I will take you on a quick tour through my Christmas Eve and Christmas day celebrations.
On Christmas Eve, my sister and I started the day off by seeing Four Christmases. It was fun to go see a movie, just the 2 of us and it definitely got day going. I went to Watermark's Christmas Eve service with Cryssie and sat with her family and got to see Meagan's family as well. It was unlike any other service I have ever been to. It was life-changing, and truly impacted me on a level that is indescribable. I have begun to recognize that I understand so little of Christ and His love for His children. If only we could grasp a fraction of this, we would be able to lead lives overflowing with joy and peace no matter what our circumstances...I digress. Suffice it to say, I know I was supposed to be there. I ended the night with a fajita dinner at my Nick & Michelle's. It was so nice to be with family and Pearl of course. Michelle and I watched The Holiday and Meet Me in St. Louis (one of our favorite old movies). I stayed the night at their house and got to wake up on Christmas morning with them. Here is a pic from Christmas Eve.
me, haylee and the sis on christmas eve
As soon as we were up and going, we headed to our parent's house. We watched Haylee open presents, and had a couple to open as well. Christmas was downsized this year, and I couldn't be happier with the result. I was able to focus on other things this year, and avoid the craziness that goes with Christmas shopping. It was also nice to get through Christmas morning relatively fast when compared to previous years. Haylee loved all of her gifts, and I was especially excited to open my pink tennis raquet. Watch out everyone! I'm hitting the courts. We finished the morning with our traditional brunch: quiche, monkey bread and mimosas. After that, it was off to Grandma's!
haylee digging for stocking treats
ready to show off our sweet tennis moves
We were able to spend Christmas afternoon with my Grandma, and I was so grateful to see her as well as some of my cousins on my Dad's side. My Grandma is truly remarkable and such an example of Christ's love. She has never had much, but I don't think she has ever issued one complaint regarding wanting more...be it a nicer home, finer clothes, etc. She has always clipped coupons and shopped at thrift stores. She raised 7 children, countless grandchildren, dozens of great grandchildren, and her home is still the central hub for holidays. In her prime, she was undeniably the best cook I know. But more than that, she is a picture of faithfulness, never wanting to miss a Sunday mass and always saying her rosary for whoever she knows is in need. Again...I digress. We had a nice time at her house, but had to leave in order to get back to our turkey in the oven. Here is a pic with one of my cousins.
stephanie, michelle & i at my grandma's house
We headed back home on Christmas night to feast once again...as if we hadn't already consumed enough for the next 2 weeks. The menu included roast turkey, corn pudding, dressing, sweet potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, crescent rolls and my amaretto cake. It was all so yummy, and I feel so undeserving to be blessed with so much. It is beyond my comprehension. We finished the night playing Catch Phrase.
the girls on christmas night
I must say that this Christmas season was one of the most special times I can remember. It was Christ-infused, instead of gift-infused. This Christmas was so full of hope, love and undescribable magic...like anything could happen. This Christmas was a time of new beginnings - a time to forget the past and focus on the present. There is nothing more important than being surrounded by those you love. Beyond that, nothing else really matters...the presents, the food, the lights...it's all just icing on the cake.