It has been very surprising, this Christmas day. This Christmas will be the one I was least excited about AND the one I will say is the best I can remember.
I guess the only reason why I wasn't excited about this one was because I had no surprises to open on Christmas morning. Shallow, I know. But I love surprises!
And I guess this is the best I can remember because it wasn't all about what I was getting. It was centered around the birth of Jesus, the love of family and giving. Plus, it was a completely WHITE Christmas!
Joi, our administrator for the Blue Ridge Homeschool Choir, gifted me this nice sugar cookie mix, complete with oven mitt and mini-whisk. So Natalie and I made the Christmas cookies earlier this week. I really, REALLY, don't like help in the kitchen, but I hoped this would make for special memories for Natalie. And she learns as she helps. So we mixed the dough together, rolled it out together, cut the stars out together, (I put them in and out of the oven), then we decorated them together and finally sampled them together.
My reward was the sweet look of delight on her face in this picture!
On Christmas Eve, we set up TV trays and watched "The Nativity Story" while we ate our tacos. Love how they made that movie. The most realistic 'religious' movie I've seen...
So skip ahead to Christmas morning...
We had heard about families who wait to add baby Jesus to the nativity scene until Christmas morning, so we decided we would do that this year, to emphasize what Christmas celebrates. (Natalie needed the emphasis. Everywhere we go it's "Santa this, Santa that") She loved having the privilege of adding baby Jesus to the scene.
I also found this little Advent project online. I wanted a way to have a little reminder about the Christmas story for Natalie and a way for her to count the days until Christmas. These little figures you just print off, color, and cut out. There's a list of when to add what and a picture to show you where to arrange them. She really enjoyed it I think. So she got to add baby Jesus there too.
Here it is. The snow is beginning to stick around 8:00am.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions: Cinnamon rolls for breakfast! From scratch too : )
8:20 and they're almost ready...
Time to eat breakfast!
Natalie is scraping her bowl : )
Now it's time for presents.
Nathan reads whose it is and Natalie passes it out. They were a very good team.
A BIG one for Nathan!
The one with the most goes first! (We have always taken turns opening presents. Makes it last longer and you can fully appreciate what each person gets.) Natalie got a big MagnaDoodle.
And a magnetic marker board.
And a cradle! Hand made by Daddy. The cushion and blanket were made by me : )
Among other things, Nathan got some new, bio-degradable guitar picks...
And he gave me some fuzzy socks : )
And the snow continues to fall.
Natalie jumps right in.
She is just delighted. I hope she remembers how special this Christmas was!
It's really coming down.
Four inches and counting!
The lion lays down with the lamb...and the bigger one isn't the lion ; )
Once the presents were all unwrapped, it was time to get on with the Christmas dinner preparations.
We had: Turkey (of course), green beans, squash casserole (delish!), gravy, rosemary mashed potatoes and cranberry salad. (I made the last two things)
Settling in for a fantastic meal! (It's so cute, Natalie is always asking for more gravy!)
After dinner, we decided a walk in the snow was just the thing.
Some gorgeous shots in and around our neighborhood.
Soon, our walk turned into a frolic and we ended up staying out an hour, sledding, building a snowman and throwing snowballs, Natalie right in the middle of it all.
After that, we went inside, got dried off and warmed up by drinking hot chocolate and eating Pumpkin Pound Cake.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and enjoying our presents.
The snow continues to pile up. Last I checked it was 6.5 inches. It's probably around 7 by now! Our power is still on and we are warm by the fire.