Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Present, Already Past

Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a beautiful day surrounded by loved ones and spent making treasured memories. We certainly did.
Christmas Card 2011
Christmas really did sneak up on me this year. Maybe that's why I didn't really document it so well this time. Or maybe I'm just not on good terms with my camera at the moment. Or something. Whatever the reason, I took a very measly amount of photographs this year. Thank goodness for Joel and his phone, because I think he documented Christmas morning fairly well. Maybe I'll steal some of his photo/video later, but for is a bit of what I documented in the week or so before Christmas.

We had our visit with Santa at the local children's museum.

Chloe and SantaBria, Santa and Daddy
I know that last year I had been pretty sure Bria wouldn't still believe by this year, but I think she is holding on for all she's worth. And she hasn't asked. So, we had another year in which she (perhaps) believed. And even so, she still won't sit on Santa's lap by herself. She's never done it once in her life...always has to have a sister or a parent with her. Love that.
Gingerbread life saving station
Also at the museum was a gingerbread display of our area. This is added to each year, and this year Sophia and her Daisy troop made some of the pieces. The one she is standing in front of is the Eagle Harbor life saving station, and she and her friend Elizabeth did it together. She was very proud to see her name on it. (Also, notice her haircut. Her cute.)

Our main traditions for the year begin on Christmas Adam (do your kids use this term? I always used to call it Christmas Eve Eve, myself). Just before bedtime, we watch George C. Scott's A Christmas Carol, which is our favorite rendition (not that the girls know any different). Unfortunately, this year we had gotten rid of the DVD portion on our Netflix account, and it isn't on instant streaming. So, I got to open a special gift from Chloe on December 23rd, and now we will always have the DVD available to watch when the time comes. Also, in July if I feel like it.
Christmas ADam
The girls wore their silly Christmas socks and some silly pajamas to watch. I love how they understand more and more of the story each year. It's such a wonderful way to really understand the spirit of Christmas and the reasons we celebrate.

Christmas Eve was spent playing together and getting ready for the big day. Doing some cleaning and cooking, etc. Then we headed over to our good friends' home for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, nativity play (I was a sheep) and plain old fun. After eating ourselves into near oblivion and having a fantastic time in all other ways, it was time to head home and begin our own Christmas Eve Traditions.
Christmas Jammies!
First, the girls open their Christmas Pajamas. Sometimes Joel and I get some, too, but this year wasn't the year for that--we don't grow quite as quickly as the girls do! After jammies are donned, we drag some mattresses into the playroom, make up our Christmas Eve beds and cuddle up together to listen to Amahl and the Night Visitors, a short opera that is about the birth of Christ. I do think this is one of my favorite traditions, and I LOVE listening to the girls sing the melodies on Christmas morning. And I love that they look forward to it, as well.

Christmas morning came early this year, since we had church. Speaking of traditions, Bria was devastated that we might have to wait until after church to open our gifts. Not because she didn't want to wait, but because they wouldn't be in their PJs. Apparently you absolutely cannot open gifts once you are dressed. So, knowing how important "traditions" are (even when they aren't necessarily intended to be a tradition!), we obliged and got up much earlier than we might have.

And I didn't take a single picture of Christmas morning, but I will say that the girls had a lovely time, and so did Joel and I. I think Joel has a fun video on his phone that I may post later. I make no promises.

We then went to church, where we had a lovely service. The steroids I'd been taking allowed my laryngitis-riddled voice to work well enough to sing O Holy Night, and Joel gave a lovely talk about the importance of Christ's birth.

Then we came home and the turkey went into the oven, for we were hosting Christmas dinner. We have a great group of friends with whom we have shared Christmas dinner every year since moving here (this is the third year so it's official tradition now, right?).
Christmas TableSetting
I had lots of fun setting the table and Joel had fun cooking, and I only had to help him a little bit. We miss being with our families on Christmas/Christmas Eve, but it is so wonderful to have so many friends with whom we can share, too. It's our family away from family.

And that, in a nutshell, was our Christmas. Gone as quickly as it came. But wonderful just the same.

Merry Christmas!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. We made the girls wait until after church to open presents. They were up at 5am and i sent them back to bed. We had church at 10am and the girls insisted on getting back in their pj's when we get home. Which is what we do anyway! We opened up presents around 11am and drug it out as long as we could!

    And P.S- I'm sorry I didn't get a christmas card to you- you are on my permanent list and I don't know how I missed you. I'm so sorry!

    And P.S.S- The bit about the friends being family hurt my heart. I know exactly what you have and I miss it!

  2. It was fun to share Christmas Day with you - your home is so warm and welcoming! The table was gorgeous, and all of the food was so yummy! Thanks!

  3. Wendy and Bria are at the exact same stage. Wendy was sharing a bit of her thoughts last night - sharing that she feels like none of her friends believe in Santa, but also sharing that that makes no sense to her. Who ELSE would put all those presents there? She refuses to talk about Santa in front of her friends anymore, but not ready to be done believing. But she won't sit on Santa's lap just in case "because mom, what if it's just a helper Santa which would mean I'm sitting on some strange guys lap giving him all my personal information" Indeed.

    btw - I have a card here with your name on it, but I don't have your address. If you don't mind a Christmas New Year card - lol - send it along. :)

  4. Beautiful table. I'm not worthy! :D

    I love seeing your kids and how you celebrate.

    Happy new year!

  5. We had to get up early also - It is just not the same if it is not in the morning in the jammies!

    Love your table it is beautiful and so nice that you have a wonderful group of friends there to share dinner with.

  6. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all. I'm glad you've made such good friends in your new area- it's hard to be away from family during the holidays but close friends are an excellent substitute. I can't believe it's already been 3 years though!

  7. I would've loved to hear you sing O Holy Night!

    And the craziest part of all of that is that this is your 3rd Christmas there. How did that happen!?

  8. I'm with the others: LOVELY table setting and how on Earth is this your third Christmas there!?!

    Wonderful traditions!

  9. I'm glad to hear that Bria hasn't asked about Santa yet, because neither has Ian. This is the third year we have gone to visit Santa (the very same one that I visited as a child) and he has given Ian a special message saying that soon Christmas won't be about Santa anymore, and that it will be about the true meaning of Christmas. I think once again it went over Ian's head. But that's okay. I thought of you, Lara, at our ward Christmas party this year, when someone sang O Holy Night, and wished it was you I was listening to instead. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to that particular song, because a lot of people attempt that song when it's really not suited for their voice (that's the nice way of putting it!) Anyway, Merry Christmas!

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Your table is awesome! Have a wonderful New Year!