This Christmas season was absolutely one of the best I can remember. It didn't feel rushed or jam-packed with activities. It didn't feel hurried or frantic. It was relaxed, focused, and intentional. Part of this might have had to do with the fact that we were house-bound for about 4 days at the start of advent (thank you, ice storm)...funny that I was quite miffed about the whole thing but ended up getting to use the down time to read and let my "heart prepare Him room."
Sarah made our home very festive and Christmas cozy. It was definitely not anything over the top, but I loved it. I savored having the lights turned on the Christmas tree every night and am sad to see them go.
Sadly, the ice kept us from attending the Nutcracker ballet which was a huge disappointment. We did end up getting to enjoy some holiday fun at Northpark and got to see some pretty amazing lights in Highland Park. The houses alone are so fun to look at!
There were certainly a few Christmas shin-digs to attend. We hosted a little party at our casa and there was, of course, the annual Jingle Mingle at the Baker casita. Here are some pics of the festivities. (I'm especially fond of the pyramid montage at the end.)
Christmas Eve was such a blessed day. I was able to do all my cooking and preparing in the morning, so that I could serve at the 4pm Christmas Eve service. I had my family over for a relaxed dinner, cleaned up, wrapped presents, and then ended my night at the 11pm Christmas Eve service with a friend and her family. It was lovely and full of Christ's presence.
Christmas day was a little crazy, but I think we can chalk that up to having the girls hopped up on sugar, Santa, and overflowing presents. I was so excited to give my gifts this year and had the best time watching my family open the things I selected and/or made for them. We had our traditional brunch (monkey bread, quiche, fruit salad, and mimosas). After all the food and presents, we chilled out and watched a movie (and took naps). Then, it was back to action to prepare dinner. I made my signature herb-roasted turkey and we had some sides and beer bread to go along with it. Of course, we had to do the Jesus birthday cake to end our evening.
The next day, I packed up and headed to the ATX to continue the Christmas merriment. I got to spend a couple days with my nearest and dearest extended fam and it was such a wonderful conclusion to the joyous celebration of Christmas. We hit of the Grove and the Salt Lick and enjoyed some rousing rounds of Scattergories. It was a perfect trip and I loved every minute. My only complaint is that it flew by. (sidenote: E gave me the most beautiful calendar that she made using tons of my favorite pics. It was an amazing gift and I couldn't love anything more.) I can't believe I get to call these amazing humans "family." I am so blessed.