Sean and I came home from all our Christmas visiting and have spent the last couple of days in complete relaxation mode (aside from the stress caused by reading the Hunger Games series). Our entire Christmas break has been incredibly restful and I’ve been grateful for the chance to spend time with our families and with each other before we head back to work (and I start my new job).
We went to Sean’s parents’ Dec 23 through Christmas Eve. We spent the day baking and readying the house for the next couple of days. That night, our good friends the Farmers came over for a visit and we spent the evening with them as we usually do, laughing and prolonging the visit as late into the night as possible.
On Christmas Eve morning, we woke up and exchanged gifts. Since Audra’s fiance Josh was even able to be there that day, it was great to have our entire family in one place.
One of the most popular gifts of this year were the remote control airplanes that Evan gave Dan and Josh. We completely overlooked the instructions on the package that these were INDOOR TOYS ONLY and took them outside to play. Within 30 seconds, Josh’s airplane had flown straight up and over the roof. After retrieving it with a ladder, we continued to fly both planes around the backyard, despite some difficulty. Apparently, the sensors on the planes get overwhelmed in all the space outside. Although the boys did get better at handling the airplanes, there were a few major crashes on the concrete before we headed inside.
Later that day we headed to Ohio to visit with my family. When we arrived, it was practically time to get ready to go to church. Ali got all the girls dressed up for the evening by sharing some of her fun DVF clothes! Before we left for church, we stopped to take some family photos with the new tripod we had received from Sean’s parents. Unfortunately, Sean and I forgot to take one of just the two of us.
Our family always spends Christmas Eve with our closest family friends – the Aboods and the Craigs. As usual it was a raucous time – with lots of laughter and the majority of the conversation at high volume. Mrs. Craig was thoughtful enough to get each of us an ornament with a personalized message. We ended the night by heading back home and opening our new matching Christmas pajamas.
We woke up crazy early (considering we are all adults) on Christmas morning. We took our time exchanging gifts and had an amazing breakfast. My favorite gifts we gave this year were OSU sweatshirts that I made for my parents’ dogs.
One of our Christmas traditions is searching for ‘the pickle.’ One of our ornaments is shaped like a tiny pickle, and each year my parents hide it on the tree for all of us kids to search for on Christmas morning. The winner gets an extra gift – but it’s mainly for the glory.
And with that lovely photo forever imprinted in your minds, I will conclude my Christmas recap for the year.
Our families were more than generous, as always, and the time that we got to relax with them was such a blessing to us. Christmastime has gotten sweeter for me as we’ve gotten older and I’ve been able to appreciate time with family more. More than anything this Christmas, my family was striving to keep things simple – to spend more time in worship and less time focused on all the stuff. And so, instead of feeling drained and worn out from all the activity, this Christmas was refreshing and restorative. I pray the same for you as you enter the new year. That we can keep things simple – rejoicing in what truly matters.