Our Christmas came a few days early this year - on Saturday, December 22nd. This was the magical day when 18 family members gathered at our home for our celebration that lasted from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm at night! When family is home - together - there is always magic. So blessed and thankful for love that fills our home. We are not a perfect family, but by God's grace and mercy, love fills our home and our family. And we are blessed.
It was a day of celebrating this love, all a gift because of God's Gift (whose birthday we celebrate at Christmastime) - spending time together, sharing food and gifts together.
We chose a different menu for our Christmas Dinner, a change from our usual ham & mashed potatoes with all the sides. Instead, we celebrated with a Tempura Meal! (Recipe to be shared in a later post.) We've served this meal some years in the past, around Christmas or New Years - but this was the first time for this menu at our Family Christmas Dinner. What fun we had preparing it all together (as it is best served freshly cooked)! Having our five (grown) kids in the kitchen with me (and also sons-in-law and grandkids in and out of the kitchen!) was a highlight of the day for me - and I think, for them, as well.
The rest of the day was filled with gift-giving, grandkids playing, adults playing games in the afternoon and in the late hours of the day, and a yummy snack/appetizer spread in the evening. Thanking God for Love - all because of God's Gift of Jesus, and of Family - filling us up to the brim, and overflowing.
(We missed one daughter, son-in-law, and four grandkids, who were here for Thanksgiving this year - and thankful for the special Christmas they could have as family in TX. They had the very special treat of a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Day - unusual for TX!)
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
More celebrating came a few days later, on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day. And a rather historical time for us - the first time since 1972 that my dear hubby and I spent Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day together, just the two of us. Even though we have loved having one or two family members join us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (after we have already had our big Family Christmas Day on an earlier date), and I wasn't completely sure that I wanted that to end, our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day turned out to be a very special time for us as a couple, just the two of us.
Christmas Eve has an added special dimension for us as a couple, as it is our engagement anniversary. After joining friends at a Christmas Eve service at our church, we ate out together (a delicious meal at Cheddar's), and then drove around to view some Christmas lights in the area neighborhoods. So thankful, and so blessed to remember, and celebrate that very magical Christmas Eve, 42 years ago, when I heard the beautiful question, "Will you marry me?".
We had a leisurely, relaxing Christmas Day morning together, and then went to see "The Hobbit" together in the afternoon. We bid the day's end sitting by the warmth of our wood stove, Christmas goodies and white wine (purchased for us by a son) in hand. So thankful for God's Gift of Love, for Jesus, and for the love He has given my hubby and me - we are blessed, and we are thankful.
And Looking Forward to the Gift of Celebrating a New Year!
So thankful for this privilege He has allowed me - to share my heart through blogging as I listen to Him, and to seek to follow when He prompts me to share. It has been a joy to write - and also a great joy to have family and friends take time to visit me here. You are all such a blessing to me. Thanking Him for the privilege to write and to share - all because of God's Great Gift to us at Christmastime.
Looking ahead - I am desiring to listen and to follow Him as we enter into a New Year, and am asking Him for continued direction as I share here. I will be continuing with sharing devo thoughts, posts on prayer through the "Heart Connect" posts each week, favorite family recipes, digital scrapbook pages, and more. Also, I have sensed a prompting from God to begin a new weekly series on a topic very near and dear to my heart - on mothering. A new focus this coming year.
[Over the coming days I hope to be sharing more photos from our Family Christmas (in the form of digital scrapbook pages), and also a few of the many recipes that I prepared this season.]
Linking up at:
Faith Filled Friday
Friday Favorite Things
Saturday Show and Tell