This year, Joe and I discussed how we would like to create traditions for our children, especially around the holidays. One thing that we threw around was that we will try to have our children wake up at our house on Christmas morning, if possible, so that they can open their presents and stockings by our Christmas tree. We did that this year for the first time, and it was really special to watch Ella and her excitement (about getting an umbrella, but whatever.) Nathan slept in and missed the fun, but he wont remember it anyways! On Christmas Eve, we all went to our church, Community United Methodist Church, for the "family service" which was intended for families with children. We decided to have Ella sit with us during the service rather than go to the nursery with Nathan. I guess I had this vision of all of us sitting together as a family, listening to the story about Jesus's birth, and then singing "Silent Night" by candlelight. Well, Ella usually goes to Sunday School during the service, so she is not used to sitting quietly for an hour. And quite frankly, a 3 year old doesn't have the development to do so. So, needless to say, it was a bit stressful, and not at all the vision that I had created in my head. Maybe she'll do better next year. Going to our church on Christmas Eve is also a tradition we would like to try and continue, if it works out that way.
After opening presents and having breakfast together, we piled into the van and drove to Stevens Point to spend a few days at Joe's parent's house. Joe's siblings and their families were there as well, so all of the cousins were together and had a blast! I got to spend some time with my 10 month old nephew, Harry, who we don't see nearly enough! He and Nathan play along side each other quite well. We received many nice gifts and Ella got a Big Wheel! Ella is still at Joe's parent's until tomorrow, when she will come back with her Aunt Liz and her cousins, Dylan and Henry. We got a much appreciated gas card and I got a beautiful new blanket and glass serving dish.
Next year will be different and new for us as well, since my parents will hopefully be living in Wisconsin at that point! Their house is on the market in Michigan and they've had several showings and a few offers, but nothing has come through as of yet. Next Christmas Day will be spent with my parents, but since they will be in the area, we wont have to travel, which will be nice. No more 7 hour car-rides! So maybe we'll go over to their new house, or they'll come over to ours. Maybe we can spend Christmas Eve with Joe's parents, so we can see both sets of parents over Christmas next year. New traditions and old traditions coming together, making the holidays exciting and special. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!