December 27, 2004

A very Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas here at our home. While we do miss being near our extended family at the holiday season there are nice elements to it as well. We have no obligations, no running around, no time table and just enjoy each other and the day. We were all finished and ready for bed at midnight Christmas Eve I was excited and then Rhiannon woke up several times around 3am, then Sirah woke up and then they let us sleep in until a little after 7am!

This year for Christmas eve we went to the Mall of America. I must admit to being hesitant to do this as I thought it would be crazy but it actually turned out to be a great idea, we parked right in the front, there were no lines at Camp Snoopy and the kids each were given some money their great grandparents had sent to spend. They each bought something to eat (ice cream for Rhia and a candy bar for Ciaran), some fruit juice in a snoopy souvenir cup, passes to Camp Snoopy (enough for several rides each), and some small treasures (Ciaran - a red eyed tree frog and some bubbles that harden. Rhiannon some shiny painted rocks and gems). They h ad a blast and we enjoyed the time all together.

Then we headed off to Christmas Eve service at our church. Kind of mixing the secular with the Christian after having spent the whole day at MOA. Service was nice, they do a nice children's service that is more informal and the kids really enjoy. It presents the Christmas message and lets the kids sing carols and watch a fun play, we go each year and enjoy ourselves. This year we had the added bonus of getting to watch the message from the adult service as it was being played in a room where the kids could walk around without disturbing anyone and we could listen. Then we walked around the church and saw all the trees that were decorated and took some pictures.

Home for dinner and getting ready for bed. We read a wide variety of Christmas stories and then hung our stockings up from oldest to youngest, even the dogs had stockings this year. We ended the evening by reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Polar Express (both which we read each year). The kids were so excited they actually fell asleep within minutes of laying down (a record for Rhiannon).

Christmas morning the kids let us sleep in some and then they looked in their stockings. We read the Christmas story from the bible (we read Luke's version) and talked about God giving his only son for us as the greatest gift and then we prayed and then they tore into the plethora of gifts that were under the tree, most from the generosity of their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended family.

Christmas morning we do not rush, we do not push and as they open a gift we let them open it and play with it if they want. The process can take many hours. This year the last gift was opened after 3pm, having started at 7ish! We prefer doing it this way as it allows them to enjoy and focus on each gift rather then just rush rush rush to get to the next present. Also when we see this attitude rising in one of them we stop opening gifts for awhile and eat some breakfast or play with what we have already opened and then we go back to it later.

The children received many great gifts as did we. Believe it or not we managed to have everything put away in its new place before bed that night. We had one toy get broken early on and we decided then that everything needed to get put away before we had more tears. I was amazed but it happened, it made today much nicer as well.

A great big thank you to all who blessed us this Christmas and welcome to all our new readers. It has been a wonderful year here at our home and we wish you the best for the upcoming year.

Serona, Tenn, Rhiannon, Ciaran, Sirah and the Aussies!


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  2. I'm so happy your family had such a wonderful Christmas.

    Also, thank you for your recent posts on different resources. Your blog is so full of helpful and useful information, and I appreciate your hard work.

    Many blessings for the New Year -