Christmas began early this year for my family. My aunts, uncles and cousins all came in town on the 22nd and we celebrated on the 23rd. It was a little smaller gathering this year than in years past due to scheduling conflicts, but it was still so much fun to spend time with family! My cousin has been wanting me to make my hot chocolate for her ever since I posted about it, so I promised her that when she came in town for Christmas I would make it then. We got in the car and braved the grocery store to pickup the ingredients and had fun making hot chocolate. Afterwards we all gathered around and opened presents. All too soon the time came for family to head home, but thankfully Christmas weekend was still just beginning!
Christmas Eve I went to a candlelight service in the evening. I am an old soul at heart, so I loved being at church in a room filled with candlelight singing carols of old and remembering the true reason for Christmas. Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year, everyone is a little nicer, the winter evenings are lit by twinkling lights, and there is this wonderful feeling of expectation, knowing that something is coming. It is the time that we celebrate when God set his biggest and most beautiful miracle of all time into motion, the coming of His son as a baby to grow up and die for our sins to save us all. The miracle that would be completed thirty three years later on a cross and then in an empty tomb. It truly does not get better than that!
After the candlelight service my dad read one of our favorite Christmas stories to the family. It is in this tiny old book called A Budget of Christmas Tales and is maybe three pages long, but it leaves us in stitches of laughter every time. It is called Billy’s Santa Claus Experience and tells the tale of a young boy named Billy who tries to be Santa Claus to his little brother Tommy, but things quickly get out of hand. My dad first read the book to my sisters and I when we were quite young, and it is one of my favorite stories to read at Christmas.
Before we knew it, Christmas morning was upon us! We all gathered around the tree where my dad read the Christmas story from Luke before we opened presents. This year all I asked for was money to buy books for school. I was sooooo excited when between my Christmas and birthday money I was able to buy a commentary set for the New Testament! I cannot wait until it arrives in the mail early next week! We spent the day with some of my grandparents and in the evening we decorated gingerbread houses together. When it came time for the judging I came in last place, but what can I say, it was my first time and my house kept falling apart while I was decorating it, lol. Lesson learned, NEVER decorate the house until the icing is dry!
How was your Christmas? Do you have any special traditions that you enjoy doing each year?