Luton Family Christmas 2018

Hello my friends! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas over the past few days! We have prasied, taken it easy, stayed in jammies, eaten well, played games, rested, and generally had a wonderful few days of Christmas celebration. We are right in the middle of my favorite week of the year, when you just take it easy, clean up bit by bit, eat whatever, take naps, play games, declutter a bit, and just rest after the chaos of the season (or at least, that’s what we do!). And then after New Year’s Day, we kick ourselves back into gear, get the house straightened back out and get to really going on all our new goals, new plans, and new work! But until then, we’re going to RELAX! Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Monday, Christmas Eve, we took it easy in the morning and got ready for our Christmas Eve Church service a bit early. I made our traditional Christmas Eve lasgana early, so that once we got back from church, I’d just have to reheat it a bit and then we’d be ready to eat! We went out and did a bit of last minute non-nessessity Christmas shopping, and went to Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers for a bit of a snack before the service! The kids got milkshakes, Scott got a hotdog, and I got onion rings, and it was just perfect to tide us over.

We went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight service, which is my favorite service of the year. I have to struggle through the songs, as I tear up and can barely sing through each and every one! The service is just full of traditional Christmas hymns and scripture, and it feels so sacred. The only thing is now that I am in the choir, I sit in the choir loft through the whole service and Scott sits by himself with the kids. The first Christmas Eve service we went to, when I was not in the choir yet, the five of us sat together and I nearly lost it when all three kids had candles lit singing Silent Night beside me. I couldn’t sing a note, I just cried the whole song. It was just so moving and so innocent and pure. But now I get to see the entire sanctuary filled with only candlelight from the choir loft, which is another sight to behold in and of itself.

After church, we headed home and ate our lasagna, and wasted no time getting the kids off to bed! They are never as easy to get to bed as they are on Christmas, because they don’t dare misbehave right before Santa comes! I had saved a bit of wrapping to do after the kids went to bed, so I wrapped a few of the remaining gifts, we put together their Air Hockey table from Santa, and settled in with a bit of wine to watch Game of Thrones! Maybe a bit nontraditional for Christmas Eve, ha, but Scott finally gave in and wanted to watch it (I’ve watched it all already), and now is hooked! Good timing, I think, since the last season starts up next year. Plus, it all makes a lot more sense watching it a second time, haha!

Christmas morning, at least the kids let us sleep a bit and didn’t come downstairs until 7:00, but they BURST into our bedroom and scared the hell out of Scott and I! We sat straight up in bed after they shot into the room, screaming about how Santa had come! Santa had come! I nearly had a heart attack, but that Christmas morning excitement will never get old. We came out and they actually paced themselves and didn’t tear through their gifts like crazy people- they took their time and looked at each gift, and thanked Scott and I, and Santa every step of the way. It made me very proud.

We took it easy all day- Ben put his entire Star Wars X-Wing lego set together, the girls played Barbies and American Girls, we all participated in an Air Hockey tournament (best gift ever! And Mom is the champion!!). I always make cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, so I popped them in the oven and everyone ate as they were ready. We do a very casual Christmas day menu, because I want to relax and not have to cook all day, and the kids don’t want to stop to eat some big meal! So we always do soup and a big snack tray, and that’s exactly what we had. Scott made a great chicken and vegetable soup, and we ate chips with French Onion Dip, veggies with Ranch Dip, cheese and crackers, homemade Chex Mix (nothing beats it!), and the remaining Christmas candies and cookies. It was perfect and took no time to prep. We watched documentaries on ESPN (same thing we did last year- they are so fascinating!), and shows on the Smithsonian Channel (we are big history buffs, so this was right up our alley), drank mimosas and Bailey’s (not simultaneously, haha), stayed in our jammies ALLL day, and Scott and I even took naps on the sofa (him- not unusual, me- very unusual!). We were lazy and self-indulgent, and it was glorious!

And yesterday, we slept late (so great) but got up and got showers, picked up a bit, and welcomed my mom and dad over to celebrate with us! We opened presents and ate a big lunch of take out Chinese (just the best), and chatted, laughed, and enjoyed each others company. It was a short, but wonderful visit, as they were off to visit my grandmother and then prepare for my mom’s foot surgery tomorrow. We tried to do a bit more cleaning up (it’s quite a process after Christmas, you know!), a bit of football watching, a bit of preparatory decluttering and organizing, and then again, took it easy on the sofa. Again, this time of year is just my favorite. No stress, no expectations other than to enjoy and revel in the love of our families.

If my children remember anything about Christmas growing up, I hope that it’s that it was calm, quiet, and restful. It was focused on Jesus, on worshipping, and on the five of us, together, enjoying each other as a family without stress or worry or rush or 1busyness. For us, it’s what makes Christmas the best time of the year.

I hope you have had a wonderful few days with your loved ones! Merry Christmas to you all, and happy best-week-of-the-year!

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