Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas Part 1

Ever since we got married, Jeremy and I have taken turns spending time with our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If we spend Thanksgiving with one family, then we do Christmas with the other. The next year we flip flop it. Now that we have two children, we prefer to be in our home on Christmas morning, but it is still easy enough to be in Bowling Green later on Christmas day. This year it was our turn to be with the Reiss side of the family on Christmas day. Nancy was working at the hospital for most of Christmas, but we were still all able to be together on Christmas Eve night and Christmas evening.

One of my favorite traditions is going to our church's Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The music and message are always special. This year the whole Reiss extended family was asked to light the Christ Candle, read scripture, and pray. I held Caleb, Jeremy held Emily, and Jennifer tried to hold Elizabeth, but she didn't want to be held. Rather than hear Elizabeth whine and cry, she let her stand beside her. However, Elizabeth didn't stay there for long. Next thing we knew, EB was on stage and walking all around the altar. It was pretty funny. Jennifer handled it all well with the grace and humor the situation called for. Don said the prayer and Nancy lit the candle. We ended the service with lighting of candles and singing Silent Night as the whole church body stood in a circle around the perimeter. It was special to hold my baby boy and hear Emily's sweet voice as she chimed in on the words that she knew of that song.

On Christmas Eve, we had a chili supper at Don and Nancy's. We let the kids change into PJs and took a few photos. Jennifer purchased matching PJs for all of them and they were adorable! We tried to get home at a decent hour because Jeremy and I had lots to finish with our preparations for Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve night, I read a few applicable verses from the Bible and then Jeremy and I read Twas the Night Before Christmas to Emily. We took turns reading pages to her and then we tucked her in with promises of presents and fun the next day.

Emily and Elizabeth wore these little red dresses to Christmas Eve service

Christmas Eve at Don and Nancy's. The kids were tired and getting cranky, but they were happy with their books. 
On Christmas morning, the first thing Emily wanted to check was if Santa had eaten the cookies we had set out for him. She was thrilled that he had. We assured her that we left him a note to come in through the door instead of through the chimney! Emily kept saying all season that she didn't want Santa to go down the chimney. "He might get burned!" 

Emily and Caleb's gifts from Santa and Mom and Dad.

I love this photo of my sweet girl. She had asked for a ballerina doll for weeks. I was so happy when I found this beautiful Corolle doll. We also got her a ballerina costume. Hopefully, we will start ballet lessons during the new year. She is really into that right now.

Christmas morning with my sweeties.
Jeremy and I hosted Christmas brunch at our house. Don, Jennifer and Elizabeth came over around 11 am. (Nancy worked at the hospital.) We had breakfast casserole, hashbrown casserole, cinnamon rolls, and fruit salad. I set the table with my good china and Pottery Barn reindeer plates. It was a pretty table and good food, if I do say so myself! They stayed for a few hours and then went home for rest time (EB's nap.) Our kids were able to play with toys (Emily) and then take naps. It was nice to have a few hours at home.

After naptime, we headed across town to Don and Nancy's house for Christmas dinner. We enjoyed another good meal and then we started opening gifts. It must have been 8pm or later before we even started opening gifts and I told Jeremy there was no way we would finish it all in one night unless we stayed until midnight. I was right. We left after 10 pm and we weren't finished. I think Emily got to bed at 11 pm that night. It was a great day, filled with food, family, and fun. Our family received many thoughtful gifts. We are always thankful for the gift giving and receiving, but we are most thankful to just be together, happy and healthy, with the ones we love.

Cuddle time with Dinkney

Matching fedoras for the little tots!

This was one of Emily's favorite gifts--Fisher Price's Little People Princess Castle.

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