An Early Christmas
Christmas came early this year. Our box of gifts arrived about a week ago, and as usual, it stirred up a lot of excitement. We are so grateful for this kind gesture by Justin’s parents. They send us two boxes a year, and the Christmas one always makes our favorite holiday even better! For the first time in our eight years together, we didn’t buy a single gift. Over the last few months, we have been buying… a lot of everything! We have bought new clothes, we have done a few online shopping sprees, and of course, we are about to leave on a Christmas getaway. There wasn’t even a explicit agreement to not buy presents. As our early Christmas rolled round, I think we both silently realized that we have all that we need, and that we have bought enough recently.
We wanted to have a proper Christmas celebration so we chose a day where we could do just that. We will be in El Nino on Christmas Day, probably on some sort of island hopping day-trip. Not wanting to miss out on all of the warm mushy festiveness, we did everything that we would have done on the 25th… just a couple of weeks early! We made breakfast food, opened Christmas crackers (a tradition in my family) and then sat by the tree and opened our gifts.
Don’t get me wrong, we CANNOT wait to get to the Philippines. But we have second guessed this trip a couple of times since booking it. Can you believe it? We love Christmas, and being home on Christmas, so much, that after the hype of booking our first Christmas away… we started to feel a little sad that we won’t be here. By HERE, I don’t even mean China. It is hard to explain, but I think we are both a little sad we won’t be around anything Christmas-related on that special day. Almost like our most favorite time of year is approaching, and now we are going away from it. Our home is cozy and decorated for the season. It feels like we are leaving Christmas behind.
On the plus side, since doing this Christmas celebration, I feel like Christmas really did happened. I don’t feel like we have missed it at all. I am pppppreeeettty sure that the minute our feet touch that white sand, we won’t even bat an eyelid about missing Christmas at home. And especially not about missing Christmas in cold, polluted China!
Our Christmas Pictures
Every year, around the end of November, Justin puts a slideshow onto our TV. All day long, all of our Christmas pictures from 2010 until now are displayed on our television. It makes our hearts so happy to watch those pictures change. Interestingly enough, even guests enjoy the slideshow. At the Cookie Swap we hosted two weeks ago, some of the guests turned down a movie to watch the pictures instead. Part of the sadness of missing Christmas day here was that we felt like we would be missing out on making the special year-end memories that we love to keep a record of.
You will therefore have to excuse the amount of pictures (especially of Eli) in this post. These photos are mostly for all the grandparents and family who we don’t get to spend Christmas with. They are for Justin’s folks, since they send a big box of gifts but never get the joy of seeing us open them. And they are for us – to add to that heart-warming slideshow tradition.
Here is a look at our 2017 Christmas…
It came early, but it was just as perfect as if it was on the 25th!
These next ones are funny…
The gift was for Justin, not me. My mother-in-law does an amazing job of labeling the gifts, but this little box must have got muddled up. haha, my face when I open it!
Eli love love loves puzzle at the moment! He barely cares to open gifts one after each other. Each gift he opens, he wants to start using/ building/ playing with. It is really cute, and although I am sure this phase won’t last forever, I really do appreciate it.
Handmade with Love
These letter blocks, forming little man’s name, were handmade by his Texas grandma. FYI, her self-appointed name was “Grams”, but Eli changed it to “Mimi”. I love that – when kids just decide they will choose their own names for you. Eli now knows that Justin and I actually have names. He is also now aware that his name isn’t “gaggy” (a silly nickname that stuck for him). Sometimes he will hug both of us at the same time, and then say, “Justin and Catherine and Eli, together forever”
Eli’s face int he next three photos…
I can’t get enough of this kid! He is so awesome!
Once again, I am sorry (well, only a little) for the picture overload. This post is a really special one and I know that those waiting for it will appreciate all of the angles, faces and expressions. We aren’t sure what the 24th and 25th will hold for us, but we sure did have an amazing Christmas celebration at home.
Merry Christmas to you all!