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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Grinchy Christmas

Last year, Dan, Hannah and Joseph spent Christmas in Africa. Madeline, Davis, Charlotte and I spent Christmas at my Dad's house in North Carolina. Some of you might remember this post -- the day we realized we wouldn't be getting the Christmas homecoming we'd hoped and prayed for.

Last year, with half our family in Uganda and half in North Carolina, we learned what Christmas is really about -- and it's so not about the stuff under the tree. For Heaven's sake, even the Grinch knows that...

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

Even with two more children added to our brood this year, we spent less money on Christmas than ever before. With five kids, we only spent $150 on presents for our immediate family -- and we had lots more to give away. We worked hard this year to make the season more about people, and less about the stuff that comes from a store. Thanks, Grinchy.

Some of our highlights from the Christmas season, 2011:

Serving a Christmas lunch, with our entire family, at an inner city church in Atlanta:

Madeline accompanying Dan for a business trip to Pennsylvania (surprisingly, Dan says this was the first time he's ever gone ice skating on a business trip):

Attending a Gingerbread House party which raised money for the SixtyFeet house-building fund:

Hosting a Christmas Nativity Play in our backyard for our neighbors:

Taking all five kids to an abbreviated, kid-length (and kid priced) version of the Nutcracker, at the Fox Theater:

Madeline's Christmas piano recital:

Attending a lunch n' learn at the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA where we learned about the science behind the Star of Bethlehem. Did you realize that most astronomers agree that Jesus was actually born on September 15, 5 B.C.? I love homeschool.

My kids and the Grauley crew, admiring the oversized dump truck at the Tellus, before the Planetarium show.

Christmas craft & cookie day with Grandad:

"Kidnapping" the kids after they'd already gone to bed, loading them up in the car, handing out candy canes and going to look at Christmas lights. Sorry, no pictures of this one -- it was a spur of the moment thing, but so, so fun. A new tradition, for sure.

Christmas Eve carols at a friend's house, Christmas morning services at our little church, Christmas lunch with friends, and Christmas dinner at home with 25 candles lit in honor of our Lord Jesus:

That's it. That's what Christmas is to us, in a nutshell. On Christmas Day, we gave each of the littles some very simple gifts -- books, notepads, candy and gift certificates for special time alone with Mommy & Daddy. Everyone was truly delighted and our hearts were full. Grinchy was right after all, Christmas just doesn't come from a store.

Much love to all of you and blessings for the new year. See you in 2012!

1 comments:

Tracy said...

I love it!!