I don't even know where to begin! This has been by far the best Christmas ever!
I think our whole family was in the true Christmas spirit and because of it we were able to experience the true joy of Christmas!
I know this is true for me at least.
This year I made an extra effort to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
I tried extra hard to think about Christ this whole month leading up to Christmas Day!
Wow! What a difference that has made!
I found myself being happier this whole Christmas season instead of being distracted and overwhelmed by all the things that come with Christmas- the decorations, buying gifts, etc.
Don't get me wrong.....these things are fabulous. I just know if we focus on them too much we lose out on experiencing the true joy of Christmas!
I am so glad I was able to experience that joy and feel of the Christmas spirit!
It was just what I needed and is something I want to keep year round!
Just like the song says, "If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel like Christmas all the time."
This is one of my goals for the new year! I want to be able to feel that joy all the time!
It is amazing!
Anyways, I also love our simple Christmas traditions our family has...and even the new things we tried this year.
We start our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve. My grandpa, step-grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousins always come over. Instead of having an actual dinner we have a ton and I mean a ton of snack foods to eat! We always spend a while just snacking and chatting. Then my grandpa always reads us the Christmas story; however, the version always changes. For example, last year he read out of the Bible and this year was from a picture book. Then after we go into our front room with the Christmas tree. Then usually my grandpa usually puts on a Santa hat and passes out presents for us to open. However, this year he passed on the responsibility to Kenny. Then we all open our presents. My two cousins and I always get the same things, just different colors. Our moms also get the same things. Just one of the little traditions. Then we usually just clean up and everyone goes home!
Then on Christmas day our family always gets up around 8 to open presents in our pj's. This year was fun having a married brother and sister-in-law. They still came over to join us in their pj's, which was way fun! We always rotate who gets to be the lucky one to pass out the presents. Then once they are all passed out, we all open them and show each other what we got. We usually get a game as a family gift, so we usually end up playing it when we are finished opening the presents. We usually stay in our pj's for a couple hours before getting around. Then, once everyone is ready we go over to my Aunt and Uncle's house, along with my grandma, to open presents and eat a nice Christmas dinner. This year we did things a little different though. Instead of buying presents for everyone, we drew names on Thanksgiving to see who we would get a gift for! It was so fun to switch things up and not have to worry about what everyone would like! Anyways, at my Aunt's house we usually end up eating some snacks for a little while, usually like a vegetable tray, and then we open presents. After presents are all opened, dinner is usually done. So we eat the traditional Christmas dinner, which is always amazing! Then we just hang around and visit for a few hours til we get tired and decide to leave! It is always so simple, but really fun!
For some reason this year I absolutely loved just visiting with my cousins, who are 19 and 21. Usually after dinner I don't like sticking around for too long. However, this year I had a blast with my cousins. We reminisced about past memories and just laughed and laughed. It was a blast!
I truly had the best Christmas ever! I am so grateful for it! This year has been extremely crazy and I am so ready for a new one. I couldn't ask for a better way to end 2009 than with a fabulous Christmas!
I truly believe that Christmas can be a "magical" experience if we allow it to be!
It is all up to us!
I have seen changes in many of my family members this Christmas season and it has made a huge difference.
I am so grateful for this time we have to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and remember His life and to spend time with family.
Both of these things bring true joy in life.....
and it doesn't only have to be during the Christmas season!
I am grateful for this season to rejuvenate that "magic" in me!
It was just what I needed and hope to keep it year round!