Saturday, January 2, 2010

Visions of Christmas

Could it possibly be that another Christmas season has come and gone? I sit here staring at the twinkling lights that illuminate a dark and very windy evening on this second day of the new year. Though I know I should be dismantling those twinkling lights, I can't help but remember why we put them up in the first place. Yes, they look pretty and yes, it is tradition. Today, though, I was reminded that we choose to light our homes, our trees, our lives with the light of Jesus, the very reason we celebrate.

I will admit, I entered this Christmas season with a bit of a bah humbug attitude, dragging my heels and unsure of why it was I felt so glum. I may never pinpoint my scroogified self, however God has a way of placing things in order so that if we choose to, we may see the very things He wants us to see.

I've chosen some of our favorite memories of this Christmas season to post here. If you can stand this picture heavy post, I promise, I will tread lightly with pictures in upcoming posts :) I have no pictures of our very favorite Christmas tradition that began this year. We filled a Christmas jar...we prayed over the jar...we carefully executed the deposit of said jar on Christmas Eve on the front steps of a family that hopefully will be blessed by the contents. It will be a tradition we keep for as long as we are able. Nothing has filled our hearts more than this simple, gentle act of kindness, which had nothing to do at all with us, and everything to do with being obedient to God's call.

We began the season at a Yuletide Celebration touring the famous AI DuPont Home and dancing amongst the fairies in the Children's Garden, the girls were most impressed with the enchanted garden and cannot wait to go back in the spring...

We were blessed to attend a formal tea again this year. After the busy fall we had, it was such a welcomed respite. Emily and I enjoyed this special day but enjoy even more knowing how very important it is to my mother, Nanny! We shared our tea and hot chocolate (with marshmallows!!)with dear, dear friends. We are so grateful to unite this timeless tradition with the warmth of love and friendship. All three families had represented three generations of Godly women.

At the end, the girls did their own rendition of the Nutcracker!

Rather spur of the moment, we took the train into the city to see the Macy's light show and get a moment with the jolly guy in red ;) We strolled through Dicken's Village, which is just the right size for little ones. It was a wonderful experience that I have been just waiting to share with our girls. It is reminiscent of the many times I made this very trip myself, as a child. When I was little, my mother always took us to the Tea Room for lunch, since that no longer exists, we dined at the Hard Rock Cafe, not quite the same experience!

Both girls participated in their school Christmas programs. The programs were bathed in God's goodness. Emily, a shepherd, star in hand... and Hannah,a typical three year old, shocked us when she boldly and with great enthusiasm sang and sang. She knew every single song, every single movement and she was so overjoyed to have her first "sing songs in church".

The trees...maybe it is my German heritage or just my complete adoration of twinkling trees, but our home is always adorned with several Christmas trees. We have a Children's tree, which has only the girls' ornaments and decorations. This year, they chose a fake tree (GASP!) because the weather did not cooperate. They love their new evergreen and are thrilled that their tree can be retrieved from the attic in just a few moments. Emily and Hannah also have their own mini tree in their bedroom. Hannah's is a sparkly lavender little number adorned with silver ornaments, Emily's is her favorite pink hue and is decorated with an assortment or miniature baubles. Our more formal tree is real (sneezing and all!). We lock it in the living room, literally, closing the french doors, so that we can see it's beauty without the constant niggling of allergic reaction! This year, the weekends were not primed for tree chopping, we set out on a Monday after school. The farm had assured us the tractor was running and we'd get our "sleigh" ride out to the trees. Well, when we arrived it was desolate and no tractor was running. We set out on foot, when the man in the booth called to us and he sent another worker so that we would get our ride. The girls were thrilled! (So were we, to be honest.)

Children's Tree

Formal Tree

Emily's pink confection

Hannah's lavender lovely

Riding out to the trees!

Hannah and Rob watched as they bundled our tree...look carefully at the sky, it was so pink and beautiful.

My sister-in-love's family has always hosted a Christmas Eve fete. Years ago, when her aunts were no longer able to plan and host the party, the baton was passed to she and my brother. They gladly accepted and our family was brought into this lovely tradition. This has always been a favorite for Emily. She loves this party.

Simply one of my favorites photos of the season...out of focus, but filled with the wiggly delight of cousins

It was late by the time we left our Christmas Eve party, perfect conditions for stealthily leaving a gift of love like a Christmas Jar. :) We missed the church service we intended to attend. So, we had to search for another, just another blessing. Then, it was home to ready for Christmas morn. The girls were so tired, they forgot to leave treats for St. Nick. Emily, did not, however, forget to leave him a note, she always asks a host of questions and as she gets older, they get better! For her privacy, I did not take pictures of her note this year. She is to an age now, where she requests I not post her private thoughts. I am happy to honor her sweet heart. I will say, she asked some really thought provoking questions!

We got to spend time with wonderful friends in addition to spending time with family. I didn't capture everything because I left my camera behind at least twice during this season of festivities! I was able to catch some of these priceless memories.

Hannah saw her very first movie in a theater, The Princess and the F*rog...Emily put on a brave face and also viewed even thought her preference was the Squeakquel. Needless to say, Em and I have a date with some chipmunks in the coming weeks!

"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now, it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

Be blessed in this New Year, may it bring so many happy surprises!


Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE these visions of Christmas!!!! Gorgeous! :)
It really looks like a picture perfect Christmas!!!

Thank you for sharing!

Both of our trees are still up. Enjoying the lingering afterglow of Christmas! One more week.....maybe then I will be ready.


Michelle said...

What a wonderful scrapbook of your precious Christmas memories. I loved every word and picture. And no, there can never be too many pictures of your beautiful girls. Happy New Year, my friend. Leila and Emily got the same guitar. How cool would it be if they got a chance to rock out together in 2010? :)

Jewels of My Heart said...

What sweet memories indeed. I love seeing their beautiful, smiling faces. The Christmas program looked so precious. (We go to Calvary Chapel Savannah... is your church Calvary Chapel too?)
So glad you all had a beautiful, Jesus filled Christmas season...
Happy New Year

MacMui Mom said...

What fun and beautiful photos. I love that you have started the Christmas Jar tradition as we do. I met the author when I was in Idaho for potato harvest. Mia got "Penny's Christmas Jar" for Christmas. Please let us know when you go to Winterthur again as we have some free passes and would love to meet up. Happiest of New years!!!


Lisa R

redmaryjanes said...

Wow, gorgeous photos! What a beautiful holiday season you all had. When you order again, I will make your bows with clips facing the other direction so they will clip to the right side of the head.
Do you mind if I snitch a photo or two? They are just beautiful!

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh Heather....I love them all! We used to do separate trees also...we had a homemade ornament tree...a Pooh tree...and the kids had their own in their rooms also.

I love this whole post and there are never too many pictures....I love the bows.....and wow...Kimberley is doing such a great job with those isn't she?

Have a wonderful New Year my my heart;)

Anonymous said...

LOVE the tree in the green room!!

Good to see you all. The girls azre growing up!

Happy New Year!

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