This Christmas has been about as perfect as they come. I was feeling discouraged. The money just wasn't there to buy the gifts and do the fun, festive things that I would love to do. This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in the commercialism and the idea of what your holiday should look like. I admit, I got caught up in it big time. But, things begin to come together, as things often do. We had two snow days on the two days just before the winter break. That was a bright spot. Slowly Bobby and I filled up the closet with all kinds of goodies that our kids would enjoy. Bobby's parents are living close this year and they made several trips down to drop off their gifts and the food that they would make for Christmas dinner. Relatives from far away sent us cards with their thoughts and love. Christmas Eve was a time for eating sub sandwiches while watching "Joy to the World" about the Savior's birth, then hot chocolate, cake and opening a few gifts. The kids quickly put on their Christmas pajamas from Grandma and Poppy and played with what they had opened. I couldn't believe it but Brooklyn has grown so much this year she couldn't wear anything we got her except the jacket! I guess it's gift cards from now on for her! After the babies went to bed we put on a movie and sat up late in order to help Santa. The result was modest but everything they had asked for. Bobby and I slept in the living room and, it seemed, that just as I fell asleep the kids had crept down proclaiming it was 7am! They tore into stockings, exclaimed over gifts and stuffed their faces with candy. I was so exhausted that I took not one picture! Then they played and we visited until Bobby's brother David arrived with his wife Kim and their four kids. The kids quickly paired off and disappeared as Grandma readied lunch. Bobby and his brother picked up the missionaries and we sat down to a wonderful meal. We had more food than we needed and funny stories were exchanged. Then Bobby, David, the missionaries and the kids went to the park for some football while the 'womenfolk' relaxed. It was such a nice day that ended with a picture perfect snow. We watched another movie and sent the kids off to bed after they declared that it had been the best Christmas ever.
The children were talking about Christ being born in December and I reminded them that really, his birthday is thought to have been around April. December 25th was just a day chosen to celebrate his birth for numerous reasons. Really though, I'm glad the we celebrate Christ's birth at the end of the year. It's a time to reflect on what I have done with this gift that Heavenly Father has given us. It's a great time, better than New Year's, to reflect on what I'm going to do differently in the coming year so that I continue to grow as a person. Christmas is such a special time, I love that it's in the winter when we can cozy up in our homes and share memories and good times with the people that we love.
And now, the photos...
Brooklyn helped me make some cookies. They were great fresh out of the oven but not good the next day - I'll have to work on that.
I forgot to mention we did drive around, singing carols and looking at lights - this house was on the tacky lights tour - cool huh?
Christmas Eve sandwich time with all the fixin's - an Orr tradition.
Ayden is first to dig right in to the presents!
The boys got a gift of really neat science books that have interactive games and such.
Grandma helped Dillon open his gift.
Then he showed Daddy his puppets!
Caleb started looking at the books right away.
Santa's little elf.
Brooklyn wearing her new Christmas PJs and opening the pj bottoms I bought her from her school.
Bobby loved his Kentucky sweatshirt from Mom and Dad.
Seth's pjs were a bit big on him - but hey, that's even better right?
Grammy and Papa sent the kids Christmas sweaters! The boys are so excited to wear them to church - they were disappointed it got canceled due to snow.
Ayden got right to work with his new tools from Aunt Holly and Uncle Brian.
Seth ran into the room to read the new graphic novel from Aunt Holly and Uncle Brian.
Caleb got right to work on the Lego race car from Aunt Holly and Uncle Brian. I debated about the kids opening these on Christmas Eve but it worked out perfectly, giving them something to do before bed.
Bobby couldn't resist pitching in to help with the model of an X-Wing fighter from Grandma and Poppy.
Then, after kids had gone to bed, Santa came...
Santa decided family centered gifts were just right for Christmas. (I can't wait to play that game)
Yes, that is a mower. It is all Ayden asked for. Santa was so happy that with online shopping you can get items that are normally hard to find in the winter.
Seth wanted a basketball and Caleb is collecting footballs. Perfect - they can share!
You can barely see them under the scarf and gloves but Santa found Brooklyn a great pair of boots... that were too small. Mom has already rectified the situation.
And, I thought we would end on an "awww, isn't that too precious" note: (You'll need to turn it up to hear him say Merry Christmas)