My in-laws house is always decorated beautifully, but I especially love it at Christmas. These photos don't really do it justice (I stole them from Blake's phone), but I was too busy enjoying myself to take too many photos.
I'm having a fun time remembering Christmas Eve: a perfect salmon dinner, lots of baked treats, a concert (complete with choreographed dance moves to "Let it Snow") by the kiddos, the annual nativity, discussing the likelihood of Santa being real with some of the older curious kids, and watching the excitement on their faces as they opened gifts.
One of my favorite things about Christmas is listening to and chatting with the kids. They always have the funniest things to say. This year my favorite kid-ism came not from my nieces and nephews, but from one of our 12-year-old Sunday school kids.
Blake and I taught a Christmas-themed lesson a week before Christmas. We had some extra time at the end and the kids were getting obnoxious and loud (in such a way as only those middle-school-aged kids can be), so I read them my favorite Christmas story: The Other Wise Man. My family reads The Other Wise Man every year on Christmas Even in addition to Luke 2. It's a beautifully told and beautifully illustrated story.
After two pages the kids were hooked. They pulled their chairs in close and, miraculously, closed their mouths. They were unusually quiet right up until the point where Herod sends his troops to kill all of the babies. At this point there was some interjection from the heretofore silent peanut gallery.
Christian interrupted: "wait! wait! Herod killed all the babies?!"
Me: "Yes, Christian, he did. Horrible, right?"
Christian: In a shocked tone "Well, I hope he goes to HELL!"
Tate: scandalized "Christian! We don't say HELL, we say HECK!"
Me: Trying to stifle a giggle "um, ok, let's just continue on with the story..."
Man I love those kids. They always keep me entertained.
It's amazing how far behind in life I've gotten due to my nasty battle with strep over the break. Alas. I'll catch up someday. Sooner or later the un-written ideas in my head and the dust/hair bunnies tumbling across my floors will force me into fully catching up to the present.