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Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2011

We did something this Christmas that we had never done before....helped my sister, Vicki, and her family put their Christmas tree up.  It was so much fun to experience a part of their lives that we never had before!

A few days later we put our own tree up. I love all of the little traditions that make each family's experience its own.

Jeff and I did something else that we had never done for Christmas.  We spent the weekend together in Hot Springs, Ark. to get almost all of our Christmas shopping done.  It was a great time together, and it felt great to get so much of the shopping done so that we could just enjoy the holiday season.

While in Hot Springs, Jeff and I did something that we had no intentions of doing.  It started out with just a desire to look at new campers, however, the more we looked at them, the more we wanted it for the kids.  We have really enjoyed our pop-up camper and have taken it all over the place, but with the kids getting older, we were getting more and more crowded in it.  We want the remainder of the years that we have to camp with our kids to be positive experiences.  With all of this in mind, along with the fact that we fell in love with one particular camper, we left the dealership owning a new camper.  Because we had not taken the truck to Hot Springs, we had to leave the camper there and go back to get it a week later.  It was so hard to leave it and even harder to keep it a secret from the kids.  We wanted them to be surprised when we finally got to bring it home. 
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is spending time with the kids making treats and Christmas crafts.  We also make at least one homemade ornament each year.  We also have a Christmas party each year with our friends, the Lundells.  It wouldn't seem like Christmas without our time with them.  Our gift exchange is so sweet to me because we draw names then choose something of our own to give as a gift.  Because we spend so much time together, we all know what the others love and enjoy.  It means more to the kids than simply going to the store and picking something out or having the adults just buy something and put their names on it.

Frosty snacks for Frosty Night

This year, we also drove around to look at Christmas lights.  We had a fun time naming the different houses...lots of laughs and some very creative names!
Christmas with The Ellermans

 Each Christmas before going to my dad's for Christmas, we take pictures and let the kids open one of their gifts from us.

Christmas with The Greens

Christmas gifts from Santa

 Stockings and gifts from each other

Christmas morning

Biscuits and gravy...one of our Christmas traditions
We just hung out and played for the rest of the day.

 Christmas dinner