Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Time!

Christmas was so magical this year! Oliver loved every bit of the season. We made so many cookies together, read lots of books about Santa, made gingerbread houses, drove to see Christmas lights, made an igloo in the fresh snow, visited Santa, wrote Santa a letter, etc. 

At our house, we try to keep Christmas simple and fun and, most importantly, focused on Christ! Yes, we do buy gifts for each other... but we try to limit our spending and use our money on family activities instead of buying things. We have a family motto: we collect experiences, not things! And, we try to stay true to that even during Christmas time. 

Every year on Christmas Eve we attend the Live Nativity Pageant at The First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor. It is so much fun! They re-inact the birth of Jesus with all the children from the church and also with live animals (inside the church!!) including camels and donkeys. It is so much fun. It is also really spiritual as we all sing Christmas songs and listen to the story of Jesus. 

Then we head home and have a candlelit "Dinner in Bethlehem" where we eat lentil stew, fattoush, hard bread, etc. and we read about the birth of Jesus in the Bible. It is always a nice, simple evening that is focused on the Savior. 

On Christmas day we opened presents and had a big breakfast. Then we immediately started cleaning and making sure last minute things were taken care of before we headed to the airport to fly to SLC. We spent the next 10 days in Idaho visiting both sides of our families. We had a really great time!

At our church Christmas party

Pants-less boys decorating the Christmas tree

We made homemade gingerbread for gingerbread houses and Oliver ate the whole thing the next day!

The tree provided hours of entertainment for this guy!

They like each other a little bit.... :)

I taught Oliver how to play "Elves in Santa's workshop" and he loved it!

At least Oliver had a nice visit with Santa!

Christmas Eve Day

Christmas Eve Live Nativity Pageant

After the pageant we have a candlelit "Dinner in Bethlehem" at home

We eat lentil stew, artisan bread, fattoush, etc. and we read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible!

Oliver was so excited to leave cookies and milk for Santa

Then we read a few Christmas books

Christmas was so fun with Oliver this year! He was super excited for Christmas morning!

The boys were spoiled spoiled spoiled!!!

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