching, every year, until middle school or high school lol! But it's a fun tradition : )
Alicia and I leave out the cookies and milk, sneak a cookie for ourselves too : ) Then we have to go upstairs. We usually can find A Christmas Story - you know...you're gonna shoot your eye out!! LOL! This is the one night of the year we actually go to bed pretty easily for Mom! Lol....but it's with giddy anticipation still of what's to come the next day.
WOOHOO!!! It's here!! That fateful day that we've been leading up to for almost a whole month is finally here!!
Every year Mom says we're not getting up early and every year Alicia and I prove her wrong. Two years ago we were up between 5-6am to do the tree, lol! However the catch (I guess God was telling us to go back to bed!) was that right after we opened our first present, the power went out. We rigged up candles and flashlights both to be able continue : )
The rule is (another one of those infamous "mom" rules!) that we can't go downstairs without mom, we can't see the tree (go in the living room). We have to wait for mom to drink some coffee, Maddie to go out and come back in, and eat some Munchkins...
NO not those munchkins!!!
We then are allowed to see the tree. No touching though! Mom has to take pictures in front of the tree with stockings and Maddie. Lol! THEN we can open stockings, including Mom. It's hard to get her to sit down and open it! Then finally we can start on the tree!! Hallelujah ; )
Later in the day (9-10am), we go down to Grandma's. At Grandma's we have to wait for everyone to get there, but then we do the tree first there. Alicia and I are designated "elves" for the time being, in charge of passing out gifts. Afterwards, we pick up the dining room (also where the tree is) to set up for dinner.
Okay, I'm going to cut it short there because this is already SO long!! I guess I should've broken it down into two posts, sorry about that....
The Myster Song of Day is here!! In the spirit of remember that reflective attitude in the car, this song was chosen. Okay, I have no clue for you today because there are no words to describe. I really hope you enjoy this version, I know it always gives me chills!
Please, if you want to let me know of some traditions, games you play, things like that do so!! I LOVE hearing all about it!! And stay tuned for tomorrow. And hold onto your seat because tomorrow Ruth Logan Herne rushes in!! Come stop by for a bit : )
Hope your holiday season is taking shape!!