Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We lit all of our candles and finished our Advent readings.

We opened gifts.
We spent Christmas Day with Karl’s family. His Dad read the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2, then we enjoyed sharing what the Incarnation and the Gospel mean to each of us.

We opened more gifts. The boys enjoyed playing with their new Lego Star Wars sets.

Noah gave the whole day a “thumb’s up.”

Looking at Lights

One of our Christmas traditions is to take one evening to drive through various neighborhoods to see all of the decorations. The kids grab their favorite blankets, and we all pile into the van. When it’s really cold out, Karl opens the moon roof, cracks the windows (to simulate a sleigh ride), and turns the heater high on our feet. He cranks up the Christmas music and chauffeurs us around for 30-45 minutes. Some years, we’ve come home and enjoyed hot cocoa and/or tea. This year, however, it wasn’t cold enough.

One neighborhood in particular has a competition, so most of its houses are a bit over-the-top. Some home owners leave no bush uncovered, like this one:

Some just fill their yards with inflatables. I’m not a big fan of the inflatable.

But what I really need to know is what is the pig-like winged creature at the bottom of the picture?

I must be missing some piece of Christmas Americana because it only reminds me of Pete’s Dragon.

I really like the lights on the willow tree.

Our kids always look forward to seeing which movie is showing each year. Past movies have been A Christmas Story and The Nativity Story. This year’s movie is Elf.

Need to zoom-in?

Apparently, these home owners believe in a Santa from a warmer clime. I get a kick out of this house. For some reason, seeing the same decorations one night every year just hasn’t gotten old to me yet.

This next house has my favorite decorations. It’s one of the prettiest ones.

I wonder if this activity has a name. We usually just say, “Do you want to go look at lights?” But I think we need to give it a proper name. Maybe something like “The Annual Christmas Cruise.” Then Karl can ask, “Are you ready for our ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CRUISE?!” That sounds way more fun than Do-you-wanna-go-look-at-lights-there-are-only-a-few-days-til-Christmas Ride. I’m open to suggestions.

December Update

Life is swiftly moving and carrying me with it. It didn’t even stop for me to get over a nasty cold/flu spell. “Not feeling well? Can’t keep up the pace?” she asked. “Well, too bad, Sister!” And she kept moving right along.

I had to miss out on a couple of big events: a family get-together and the first of a few Christmas activities at church. It is nice to know that people missed me, but I wish that I could have been there to make some memories.

Instead of making memories, I constructed a cave of covers and pillows and stayed in it for five days. I made a mountain out of Kleenex. I created a collage of Hall’s wrappers. I slept the sleep of stuffy-headed angels. When I couldn’t sleep, I read your blogs status updates, played Angry Birds, and watched sappy movies.

Karl and the kids took excellent care of me. They brought food, drinks, and medicine when I called for them. Karl made special trips to the store when I thought of something I wanted/needed.

I’m beginning to feel better. To celebrate my return to health, I’m going to bombard you with pictures I’ve taken this month.

First up, our Christmas card photo: