We are having our first Christmas as our own family. Ever. The Soldier Man & I have been married 9 years & this is our first time doing this holiday alone. It wasn't some goal we set out to meet or anything, but living on the West Coast & having family on the East Coast just started to get very pricey on top of usual holiday costs of Santa, gift-buying, & everything else. We thought about it alot. ALOT. Prayed about it too. Then when we found out that this would be our one & only California Christmas (that we know of) we knew that we should stay here, save money, & have our Christmas in California. It is hard. I am missing my family like crazy. I hate that we cannot be at all of our usual holiday gatherings seeing all of the people we love, but I am enjoying not being in the hustle & bustle & just celebrating as a family of 4. I got the last of the packages in the mail last week so I truly am taking in the season loving on my crazies, cooking, crafting, & really dwelling on the reason for this season.
By doing a California Christmas, we have chosen to give the gift of travel from Santa to our crazies. We are taking them to Disneyland!!! They have no idea & will not until Christmas morning, but we are celebrating a little bit early & making up our own "Christmas Day". Being military, there are special rates that we get, but they also come with blackout dates that happen to fall on Christmas. So, to get around that we are grateful for kids that can't read a calendar yet so we can make Christmas whenever we want!
So, tonight we had Christmas Eve. Soldier Man read the Christmas story from Luke & we sang Christmas Carols -- some kid ones like Rudolph & some adult ones like Silent Night. The crazies got out the cookies & milk for Santa as well as carrots for his reindeer. They put the special Santa key out front so he would have a way in since we lack a chimney in the desert -- imagine that. Lastly, we read the Soldier's Night Before Christmas to remember the service men & women not at home with their family this season. The crazies have dozed off & Santa better get busy, but these little blessings of mine are making the holidays not "at home" bearable & amazing!!
Reading the Christmas Story
D setting out the cookies
Getting the carrots out for the reindeer -- "can they reach them here, Dad?"
All ready to feed the big fellow dressed in red
The crazies setting out the special Santa key