Christmas 2009

I can’t believe Christmas 2009 has come and gone already—it went way too fast! Tomorrow we start another work week, and I’m not quite ready to give up the holiday festivities.

One thing I need to do is blog about our Christmas happenings. That way I at least have a record of the things we did and I can treasure the memories.

I mentioned earlier that we’d decided to give our children (and grandchildren) the gift of money this year, which freed up a lot of time. However, we did not give Shanna money. As most of you know, she returned in October from serving a mission for our church, and she recently moved out into a nearby small rental house.

Her Christmas wish was to have Shalae and me decorate the house. She’s not into decorating nearly as much as we are, so she gave us a budget (she’s been saving money) and turned us loose. We supplemented her budget with Christmas money from last year and this year. To get the biggest bang for our buck, we spent most of our time in antique shops, searching for great deals and a look that we knew she would love.

On Christmas Eve morning, Shanna came to our house. We’d made a deal—you tend the kids, we’ll surprise you on Christmas morning. So she played with the kids, and Sterling, Shalae, Jon, and I headed over to her house. We had a great time—Jon hung, wired, and rewired; Sterling picked up and delivered and unloaded and hauled; Shalae and I dusted, cleaned, and decorated. We had a ball!

About 5:30 that night we took a break and headed over to Sean and Sara’s house for our traditional Christmas Eve festivities. (Megan and Sage were both with their other families; we know we have to share, but we definitely missed them!)

We enjoyed a delicious array of finger foods (the kids love it because utensils are not allowed!), a Christmas movie (this year it was Christmas Angel), hymns, the Christmas story (this year we read a book while the younger kids acted out the story with felt figures from a preschool nativity set), and the opening of one gift each (usually the gift is pajamas).

At about 10, the Douglass kids went to bed, and we took the Brown kids back to our house and put them to bed, then Jon, Shalae, and I headed back to Shanna’s—we weren’t done yet! We ended up not leaving her house until 5 on Christmas morning (we’d made her sleep over at our house)! We got home and had enough time to grab a way-too-short-nap before the kids got up around 7 to see what Santa had brought!

We had put up a mesh gate in the hall so they couldn’t get to the family room, where the gifts were, and they waited as patiently as little children could while we got ready to usher them in.

Finally it was time, and we all enjoyed opening our gifts.

Shanna, in the meantime, was also waiting as patiently as a big girl could—enjoying watching everyone but pretty anxious to enjoy a tour of her newly decorated home! We finally took pity on her, made toast to go, and headed over for the grand tour (where we met Sean and Sara and their kids), still in our jammies. 

She was pleased, which made all our hard work worth every minute!

Later that day we gathered again for traditional Christmas ham dinner, with the works! We ate until we could eat no more, and then managed to stuff a little more in! 

The rest of the day was peaceful and relaxing, with lots of thoughts of gratitude, love, and joy. I hope your day, however you spent it, and whomever you spent it with, was full of the same!