Saturday, December 17, 2016

An Elfster Christmas

It may have only been December 17th, but Christmas came to our family in Chicago this morning!

Knowing we'd be in three separate places this Christmas, we decided a few months ago that today would be the day we'd celebrate since we'd be together. When I woke up I had that happy sense of anticipation, looking forward to a day of celebration with our kids. It honestly felt like Christmas all day!

In the morning, Claire and Haley worked on cinnamon rolls, while Lara and I got the eggs and bacon ready for our traditional breakfast on this special day. With new snow having fallen the night before here in Chicago, it made for a magical morning to celebrate the birth of Jesus!

After breakfast, Dave led us in a time of devotion, like we've always done. He read the Christmas story and we all commented on what stood out to us, and how it impacted us this year. It's amazing how it's different each time!

After we prayed, thanking the Father for Jesus, the greatest gift of all, it was time for our gifts to each other.

Caleb organized our giving this year using a website called "Elfster"....thus we kept calling this our Elfster Christmas! After adding names into a database, the site chooses a name for you of the person you're to buy a gift for. It then emails you, without anyone knowing who has who!

Caleb added a twist to our giving by saying we were to wrap our gift in a way that somehow reflected the person or the gift inside the package.

I think we had as much fun explaining our gifts as we did receiving them!

Haley explaining to Claire the significance of her golden sparkled wrapping paper!

The other aspect of our gift giving time was that each person was to make a guess about the gift that was meant for them. Would you believe every person guessed correctly?!

I'm not sure when it started, but Caleb has always been "Captain America" and Lara captured that well in her gift to him!

A certain little somebody slept through our gift giving, but got up in time for us to give him a few gifts! I bought this little outfit for him while my mom and dad were visiting in Czech last month. We all knew he'd look great in it, and he sure did!

He looked just as cute in the little shirt underneath, which perfectly showed off his suspenders!! 😂

We all laughed and laughed as he proudly walked around in his spiffy new shoes, showing off his amazing new ability to walk!

Claire had her camera with her so we gathered for a family picture, using the back of a chair as a tripod. It turned out pretty well!

And we all laughed at how color coordinated we were...without ever having said what to wear. Guess we're a family of blue, black, brown and gray!

Later in the afternoon Dave and the kids went to see the newest Star Wars movie, while Judah and I stayed behind. Nonnie needed some Judah time.

Unfortunately he was starting to get sick that evening so wasn't feeling his best. But we cuddled, looked at books, ate a little dinner and watched out the window as more snow fell. It was a perfect evening for this Nonnie who doesn't see her Judah very often.

I SO enjoyed soaking in time with our kids and grandson today. What a perfect gift from the Lord to have had this time with all of them!

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