Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

On Christmas Eve & Christmas, I feel like radiant beams from heaven just bathe us with the Love that binds us. Deep in my heart, this incredible gratitude wells up and seems to pour over into everything. And I get to soak in my family and see the magic in our kids' eyes - love!
 We went to see Mark play at candlelight Christmas Eve and ran into several friends by surprise.
See Mark there on the keys, beneath the letter "E"? He rocked it!
We kept forgetting to do our regular Advent (each Sunday, we read a devotion and add new figures to the manger), so instead this year we did a twist on our Easter tradition and created a sort of Christmas Seder, to tell the Christmas story. The kids beg to do the Seder more often because they love it so much.
Each item on the plate is a metaphor for something in the Nativity story, and we eat them in order as we read passages from Isaiah, Matthew and Luke. (I think Gryffy's digging the shepherd hat - teehee!)

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve reading books, watching movies (including our traditional "Rick Steves Christmas in Europe" and "Shrek the Halls") and bouncing together on the trampoline.

On Christmas morning, after reading the letter and examining the shark tooth left by the Tooth Fairy substitute (Gryffy's class elf, Scout), the kids dutifully sat at the top of the stairs, with the manger empty at the landing, awaiting the arrival of the Baby Jesus whilst belting "Jingle Bells" and "Feliz Navidad." As soon as Jesus arrived, they proceeded downstairs.
 It's blurry, but I love the look of anticipation on the kids' faces!
And oh, the delight of tearing through presents!

 Lorelei is an avid reader; she carries books everywhere and devours them. She had lost her old Kindle and kept borrowing Gryffy's, so she was pretty thrilled to get a new one.
 We all got mugs. I loved this "L" mug from Anthropologie, which matches mine.
I found this Grinch at Barnes & Noble and knew G would love it - green's his favorite color.
And mischief managed - Mark got me a spellbinding black mug that reveals the Marauder's Map when warm!
Some stocking stuffers. Gryffy always talks about his "curly sexy hair" because of this hair gel. Ha!
 And then, the BIG ONE (which I strictly told Santa NOT to get us... naughty Santa): an XBOX!!!
Just look at the kids' stunned faces!
I believe Gryffy's clapping.
 Scratch-off tickets from the lottery.
 And another Easter tradition that the kids now beg me to make all the time: Eggs Benedict. We used to make Holiday Strata, but this has been going strong a couple of years now.

And for our late lunch/early dinner, we made a honey-glazed ham with green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, strawberry spinach salad and cranberries. We'll just cruise through the rest of the week on leftovers.

Gryffy bought Googly Eyes, the game, for Lorelei, so we all played it as a family. It was awesome fun!

Later we cleaned, went on a rain walk (it rained on Christmas!) and then tested the XBox (which has an ancient Greek feature that Gryffy and I totally dig). And now, I think it's time to grab that Marauder's Mug, give it a spike of the Bailey's I got for Mark, and snuggle up for another movie and a Skype with grandparents in Canada.
 Merry Christmas.
And God bless us, everyone!

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