Before going any further in writing about the details of our Christmas I want to take a moment to acknowledge the "reason for the season", the birth of our Savior. I've always known the Christmas story from the Bible, but as I get older it seems to become more and more real to me. I imagine Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and I think about how physically uncomfortable that journey must have been for her. I think of how overwhelmed they both must have been at the thought of raising the King of kings. I try to imagine His birth, Him as a toddler, and Him as a little boy. And he was here! He walked this Earth! He lived a human life and experienced everything we do except He was completely perfect and holy. I am amazed God sent him here for us. Holding my own son, I couldn't imagine the love it would require to give him up for everyone else. I could cry at the thought of it. But God so loved the world, and I'm so thankful he sent His Son. It is my prayer that at Christmas time I am able to keep Christ at the center amid all the hustle and bustle of the season. It can be quite a challenge once you get caught up in decorating and shopping and wrapping and Santa Claus, but I really pray that I can always remember and acknowledge that Jesus is the true gift of Christmas and the reason we all celebrate and enjoy such a wonderful time of year. And most importantly I pray that I am able to set a good example for my little man. Now... I'm ready to add to our "scrapbook" the details of our Christmas celebration 2010 (Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th).
We woke up in Barnesville on Thursday morning and immediately got ready and prepared for the day with the Selph's. (We arrived in Barnesville late Wednesday afternoon and had supper with my parents and did some grocery shopping so we could cook dinner for Terrell's entire family on Thursday night.) Terrell's family gets together for Christmas on the 23rd every year and then we all spend the night with his parents and wake up and have a Christmas Eve breakfast with lots of family friends. This year the breakfast was canceled due to Terrell's dad's recovery so we decided to do a dinner like normal on the 23rd (except Terrell and I were the chefs, ha!) and then we would have a simple breakfast on the 24th and open presents that morning.
Here are a few pictures from the 23rd....
Terrell holding Garrison and baby Shannon
Watching the choo choo with Nana and Elijah
Playing with Allison. Once they warmed up to each other they had so much fun playing together! This was their favorite game... throwing the ball.
Thursday night Terrell and I cooked supper for the entire family and everything turned out really well. It was definitely a tad stressful cooking a Christmas dinner for the entire family. I was just so thankful that nothing was burnt or turned out terrible. We had roast, red potatos, and carrots in the crock pot, plus butterpeas, creamed corn, biscuits, and dessert. Terrell helped SO much and I know there's no way I could have done it all myself. We made great partners in the kitchen! =)
The next morning we all woke up and got ready before having Hardee's for breakfast and then opening gifts. Of course we had to attempt a few pictures first. This is about the best one we got of all three of the cousins. Shannon looks like a baby doll propped up by Garrison.
After taking a few pictures, Garrison and Allison got to play Santa Claus and pass out all the gifts to everyone. I could tell that the little man was just beaming as he handed out gifts. He looked so happy. It just made my Christmas Eve to see him so excited and having so much fun as he helped give out the presents.
Once everyone had their presents we decided to let Garrison and Allison go first. Garrison opened his GeoTrax choo choo train from Nana and Pops first and absolutely loved it.
He also loved the Sesame Street wrapping paper...
We almost had a bit of an issue since he opened this one first... He didn't want to open anything else! He just wanted to play with the choo choo. Thankfully we were able to distract him with other presents.
A Tonka dump truck from Uncle Denny and Aunt Kara!
He decided he'd like to ride in it. =)
After everyone opened presents and we cleaned up the huge mess, I held Shannon while Garrison and Allison played and Kara and Denny tried to gather up all of their things so they could get on the road.
Playing again, but this time with "Mulan". She insisted we call her that after she decided to wear her Christmas gift, a Mulan outfit.
Holding sweet baby Shannon =)
Garrison wanted to "pet" the baby. So sweet! I love that he's so fascinated with babies and never seems to get jealous or panic if Terrell or I hold a baby.
Family picture time! The only way we could get Garrison in the picture was if he could sit on his dump truck.
Denny, Kara, Allison, and Shannon
Pops and Nana
Pops and Nana with the little man, plus the dump truck
After Kara and Denny and girls left to head back to Suwanee, we just hung out for a while before getting ready to leave ourselves. Even though the tradition changed up a little this year, we still had a great Selph Family Christmas and fun was had by all! I know my little man had a ball opening his first Christmas presents and playing with his cousin, and once again I was reminded how thankful I am that we are so close to our families and that we all get to be together for the holidays.
After leaving the Selph's, we headed across town to my parents' house. A definite perk to being from the same home town! We tried to get Garrison to take a nap shortly after we got there, but I guess he knew it was Christmas Eve and was just too excited to go to sleep. Our Christmas Eve tradition with my family typically consists of attending the Christmas Eve Family Lord's Supper at our church with Terrell's parents, and then going back to my parents' house to enjoy chili before settling down for the evening. This year Terrell's parents decided to stay home after all the busy happenings at their house the past couple of days and my sister invited all of us over to her apartment for chili and hot dogs.
Our family picture before going to church on Christmas Eve
Granna and Papa with Garrison on Christmas Eve before church
We met Anna at the church and Garrison did really good while we waited our turn to go down and have the Lord's Supper together as a family with Brother Garth and Ms. Suzanne. There is something very intimate and special about being in our church on Christmas Eve. The lights are dim, candles are lit in the windows, and Christmas music is playing softly. Plus you get to see other families who are there together and it's sort of like seeing your extended family briefly on Christmas Eve because you're all part of the same church family. I also love participating in the Lord's supper and having Brother Garth pray for our family. It's just a special tradition. After leaving the church we went over to Gordon to have dinner at my sister's apartment. Everything turned out great and it was neat to be there at her place on Christmas Eve.
The 3 guys at AnAn's
Enjoying dessert with Granna
After eating way too much we loaded up my sister's presents and all got in one car to go look at Christmas lights. Growing up we really enjoyed riding around and seeing all the lights and I thought it would be neat for Garrison to enjoy it since he could actually see out the window to look at them this year. We drove to the Rock Ranch and rode through enjoying all of their lights. I think this is the first year they did a light display and it was really, really good. Of course the little man fell asleep on the way home and wasn't too happy when he woke up. Finally he settled down and went to sleep and we all enjoyed watching "A Christmas Story" marathon on TBS.
Then, late Christmas Eve night, Santa Claus came and delivered lots of goodies for the little man at Granna and Papa's house because he was such a good boy this year!