the calm after the gift rush
Life isn't perfect. Each year we face struggles, grumpy days, and off moments. BUT Christmas IS perfect...100%. Christmas is magic. It is a couple days of luxurious excess that make our hearts patter and our smiles big. It is the celebration of all things radiant! It is the celebration of family, and of life. Sometimes in life, we go simple, low key, and minimal, but not on the 25th of December. Christmas Day is our grand finale to the year, brought in with grand splendor! We live as if it were our last days. We never know what the future holds so we celebrate these golden days fully.
PLEASE NOTE: This is habitually the LONGEST blog post of the year. I take enough pictures to carry you through our entire holiday experience! This year, I am adding most of our photos to MooreMinutes Facebook page. Like Moore Minutes on Facebook and see the rest of the pictures later this week!
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas combined is the most anticipated experience of our year. Every year we pile our presents, food, and pillows into the car and head 15 minutes up the road, into the country, to my parent's house. We escape real life for 3 days into the magical holiday winterland.
The minute we enter the door, everything is dreamy!
We arrive at my parent's home sweet home on Christmas Eve. Their home is warm and cozy for a Colorado rustic Christmas.
My Dad's vintage restored toys make the perfect decor.
When we arrive, my Mom and I prepare for our giant holiday feast!
My mom and I are kitchen twins, both carrying a love for serving our family with beautiful meals and good menus. We work super hard for this meal and every bite is delicious!
Holiday Menu 2013
Homemade honey rolls
Cheese potato casserole
Fresh Almond green beans
homemade creamed corn
red, green, and white salad
homemade white Macaroni and Cheese
Snowman Swiss Cauliflower
baked cinnamon apples
My mom set up a crock pot bar so we could attend Christmas Eve service and have most of our dishes ready.
Frozen Mocha Loaf
Apple Spice Cake
Layered Mint Brownies
Assortment of Christmas cookies and candy
Excited to dig in!
After dinner, we traditionally gather around the living room to sing carols and watch the kids to presentations. We also recite Luke 2 and read Twas the Night Before Christmas. This year, Dakotah memorized Twas the Night Before Christmas and said it for us all!
Cameron did a sign language song and Titus played violin, while Kotah played the bells. It was heartwarming to to hear!
Chris played the guitar while we sang carols.
After that, we follow ANOTHER tradition to open Christmas Eve gifts. Christmastime is all about traditions! My mom always has fun surprises and also a stuffed animal on their beds. And Chris and I give jammies.
The boys ready to open their jammie bags
New slippers with chocolate suckers
Then, it is time to head downstairs and jump into bed.
They're so excited, they can hardly wait!
Getting a big bear hug from Bapa.
Our tradition is no presents under the tree until the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve. Then! When they wake up on Christmas morning, it's a big, beautiful surprise under the tree.
They tiptoe quickly around the tree, looking for presents with their names on them.
My parents wrap the most beautiful gifts!
Fun tags too!
The rest of the morning buzzes with excited energy.
...and lots of surprised happy faces.
And soon we have a housefull of boy toys. Soooo many LEGO sets!!
And a Star Wars Robot!
My brother gave me a giant-sized new camera lens!
And my Mom ALWAYS prepares the most beautiful packages...inside and out. Every one of her packages looks like this inside:
We break for a traditional breakfast too.
My parents always make overnight egg casseroles that are delicious!
My mom and I baked an assortment of breakfast pastries too.
Overnight Egg and Sausage Casserole
Overnight Egg and Ham Casserole
Mom's sweet rolls
Mom's blueberry cream muffins
My cream cheese cranberry wreath
My cranberry candycane bread
I traditionally put lotto tickets under every breakfast plate.
Good morning Christmas!
For an EXTRA special afternoon surprise this year, my parents surprised the boys with an off-road go kart! It is adorable and so much fun. This was the highlight of our Christmas!
They rode it and rode it until dusk.
My mom's gorgeous cheese tree!
My layered cheese slices with crackers
All paper and plastic for this day!
Christmas is everywhere.
Just playing all day!
All cozy with the ones we love most!
The boys with their new ultra sabers from Uncle Kyle!
Mom and Dad work SO hard to make Christmas amazing for all of us. My heart swells with excited gratitude for who they are and what they do for us. Thank you both for giving us so much beauty in this life! We love you.
Every year we do this pose...
so fun to watch my favorites grow!
If you made it this far then WOW!
Thank you for following along on our Christmas story 2013.
Be blessed in your new year!
This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Nifty Thrifty, Made by You Monday, Met Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, HOMEWORK: Be Inspired, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, Works for Me Wednesday, Snap Creativity, Organize and Decorate Everything, Transformation Thursday, Tablescape Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, 36th Ave, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday