Wednesday, December 26

A special kind of Christmas

This year Christmas has been tough but it's also been special. Brandon has been away since the beginning of November and hasn't spent the holidays with us. I have missed him terribly and the kids tell me everyday they miss their daddy. Some days are harder than others and I appreciate all that he does for our family.

All the while, my mom has been staying with us while she gets her feet on the ground. We have had really good last few months, while we packed up her house and moved her put here and now this time just her, the kids and I. Of course, it's not all a party, but we have adjusted and worked together to make things work smoothly.

The best part has been making memories over these holidays and even figuring out how to incorporate new traditions! I just want to document all the fun things we have done together to celebrate and grow closer over the last few months, especially for Christmas.

We used the Jesus Storybook Bible (quickly becoming my favorite) as our advent this year. Along with reading through that, I planned out activities for us to do each day to enjoy the season and build memories. The plan didn't go as planned because life happens. We had a lot of sickness and we have been busier than I anticipated. Some of the things we were able to do:

- Read Christmas books and eat popcorn by the tree.
- Eat Christmas ice cream.
- Making Christmas cards for deployed soldiers.
- Candlelight bubble bath (Christmas lights for lighting)
- Made snow globes.
- Baking goodies. (Mmmm, Chex mix!)
- Decorate cookies.
- Christmas tree dance party.
- Ugly sweater Christmas party.
- Make ornaments.
- Christmas video for daddy.
- Birthday party for Jesus.

Christmas Eve day was a special one too! We did some last minute shopping and then settled in for the evening to spend some quality time together...

- We walked through the nativity scene with the fisher price nativity set. The kids and I talked about that sweet night our Savior was born and touched on the why too. Such a sweet time with them.
- We sang carols around the Christmas tree, worshiping together and celebrating God's precious gift to us.
- My mom is carrying on a tradition from her grandparents childhood called Tutes. You have to preform and earn your Tute. Traditionally they are filled with an apple and an orange, mixed nuts in their shells and a few pieces of chocolate. It was a real treat back in the day! We made ours with out the nuts and added a couple kid friendly treats. The kids were cute thinking of what they could do to earn their Tute! It actually gave me a great idea for next year and possibly a new tradition.... :)
- The kids each opened an ornament gift from us and pjs from Nana before tucking them into bed. Then Nana and I made like Christmas elves and brought all the gifts up from the basement to put under the tree.

Christmas morning we skyped with Brandon and he got to see the kids come down the stairs and then opened gifts with him for awhile before he had to go. We had great day of playing and relaxing together. We had a nacho bar in leu of a traditional dinner. All that the day needed was to have my handsome hubby home to be with us.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas with the ones you love!

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