Well, now that we are half-way through January, I think it’s time for some Christmas recapping.
Our second Christmas together consisted of lots of new something’s. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Sean’s parents and enjoyed all sorts of new (for me) festivities and a good time with family.
Sean and his family are strict keepers of tradition (you should hear their version of the birthday song). Christmas, of course, was full of new traditions for me to be initiated into.
On Christmas Eve, we got together with Sean’s extended family for lots of yummy appetizers and a grab bag gift exchange.
This picture is one of their family traditions. They took their first Christmas picture with all the cousins when they were younger and since then have tried to recreate the picture every year – complete with awkward cocked heads, middle school facial expressions, undone zippers, etc. Although marriage and growth spurts have threatened the integrity of the photo – the tradition continues!
After church, the evening ended in the traditional hanging of the stockings (one of which my name was added to) and sipping a shot of Crown Royal (which I attempted, but quickly passed to my husband).
Christmas morning we spent opening gifts (structured according to tradition, of course). Sean and I were overwhelmed by our family’s generosity to us and received so many beautiful and thoughtful things.
My generous husband surprised me with a new camera! Always up for a practical joke, Sean put a stack of three presents under the tree for me and instructed me to open them from top to bottom throughout the morning. Upon opening them, I found an old trophy, an antique book, and two bags of my favorite candy. He then let me sit for a while thinking that my extreme fondness for sweets and objects we already owned were the inspiration for his Christmas gift (I mean hey, at least it wasn’t a household appliance!) After letting me sweat it out for a couple of minutes, he brought down another package he had hidden upstairs. I, of course, cried when I opened it – we have been saving towards a camera for a while and I had no idea that it would be waiting under the tree for me (so to speak)! I couldn’t wait to get started using my new toy (and of course read the manual for the remainder of our Christmas break). You’ll have to be patient with my new camera skills – but I’m hoping to capture our memories in a less blurry fashion from now on.
Over the next couple of days we ate lots of good food, spent more time with family, Sean and Evan played a considerable amount of video games in which zombie-killing was the primary objective, and got to see some close family friends (who also like to kill zombies).
It was a great time with family and friends and we are blessed to live close enough to share the holidays with both sides of the family. I loved learning all of our family traditions and it really made me look forward to the traditions we will form with our own family someday.
At church on Christmas Eve, I was struck by the powerful reminder I received through a sermon on the meanings of the names of the baby whose birth we were celebrating: Jesus, Emmanuel: the god who saves us is also, god with us. What a glorious promise to carry us into the new year full of hope.