Our Christmas 2018

This Christmas felt really special for a lot of reasons. I think in years past I'd have such high expectations for holidays, and then would be met with great disappointment when those expectations weren't met. I think the greatest blessing to come from 2018 was lowering my expectation for what our life would look like in a lot of ways, and just speak up for what I know will and will not work for our family. We've found so much joy and peace in the simple decisions we've made, and this Christmas felt like the crowing moment of our entire year really coming together. 






Our holiday started on Christmas Eve where we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow. I placed a Walmart grocery order to be picked up that morning, and so I headed out to pickup the food that we would need to get us through the next few days. When I got home, the kids and I baked gingerbread cookies in the kitchen, and then made a mess as we decorated them together around the coffee table in the living room. Derek and I of course tried to be professional in our designs, while trying to encourage the kids that less royal icing was sometimes more... they weren't buying it though.  


After the cookie mess was cleaned up, I headed out to the mall and Target to pick up a few last minute gifts for people at church, and some friends in our neighborhood. Target also had their Christmas lights on clearance, so we bought some outdoor lights and decorated our porch just hours before Santa's big arrival. 


Last year we didn't do anything special for Christmas Eve dinner, and then the kids started throwing up, and it proved to be a fairly disappointing night. During the chaos from last year, I promised myself that I would put more effort into Christmas Eve this year, and so we started the tradition of doing a crab leg dinner. The kids surprisingly LOVED it, and it was nice to actually cook a meal at home for once after the crazy school semester where it felt like all I made was waffles and scrambled eggs for 14 weeks. 





Once dinner was over we opened our Christmas PJs, read Luke 2 in the bible, and then set out the milk and cookies for Santa Clause to come. We read the kids The Night Before Christmas, and then tucked them into bed for the night, and then Derek and I got to work playing Santa. 



Jay woke up crazy early on Christmas morning. Em fell out of bed at 6:30am, and when I went to help her, Jay was already wide awake on the couch and had already looked through everything he could see without actually touching anything. I sent him back to bed, but he never actually went to sleep. 



Around 8am we finally woke up to open presents and it was magical. I didn't get many photos of this part, but Derek has an entire video on his phone that I'm sure we'll cherish for years and years to come. 




Em got a Peppa Pig playhouse that she literally sat and played with for over 8 hours straight. That's literally all she wanted to do all day long, and I certainly wasn't going to argue with her. Jay spent a fair amount of time with each of his toys, rotating between a new super Nintendo, Lego sets, an RC car, and a joke book that he can't get enough of. 


My favorite gift by far was a new running hat that Derek got for me. It was such a simple gift but I've been obsessed with it, and have basically lived in it since I opened it. Derek's big gift was a PS4 to replace the PS3 that we got the first year we were married. He claims his runner up gift is a new tie that I got him, which I agree, it is a very nice tie. 


We had Haley and Ben over for Christmas dinner where we ate pot roast, potatoes, and carrots, and then played Christmas Crackers and wore paper crowns. It was such a fun little tradition from Haley's family, that we were grateful to have her share with us. I think our kids are definitely going to be expecting that each year now. 


It was such a fun and simple Christmas, but the time we spent together as a family, just peacefully playing in our own home with zero priorities or expectations was really just the best. I feel like it was 100% the way Christmas should be. 

3 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing fantastic photos and wonderful Christmas experience with amazing gifts.

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  2. Soon after Christmas, Japanese people start preparing for the year-end and New Year’s events.
    Compared to Christmas, many of these events are based on Japanese tradition and are deeply related to religion.
    The end-of-year party is called “bonenkai” in Japanese. “Bonen” means to forget (the worries of) the past year.
    People are busy with events on New Year’s Eve.

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  3. We totally got our kids a Nintendo this year too...as well as balls for outside play. Had to balance out the screen time. :) Thanks for sharing your fun traditions, new and old. It gives me something to think about especially considering the idea of expectations on how perfect Christmas will be.

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