Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Wonderfully Simple

(I know I'm biased, but is this not the sweetest thing? He genuinely loves his little sister. What I couldn't get to stay on this blog entry is him singing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" to her while they laid on the couch together right after this. Best Christmas present ever!)

This Christmas was wonderfully simple. Josh has been insanely busy with work and putting in 15 hour days 7 days a week. Christmas came and we got 2 whole days with him. It was wonderful. We played in our pajamas all morning, ate too many sweets, went shopping, napped, and more. Again, it was wonderful. Christmas morning my parents came over in their pajamas and we opened presents while eating Josh's homemade donuts. We played with new toys, watched Christmas movies, napped here and there, ate dinner with more family, and ended the day watching my 2 year old run in the falling snow in his pajamas with carhartt overalls over top and a santa hat on. A wonderfully simple holiday.

Riley asleep before the festivities even began Christmas morning.

Dean pointing out which donut he wants to eat first

Riley has a smile that could make anyone join in. Who couldn't smile at those cheeks!

Wearing her Christmas outfit from Uncle Bill and Aunt Ruth

Dean in the snow Christmas night.

We awoke the next day to over 6 inches of fluffy, white snow. In Erie, PA this would have been normal. In Raleigh, NC this is a treat! It continued to snow most of the day. Josh had to return to work, but Dean and I were able to run around the backyard throwing snowballs for the dogs to catch and making snow angels. We never got out of our pjs that day. A wonderfully simple day.
Our house
Dean cleaning off the cars

I had to teach Dean about "yellow snow"

Hard to walk in rubber boots and carhartts that are 2 sizes too big
Reflections on Christmas 2010
This year my family decided not to exchange gifts, but instead take a weekend trip together in mid-January. At the same time, Josh and I decided not to exchange gifts either. I was very happy to not be searching for gifts for everyone, especially with 2 small children in tow, but I also found that it left me a little "off" this season. I didn't realize how much gift-giving really got me into the spirit of the season. I think I was a little caught off guard by it. Without that search, that anticipation of exchange, I found that Christmas kind of snuck up on me. I put up the decorations, turned on the music, and even made Christmas cookies, but I never really got into it. Those that know me, know that I LOVE Christmas. I've even been dubbed the Christmas Nazi by some family members. Traditions, rituals, routines...these are essential to me in this season. I thought changing the gift-giving would help free me up to enjoy these things more, not realizing that the giving is itself one of the biggest routines. It helped me to really think about family and their individual likes, dislikes, and little quirks. This is a good thing. I'm not saying that gift-giving has to be a $20 present swap or that there should ever be pressure to do so because it's the "ritual" of the holiday. I just think that however we celebrate, the thing to remember is the individuals in our lives - their likes, dislikes, and little quirks - and how blessed we are to have a God that loves us enough to place each of them in our worlds. I love my family and I love my friends. I'm thinking of you all (and thankful that I'm not giving you gifts) and sending my love to you where ever you are.


  1. I agree. We've sharply curtailed out gift-giving in the past few years and rely on gift cards for several of the gifts we still give. But the excitement of shopping and exchanging is lost by our more practical practices. You may not know that your granddaddy liked to leave a little shopping for Christmas Eve so he could enjoy the excitement of the crowds of procrastinators.

  2. I didn't know that! I love it!