|Teeny tiniest from Mexico Nativity from Argentina Leah's clay creation|
Sunday morning the smallest children sang a couple carols. Such sweet faces and genuine expressions!
Monday was basically dedicated to calculating final semester grades for the last class, Tuesday to more shopping, and Wednesday to wrapping and labeling gifts.
Thursday, Stephan and Karen hosted their traditional annual Christmas Eve brunch.
Great food and fellowship. Always a fun time with old and new friends.
Christmas morning dawned mild and sunny. Deer grazed in the pasture.
We had all morning to prepare for the family gathering.
Among the first to arrive was my favorite great granddaughter. We quickly discovered that our Christmas outfits matched!
As usual Rebecca was the favored little princess.
Michael served us our choice of turkey and/or ham.
The Christmas story this year held everyone's attention. It was told by very small children and acted by adults--Movie on Cwismas.
The pile of gifts loomed monumental, even the stockings on the loft railing were stuffed full. Every year I think and talk about cutting back, but it never happens. Perhaps it is a small but fitting reflection of the divine generosity we celebrate at Christmas.
However, we were reminded by the absence of one of our family members that far more important than presents is presence.
|The little ones enjoying some new toys.|
|The lovely Kayla modeling a new hat|
Everyone lingered as late as possible, enjoying, eating, laughing, playing games. Sam and Kristie's boys spent the night. This scene reminded me of similar ones many Christmases past (minus the pottery display).
We continued the family fun the next morning. At one point I sat at the piano to play and sing Christmas carols. I used a Little Golden Book from my childhood and had to laugh when I saw the names and how to read them. At the time I only had two brothers. Two more were born years later.
What surprised me most, and made me very happy, was the sustained interest of the little guys. We actually got through ALL the carols. Of course, toward the end, little hands were playing along.
So now Mike and I are taking off for a couple days alone!