Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

The Christmas Story -- Luke 2 -- on Christmas morning (don't worry, those aren't my man hands, they're J's)

It seems that as the boys get older, every holiday gets more and more special.  We pass down old traditions and start new ones, make memories and remember years past.  And beyond the traditions and memories and gifts and food, is the privilege to freely celebrate and honor the birth of our Lord.

We started something new last Christmas with the 4-Gifts rule when buying for each other and for the kids.  But, it's not just any 4 gifts, each one has to follow:  Something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read.  This is by far the easiest way to keep the focus off of ourselves and onto Jesus, precisely where it belongs. 

To many, our version of Christmas may seem narrow-minded and simple, but it works for us.  I've come to learn (the hard way, naturally) that simpler is better.  I will say that this Christmas was the most laid-back, relaxed, and joyful one yet.  I'm grateful for our simple life and the love and joy that fills our home...not just at Christmas, but every day.

Stocking goodies -- divin' right in


More stocking goodies

The boy loves a "pop pop"

Tractors!  {something you want}

Trucks!  {something you want}

Me & H sportin' our new kicks  {something you wear}

Daddy's new shades  {something you wear}

Harrison working his fancy new bow from Meme & Papa

We spent the following day at Mom's in St. Augustine for Christmas round 2!  Good food and of course entirely too many toys for the boys.  You can't really tell from the pictures, but Mama Couture did the cutest matching shirts for them.  I really wish I would have gotten at least one good picture of 'em...there's always next year.

Sweet brothers
Hot Wheels!

"Giddy up!"

Most of all, we were happy that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year.  What a blessing to roll out of bed and spend time with the people I love the most, then to spend time with the God I love the most.  It was quite fitting. 

I think Justin summed it up the best as he was praying over Christmas dinner, "...most of all, thank you Lord for Jesus.  Because without Christmas there would never be Easter..."

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