Dec 26 2010

First Christmas as a family of 4

We opted not to travel to Indiana this year for Christmas, since hi, we have a 1-week-old. In years in which I have babies, Christmases have been low-key but we try to make them nice.

On Christmas Eve, we drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Johnny was really concerned that Vivienne wouldn’t be coming, and he wanted to make sure she’d be there, too. He tried to help carry her car seat. Big helper! She came along and I don’t think she cared one bit about the scenery. Sleepy head.

We’re carrying on a tradition started by my parents: A visit from the Christmas Elf. I modified it sorta this year. I put some new pajamas and slippers inside Jonathan’s stocking, and I covertly left it outside our front door when we set out to look at lights so it would be there when we got back.

He spotted it and wasn’t too sure if it was for him or what, but we encouraged him to open it and he thought it was pretty cool. He wasn’t a fan of the slippers but the pajamas were cute. And they were size 3T! Very slightly big on him, but still. My boy is growing so much.

That evening, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and we had his Aunt Shannon read us “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on a recorded book that she gave Johnny last year. He thought it was so neat! So we had her read it again.

Johnny went off to bed and we put the baby gate in the hallway so that if he got up, he wouldn’t see what was going on. And plus, in the morning I wanted to be in the living room first so I could take his picture.

Christmas morning was fun. Johnny came into the living room and saw all the presents and at first I think he was a little confused. He was surprised with presents for his birthday in a similar way (and that was only on Monday!) so he’s probably thinking…wow do I get presents all the time now?

He sat down to open them and we played with each item a little before moving on to the next thing. From us, he got a Rody horse, new crayons and a coloring book, a Play-Doh fun factory, a Melissa & Doug wooden shape puzzle thing, and some ABCs for the bath tub.

From his Uncle Shawn & Aunt Whitney, he got a little percussion table that has a xylophone, drum (that he uses as a cupholder half the time, haha!), and a cymbals). It’s pretty fun. Aunt Shannon & Uncle Brian got him a Mega Blocks fire truck which is full of double-win. He loves blocks AND trucks. His Great-Grandma Sue got him some alphabet magnets that have a little guy who sings about the sounds that the letters make. Phonics! Grandpa Bo and Gma Susan got him a See ‘n Say. Oh, memories from the past. My See ‘N Say was bigger, but this one has an extra page so it says more.

Normally, I’m all about yummy Christmas dinner with all the side dishes and desserts you could ever hope to eat. But this year…yeah. We had manicotti that I had made in advance and stuck in the freezer. It was really tasty and I’ll be sure to make it again! I guess the good part about skipping a big meal this year is that we won’t be tempted to over-indulge. I’ve gotta fit in my normal clothes, and sooner would be nice. I did make a batch of chocolate chip cookies tonight, but I didn’t bake them all up at once. I’m going to keep the dough in the fridge to slow me down a little.

This evening we watched the first part of Gone With the Wind, and tomorrow we’ll finish it up. Has nothing to do with Christmas, but it was in our Netflix queue and it showed up the other day.

I love Joanna’s post about how Christmas really is two holidays. Let’s not kid ourselves — the decorations, food and gifts really don’t have much to do with Jesus Christ. I know lights and trees and gifts can symbolize him, but I just think it’s a bit of a stretch.

So while we didn’t make it to church this year, I did make sure to read selections from the Christmas story from the Bible. I used a short little reading plan from my Bible app on my iPod. Love that app. I enjoyed reflecting on Jesus’ birth story and tried to imagine what it must have been like for Mary. And Joseph — because how much experience does he have in catching babies? My thoughts turned to God’s love for all of us, and in a way I think that I can appreciate it on another level now that I have children. It’s just so precious.

Anyway, one of the passages was from Isaiah 40. I’ve read it before, but this time one verse really jumped out at me:

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11 ESV).

Gently lead those that are with young.

That’s me.

Such a tremendous comfort.

Merry Christmas, you!

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