Monday, December 31, 2012

Our story of December 25th, the day JOY is expressed in abundance

This is
Christmas in my heart

Our Christmas holiday is a 3 day event, at my parent's home sweet home, nestled away in a barren land of Colorado!  We start celebrating on Christmas Eve and stay until the day after Christmas.  It feels as if we escape to a rustic lodge, away from the hustle, for a holiday getaway!  Their beautiful hom is dressed up, with glowing gingerbread house lights for the season.

And God gently tossed layers of snowflakes, wrapping us in snow on all sides this winter!  We had a White Christmas.

Arriving at "Grandma's house" to begin our festivities is a highly anticipated moment for the boys!

My parent's home was perfectly appointed for December.

Giant bells and mittens on the tree...

Bells on the chandi...

Snowflakes everywhere!

I have SO many more photos of their Christmas home, HERE on MooreMinute's Facebook albums  

This Christmas we had 2 extra {special} visitors.  My Grandma flew in from Arizona to be with us.  Having her with us reminded me of all my childhood Christmases past.

My best friend, Brandi, spent the holidays with us too!  I was SO excited to see her.


California meets Colorado!

Once everyone arrives (safely and soundly!) we kick off our Christmas Eve night with some family traditions.  We recite Luke 2, the boys do some presentations, and we sing carols.

Cameron learned a sign language Christmas song in school, that he performed for us.

The boys sang their Christmas Alvin & the Chipmunks song.  For the full story on this tradition, see here.

My Grandma at the piano is heartwarming.  

Afterwards, it is time for our holiday feast! 

The table is's a party of 10!

Drinks are poured...

Hungry little tummies await the goodness...

Three types of meat: garlic rubbed prime rib, smoked turkey, and glazed ham.  

We are little homemaker girls, who worked extra hard to create this spread!


Garlic Rubbed Prime Rib
Honey Glazed Ham
Smoked Turkey
Waldrof Salad
Jello Pear Salad
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Poppy Seed Cranberry Spinach Salad
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Cheese Potato Casserole
Fresh Baked Butterhorn Rolls
Roasted Green Beans
5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Veggie tray

Are you full yet?

For dessert, my mom made a stunning 3 layer snowflake white chocolate cake with chocolate filling. 

It was gorgeous.

I made some side stars of butterscotch pudding and banana bread.

The boys leave Santa milk, cookies, and a note too!

To continue the most anticipated night of the year,  after dinner, the boys raced downstairs to discover little stuffed animals tucked into the bottom of their sleeping bags.  This is an annual tradition my parents do for them!  They also were able to open boxes of new jammies from Chris and me.  

To complete our night of magic, my Mom read TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS to the boys.  This is Cameron's favorite tradition of Christmas! 

The boys are full of giddy smiles and bounces and laughs all Eve long!  They truly can hardly stand to wait!  They jump under the covers FINALLY, and squeeze their eyes shut, hoping to fall into sugar plum dreamland so morning will quickly arrive!   No other night of the year is met with such great expectation.   

After all the Eve's festivities  the house is now still and quiet as a mouse.  In our home, we have a tradition of NO gifts under the tree until Christmas morning.  Santa visits and leaves all the gifts, and the elves tip toe around too in the middle of the night...making magic.

And finally, after a LONG night, Christmas morning sing a symphony of JOY, ringing in the day with snow sunshine!

We call the boys up when we are ready to open gifts.  They bound eagerly up the stairs, waiting to see what is under the tree.

Beautifully wrapped packages wait under the tree...

Dakotah found the dog he wanted from Santa...

The house is soon turned to excited chaos, tissue paper, ribbon, paper, and toys. 

Titus received his most-desired LEGO set!

We all buzz about, opening treasures and making merry.

Thank you Brandi!

My Mom and Brandi received matching necklaces...not on purpose either!

My Mom made Brandi and I matching knit hats!  
Super love those!
She actually made 8 hats for most all of us.  
She is super mom.
For sure.

I am still in awe that my Mom made time to knit 8 hats in addition to all the other holiday TO DOs! I simply adore sentimental, made with love gifts, and I'll always treasure my pretty knit hat.  <3 mom.="mom." p="p" thank="thank" you="you">

I LOVE the hat pattern with the subtle grey and pops of color.  These are the ones she made for the boys.  She made hats for Chris, Kyle, and my Dad too!

Here is a shot of a lot of us in our HATS!

My dad found a vintage vending machine for me and he RESTORED it all to mint condition !!! I was a very happy girl.  It is one of the best gifts I've ever received!! Thank you Dad.  <3 p="p">

It is perfect.

So many exciting moments opening gifts of love from the ones we love most.

We took breaks in between opening gifts to explore our new treasures...

Cameron...being Cameron.

Trying on new clothes and testing out new shoes...

We also took a holiday BREAKFAST break!

Chilling out in the snow air while waiting for breakfast...

Mom served her traditional Breakfast Egg Bake.  We also had more homemade pastries and some fruit.

The rest of our Christmas Day was spent just being together and resting and playing and eating and just being happy on this GRAND finale day of the year!

In the afternoon, my Mom and I got busy, lit some candles, and set out appetizers and put soup in the crockpot.  

I made Christmas tree tortilla chips using flour tortillas and a cookie cutter.  I sprayed olive oil on the tortillas, dusted with garlic salt and parsley,  and baked in the oven at 400 until crisp. 

I also like to cut cheese with holiday cookie cutters to make it more festive. 

My Mom and I make TONS (dozens and dozens) of holiday cookies each December.  We always put trays out for an all day long cookie buffet every Christmas Day.  This year, my Grandma made some delicious cookies to add to our collection too!

My Mom's homemade dark chocolate peppermint cookies were PERFECT.

My Mom made these adorable cherry pinwheels too!

I didn't get photos of all of the cookies but we had SO many different varieties, and all so beautiful.  To see more about Christmas cookies, please see my cookie blog post for 2012 HERE.  

I think THESE boys had a Christmas to Remember, 
once again.

Complete with cozy knit colorful hats from Grandma.

Thank you Dad and Mom for being such a dynamic TEAM!  
I appreciate the work both of you put into giving us the gift of 
over abundant Christmas blessings
 I love you, always.

Each season holds a collection of things I love 
but Christmas provides that magic 
unmatched by any other season.  
It has and always will be,

Mom and Dad's tree

My desire is to pass that magic that I hold in my heart
onto my three boys.

I hope you all had the merriest of Christmases
and that you found your

JOY...happiness from the inside out,
expressed in abundance on
December 25th.  

Until next year,
Merry Christmas.

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