Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Family!

Where do I even begin?  It was Christmas at our house today, that's for sure.  We did several items from my Cherish Christmas list including: spending time with family, opening presents with family, reading my Christmas devotionals, watching Christmas movies with the family, singing along to Christmas songs, and enjoying a special Christmas dinner (which happens to also be check off #30 from my list!)

Enjoy A Special Christmas Dinner
We had our little family Christmas today because we will be spending time with extended family on Christmas.  We love Christmas and while it's not the same as it was when the boys were little, it's just as special now as then. 

We have several family traditions that we enjoy every year.  It might be something little like the boys finding "golden chocolate coins" in their stockings (which still excites them) to our Special Christmas Dinner.  While we love a Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey or a Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham, our special Christmas meal is quite easy, but something we look forward to every year. 

It may seem funny to you, but we get a Hickory Farms Sausage and Cheese Box as a fun treat at Christmas.  It's something we only enjoy once a year, which makes us look forward to it even more.  It's super easy for me both in prep time and clean up.  It's nice because everyone enjoys it and I also get to relax and spend time with all of them rather than spending the day in the kitchen. 

We have many other fun traditions we observe each year such as reading Christmas stories and our little Christmas Advent Books that tell a little of the Christmas story each day.  We also have two special Christmas Countdown Calenders.  One is a tree I gave the boys when they were little and they hang an ornament on the tree each day from December 1st until Christmas. 

The other one was the last gift we received from my Grandma Gem.  She actually ordered it before she passed away.  It is a handmade wreath with handmade ornaments.  One ornament is hung on the wreath each day leading up to Christmas as well.  It was delivered to our family after Grandma's funeral.  As you can imagine, it means a lot to me.  We also have favorite decorations, songs, movies, and games that we cherish at Christmas. 

And the Turkey and Ham?  I still plan to make these family favorites sometime in the coming week.  Christmas really lasts at least until the end of December around here. 

On a really happy note we also had two new additions at our Christmas celebration this year.  For 11 years we had such fun at Christmas watching our beloved dog Sophie Girl open her presents. 

Sophie Girl was the star of Christmas every year.  She loved opening presents and it always felt like we had a little one at Christmas because of her excitement over opening each gift.  It was the cutest thing and added a very heartwarming excitement to our gift opening time. 

In the fall of 2011, we lost Sophie Girl suddenly to liver failure.  In a matter of hours a very important part of our family was gone.  It was devastating to the entire family.  Last Christmas just wasn't the same.  Sophie Girl's excitement was greatly missed.  We all felt it. 

We weren't sure if we could open our hearts to another pet, but after Christmas, we all agreed it was (in our Engineer's words) "too quiet around here".  So a friend of mine had four month old miniature dachshunds that needed a home.  We welcomed our Twins (a boy and a girl) into our home just a few days after Christmas. 

As you can imagine, our house sprang to life with two baby pups running around.  Our Twins brought, as I noted in this year's Christmas cards, "much needed noise, laughter, and cuteness" to our home. 

Today was our first Christmas with them.  We found out right away that they were not fans of a Santa hat or Christmas bows, but they loved opening presents!  We sat around them by the Christmas tree laughing with happiness while they tore into their packages with tails wagging furiously.  They jumped around, ran around, and carried toys around in their mouths.  It was so much fun to watch their joy. 

Today was the day for our family to celebrate Christmas and I cherished it.

Just Two Days until Christmas!

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