Christmas this year had a few new traditions that we are excited about keeping around. I had this brilliant plan (hear my sarcasm) back in the summer to make little felt ornaments that correspond with The Jesus Storybook Bible. I got the idea last year while browsing a new blog about living overseas, but had neither the time nor the inclination at that time to actually make anything. This year, I started very early (July-ish) making ornaments for my family and a few friends. Quickly, I realized this was going to take a LOT of time. So, I enlisted my mama when she came for a visit and we whipped it out (let’s be honest. SHE did the most work). But, alas, they were complete and oh so beautiful!
Each night in December we read a story from Jesse’s tree that led to the birth of the Messiah. We also lit the candles for Advent each night (building up to the 5 candles on Christmas Day), making for some very special evenings! It was enjoyed by all and truly lent a sense of what Christmas is all about and kept our focus on why we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.Christmas Day came bright and sunny and early. Our little monkeys woke us up at 6 a.m., on the money. They were so excited about the day and the surprises it held! In spite of the excitement in our home, the girls opened their gifts so slowly, almost as if they were savoring each moment, which, undoubtedly, they were.They divided the presents into piles (this was done before we came out of our bedroom!) and opened them one at a time. They exclaimed and showed excitement for each person as they opened their gift. This whole method of opening presents really surprised me. It wasn’t suggested or talked about, but rather decided between the three girls that this is how they wanted to do it. I loved seeing the way they encouraged and teased one another and rejoiced with their sisters. This year, the girls got really excited about buying/making gifts for each other. They haven’t ever really shown the desire to give they way they did this season. Gracie took a sewing class online and learned to make cross body bags, so she made Ellie one after scouring the online shops for the perfect fabric. Although she couldn’t be bothered to wrap the bag, the delivery was something that will live on forever with the picture of Ellie waiting!Stockings were full of chocolate and Dr. Pepper and the always embarrassing new pack of panties. Funny how girls can get so embarrassed about an unopened package of panties but are not embarrassed at all to walk around in them. Some things we won’t ever understand.Ellie started asking for a black baby doll about two weeks before Christmas. She specifically wanted an American Girl Bitty Baby. When asked why she wanted a black baby, she would say, “Black babies are the prettiest babies”. I looked online and found ONE black baby for sale on this side of the ocean! With a few clicks, Faith had bought her sister a new doll to love. Honestly, Ellie was a little disappointed it wasn’t the one she asked for. Despite us telling her over and over that she wasn’t getting a Bitty Baby, she just knew Santa would bring her one. I even told her there wasn’t a Santa. She doesn’t believe me at all. So, she is using her Christmas/Birthday money to buy herself another black baby that can be the big sister to this one. Despite her want for the Bitty Baby, she still loves Paige (this new doll) and sleeps with her every night. I wonder if there is something telling about her desire for babies of different races. She has already told us she plans to adopt a baby when she is married because having them hurts too bad (ha!), and she hopes she can adopt a black child. I pray her heart stays tender and willing to follow where He leads.Bose Headphones! As much as we travel, a good pair of headphones is soothing to the ear. Gracie got a pair for her birthday, and to my delight, Bose came out with a new model and deeply discounted the old ones. I snagged these two pair, planning to give them to our littlest girls for their birthdays. However, when Ellie’s birthday arrived, I just couldn’t give her a pair, making Faith the only one in the family without good headphones. Sometimes it feels like Faith gets lost in the mix of life and I just couldn’t, wouldn’t, do it intentionally. So, the lucky ladies got them for Christmas instead!
They also all got ukuleles. I may borrow their headphones to help keep myself sane during that new endeavor. Gracie and Ellie were extremely excited to give Faith their gift. They chose a jewelry box for her to keep all her lovely baubles in. I’m really not sure who was the most pleased…the givers or the receiver!I was not left out of the wonderful day of gifts. Ellie painted me a gorgeous picture and wrote a note on the back that will live in infamy:
I love you and I’m your favorite.
She also gifted Cameron some batteries she took from his desk with a note attached: Present not included. She keeps us laughing. Always.The day really couldn’t have been nicer. We had a huge breakfast, lazy day, and sweet friends over for Christmas Dinner. Our hearts were filled with the love of family and the love of our Father, who gives the best gifts of all!P.S. If anyone wants FUN games to play, we got Pass the Pig, Wig Out, and Bananagrams this year. Great games!