Last year, I think I wrote about Christmas in July, so I’m ahead of the game this year, even though Christmas was nearly two months ago ha.
We were able to see both sides of our extended family this Christmas season. My parents came out to Virginia (my brother living in Virginia had his first child, whom my parents were eager to meet). We were able to spend time with them before and after our trip to Iowa for Christmas (we spend every other Christmas in Iowa with John’s family).
Spending time with both sides of our family meant our kids had many present opening opportunities, which they loved. We did our immediate family Christmas gift exchange the day before my parents arrived. (On the years we go to Iowa, we open our immediate family presents before we head out of town. Only Santa presents make the trek to Iowa.) Having three kids ages four and under at Christmas makes it magical! One of the presents we got David I wasn’t sure if he would like (they were tinker toys) but they ended up being his favorite toy. He has such an engineering focused mind. I had fun taking Brooke and David individually to pick out presents for each other. It was adorable to see what they picked and fun to watch them open those specific presents. Both Brooke and David are so appreciative of their gifts. Brooke says “thank you so much” in the sweetest and most sincere tone. Drew is still a little too young to really understand what’s going on.
Highlights of the time we spent with my side of the family include: Shopping on Main Street in Luray (they have such cute shops!), hiking in Shenandoah State Park, visiting DC to see the National Christmas Tree, meeting baby Will (the first cousin for our kids!), and a pre-Christmas dinner and white elephant gift exchange with my aunt, uncles, and cousins, who also live in Virginia.
Highlights of our time in Iowa include: Going for walks, playing at parks, Christmas Eve gift exchange and Christmas Day dinner with John’s extended family, and playing games.
Below are photos from the Christmas season.
One aspect of the Christmas season I loved was being able to read my scriptures each morning with the Christmas lights glowing inside our house. I took this photo one morning to remember how meaningful that was for me. I made a concerted effort to read my scriptures each morning (versus reading them at the end of the day when I’m exhausted). It has made such a difference in centering me and enabling me to feel closer to God.