We had a great Christmas season. We enjoyed celebrating with our children at home before travelling to see loved ones for the weekend leading up to Christmas. It was a simple celebration with only one token photo taken. Putting the camera away while we opened gifts actually made the experience much more relaxing for all of us. We opened gifts early in the day so the kids would have time to enjoy them before going to bed and so they could show Grandma and Grandpa their new things via webcam that night.
Decorating at our house was light this year. We mostly just put up the tree and a few other things. We have two bins of Christmas decorations which is enough for us, but only one bin full of stuff was put out this year and our house still felt festive. To solve storage and gift security concerns, we decorated with wrapped gifts on our stairway plant shelves and on top of our kitchen cabinets. Just last year in late October our older two children found all the wrapped gifts inside a bag, inside a large box in our basement and opened them all right then and there. Let me just say the joy of wrapping the same gift a second time is just not quite as rich. I also purchased a live clearance rosemary "tree" for $2.50 which was all we spent on decorations this year. Another decoration was a 5 minute project of printing the word "joy" in red ink on scrapbooking paper and putting in a spare matted frame [photo at top of post].
We enjoyed our time spent with family, too, though we ended up "sharing the love" and the flu bug with each family there. Four of the five of us suffered its effects as well. I was able to attend a Julotta service at my parents' church on Christmas morning which was good since our church attendance has been sparse this month due to sick children, which is just par for the course in this stage of life. Our baby is growing up and enjoyed the gifts this year, especially the wrapped packages of others that he tried to run off with again and again.
We are now home and ready to un-decorate and work on getting things put away into their new homes. Happy New Year!