Friday, January 13, 2017

Family Christmas

The warm glow of the tree. The aroma of Christmas baking. 

The lively banter of multiple conversations, laughter, and good-natured teasing. 

Babies cooing & squealing. Hugs. Giddy excitement. 

To say we were all thrilled and grateful to be together for three days over Christmas is probably an understatement! As our family grows and changes these days of reunion are savored more than any culinary delicacy or dream vacation. 

As each car pulls into the driveway, our house is literally filled with shouts and squeals. The front door swings open and a mad dash is made to claim the first hugs and grandbaby-holding. The strains of Christmas music quickly fades to the background as the happy chatter rises in volume. 

Family -- truly one of God's most precious gifts. 

Here is a peek into our gift exchange celebration: 

Our tradition is to have the youngest family members (who are walking) help Grandma by passing out the gifts. It's so wonderful having so many little people in the family!

Dan & Bethany's family

Matthias, Stephen, Hannah, & Susanna

Each year we draw names for the gift exchange, which is top-secret until Christmas. 
It's always a treat to see the thoughtful, fun gifts which bring out each individual personality and interest! 

We had lots of baby-holding this year!

Alan, Rachel, & Kendrick

Kori & Alaythia

Ryan & Ruth

Elizabeth & Matthias

Susanna & Stephen

Andrew & Kendrick

Another tradition is to take new individual photos each year and someone is in charge of putting them in the frames and wrapping them. They hang on our display wall wrapped in Christmas paper through the month of December.

Then, at our family Christmas, Mom opens the packages to reveal the new photos. 

For Dad & Mom this year we children pooled together a group gift of an all-family vacation this summer. With so many schedules to work around and travel distance involved, it's getting more and more difficult to all be together. So this will be a gift for everyone!! 

I think Dad & Mom were delighted!

Matthias, Andrew, & Stephen

Nathanael & Caden. 

Andrew & Alaythia

We sincerely hope your holidays were meaningful and joyous. 
What an incredible season to celebrate! 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” 
(which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23

1 comment:

Caravan Sonnet said...

It looks like it was a delightful Christmas! How WONDERFUL to have everyone together!! Such joy! And what a great present for your parents too (and all of y'all!!) for the summer gathering!!
:) Sending love y'all!