Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Days Before Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. On Christmas morning, Talia prayed, "Bless that Jesus will have a good birthday." While I can't be certain that our Lord enjoyed his special day, we certainly loved being together and celebrating family.

Before I delve into the mounds of holiday photos, permit me to catch up on a few pre-holiday happenings.

Our Final Days with Chloe:
Since fall, Eli and I have been hanging out with adorable Chloe most days. When we lived in Illinois, a wonderful family watched Brooklyn while I worked. I've often thought of them and how grateful I am for the loving care they gave Brooklyn as we've welcomed Chloe into our home. While there have admittedly been a few stretching moments, it's been a delight to have Chloe join our family. Eli especially has relished having a playmate to love while his sisters are away at school. However, with the imminent arrival of our new baby, Chloe will be joining a preschool program in January. And so, it was with genuine sadness that we bid farewell to our long play days with Chloe.

Holiday Baking:
Every Christmas, there are so many people that we want to thank for all the ways they bless our family all year round. We bake a bit, send out cards, purchase some gifts, and try to express our appreciation as best we can during this chaotic time of year. Even so, I usually feel like it's too little for those who have given so much. Even if we can't repay, we pray will feel of our handcrafted love.

Family and Music:
In early December, we traveled north to Hyde Park to spend a few days with Jason's parents. While there, Susie performed in a beautiful Christmas concert with the American Festival Chorus, under the direction of Craig Jessop. Joined by Jenny Oaks Baker, the music was absolutely delightful. Just as special as the concert was the chance to meet up briefly with so many aunts and uncles.
Grandma and Grandpa Hansen were staying with Charles and Susie for a few days on their way back from Las Vegas, so we fortunately had plenty of time to talk.

When it was time to go, nobody could find cousin Kelly. We eventually discovered her bonding with Eli. So sweet!
Christmas Creativity:
While I occasionally supervise specific Christmas crafts, it's the kids' imagined creations that I love the very best. Here's a nativity they designed out of some paper scraps and tape--Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, a sheep, and of course, the stable.
Traditions New and Old: Santa Lucia Day
On December 12th, Brooklyn read a book about how they celebrate Saint Lucia day in Sweden. Intrigued, she begged to celebrate the tradition with our family the next morning. And so, before dawn broke, she donned a white dress, red sash, homemade crown with candles, and served buns to our family.
While this tradition was new to her, I had to smile because as a girl I likewise became enamored with Saint Lucia day, thanks to the American Girl books about Kirsten. More than once, I remember dressing up and serving breakfast to my own family. And thus the circle turns and an old memory becomes new once more.
Merry Christmas!


Brian and Tonya said...

It sounds like you had lots of fun before Christmas. I loved Santa Lucia day too growing. My friends mother was Sweedish and I learned a lot of their traditions over at her house. To this day, I miss the Sweedish sweet bread she always made at Christmas time. Brooklyn makes a perfect Santa Lucia.

Julie L said...

She's adorable! There is a smidgeon of Swedish blood in among our ancestors as well, so I think it's more than appropriate to include that great experience as part of family traditions. The folded paper nativity was great! And we loved getting to see you for a minute at Susie's. Wish it could have been more than a minute.