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Christmas Reflections (Plus lots of pictures!)

It seems like just the blink of an eye has passed and yet here we are, it’s December 26th and Christmas has passed. Besides a few Facebook posts, I’ve taken a blogging hiatus for the last two days to spend time with family and preparing for the holiday, but today I’m back and I have Christmas on my mind! 🙂


 

As we take time this weekend to relax after the holiday’s adventures (and clean up the mayhem that has become our house) it’s also a great time to sit back and reflect on all the amazing things in our lives that we have to be thankful for! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas reflections from this holiday season.

fireworks

To get our holiday season off to a good start – we attended the Silver Bells in the City event in Michigan’s capitol, Lansing. It was a wonderful evening spent with good friends as we enjoyed a lighted holiday parade, tree lighting and fireworks. Afterwards little man and I visited a nearby church to be serenaded by their hand bell choir (one of my favorite holiday traditions). It’s a magical way to start our holiday season every year!

bronners

 

A trip to Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, MI is also one of our our favorite holiday events every year. If you’ve never heard of Bronner’s, it’s basically a Christmas store that is the size of a warehouse, chock-full of everything Christmas a person could ever wish for.

sitting with santa

Besides renting a private Santa, we’ve found that the Bronner’s Santa is one of the best in our area. He takes time to talk to every single child, no matter how long the line is, making it a truly special experience. No rush, no hustle, just genuine care for our child. Here’s one of the many pictures we took with Santa this year. 🙂

chopping down our tree

Around the same time that we visit Santa, we also work on decorating. We’re the type of family that likes to decorate as soon as Thanksgiving ends – so our house was lit up and decorated before December even rolled around. We cut down a fresh tree every Christmas. I just love the way it makes our house smell when we bring it home! Every year it reminds me of how thankful I am to live in a part of the world where fresh pine trees are possible. If you’ve never been to a Christmas tree farm it is a sight to behold – thousands and thousands of Christmas trees planted in rows cover nearly as far as you can see. We maneuvered the slippery ground first thing Black Friday (we’re not Black Friday shoppers) to find the perfect tree.

our tree

Christmas is fairly traditional at our house – stockings on the mantle, holiday lights on the outside of our house, a count down to Christmas for little man to enjoy and of course a decorated Christmas tree. December is often spent with the lights off listening to Christmas piano music as we enjoy the light of our tree.

decorating

I wish I could say we spent a ton of time playing in the snow this holiday season, but we’ve had an incredibly mild season so far. (No snow for Christmas – instead a high of 47 degrees Fahrenheit!) Here’s little man with the only snowmen we’ve been able to make so far this year.

snow

This was the first year that little man understood the concept of writing Santa a letter. It was incredibly fun writing it out then dropping it off in a local Santa mailbox (he even got a postcard back from Santa this year)! The mailbox is huge requiring a whole set of stairs to reach it’s mouth.

mailing santa's letter

As the next few weeks proceed, we continue enjoying our decorations and holiday music, but the fun doesn’t really start until Christmas eve. My family traditionally celebrates Christmas on Christmas eve with a family get together where the children exchange gifts and we all enjoy delicious food and quality time with extended family. It’s fair to say the kiddos we’re incredibly excited when they were able to open that first present! 🙂

pure joy face

But nothing beats the excitement of Christmas morning! In our house Santa delivers a stocking of small items plus one or two presents. This year little man got exactly what he wanted (and so did mom and dad) – a storm trooper costume for little man and light sabers for the parents. I’m so glad we all made it on the “good list” this year.

opening stockings

Every family handles Santa differently, and I think that’s awesome. For now, our son believes in Santa. Someday I look forward to letting him in on the Santa secret and letting him take on the role of Santa with other little ones in our lives, but for now I’m truly enjoying the magic of believing!

opening santa present

My in-laws came over for the main event of present opening this year, so we all spent a relaxing morning eating breakfast and enjoying little man’s excitement over the holiday. As the day continued the rest of the family joined us for a large lunch, followed by more presents and then another large meal at my husband’s grandma’s house. It’s fair to say that by the end of the day our bellies were stuffed, the children had received plenty and naps were needed by all!


 

And then here we are… the day after Christmas. Where does the time go? We spend so much time preparing for the holiday that when it has passed by us it’s a strange feeling. This is the time that I like to reflect on the past, but also look forward to the New Year.

This is an exciting time, a time of fresh starts, renewal and dreaming!

Happy New Year everyone!

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