This year, we added a new tradition - for the 12 days leading up to the big day, we attempted to complete 12 days of service. Each day, we did a little project for others - some of the highlights were paying for a stranger's coffee when we went to get hot chocolate, making brownies for one of our ministers, making rainbow loom bracelets for the principal and asst. principal at the boys' school and choosing 3 toys to donate. Admittedly, a few days slipped by and I didn't get it done. But guilt can't get me down... (well, maybe!) Anyway, hopefully we can make this work each year. It was fun to get the boys involved.
One of my other favorite memories from this Christmas was the Santa Shop experience... let me explain for all my mommy friends who haven't experienced elementary school yet. Santa Shop is this wonderful little production supported by our PTO. Kiddos are given the opportunity to bring money and "Shop" for others. As a confession, I have to say that when I got the notice in the back packs about Santa Shop, my first impression was, "seriously? They want money for something else now???" (sorry - but it really does seem like there's something a couple times a week in the backpacks asking for money or something for sale all.the.time.) So, we gave them Santa Shop money - I mean who could say no to that??? Each of them had 5-7 bucks. When they got home that afternoon, the excitement on their little faces was PRICELESS!!!! They had carefully picked out something for each other and their baby brother. And mommy. :-) Bless Jonathan's heart, he said, "There was a tie I wanted for daddy but it was too many dollars. If I got it, I couldn't get Joshua anything." They both wanted help wrapping their treasures and of course, then they just couldn't wait to give them to each other. Y'all - this in my opinion is one of my favorite memories. Giving. They had totally unselfish and giving hearts. What a lesson.
Anyway - here's a few shots of our celebration...
Before we do ANYTHING on Christmas morning, we spend a little time reading the Christmas story from the Bible. The boys were anxious to get downstairs, but were also great about waiting. I know one day they'll hate me for the bed-head pictures. hee hee
This little cutie pie loved his Dispicable Me goggles - thanks Aunt Carol and Uncle Chris!
Baby Joshua LOVED his little Batmobile. So much fun. He was excited about ribbons and bows and boxes too. Presents were kind of an after thought for him. :-)
We surprised Jacob by getting his last two play posters framed. He was super excited.
And this (even in our jammies/sweats) is my life. Thank you Jesus for this crew that I get to call my family. And yes, as long as possible, my kiddos will wear matching jammies every Christmas Eve and all day Christmas day. I got no shame. :-)
Merry Christmas everyone!!!!