I hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Michael Luke, Noah, and I really enjoyed getting to spend the holidays together as a family.
Our Christmas celebration was a little different than in years past and not just because of the addition of a baby. Instead of trying to set the record for the most families visited in forty-eight hours, this year we just stayed home. It was nice! Even though we missed spending time with our families, we had been looking forward to a slower-paced holiday schedule and the opportunity to focus more on the true reason for Christmas!
Michael Luke worked Christmas Eve morning… I really didn’t mind because this gave me a chance to clean up a little bit around the house while jamming out to some Pandora music (holiday style). A clean house just helps everything feel a little more special; and these days, it really is special if the house is clean!
He ended up having a short work day, so we did some last minute shopping for Noah. Nothing overboard though, since she would much rather have been eating than opening gifts. While out, we also scouted out a few stores to see if they had any trees left. I mentioned (here) that we planned to replace ours after this Christmas. Trees were few and far between to be found… which totally put a kink in my plan to grab one on sale the day after Christmas. We found a few at Home Depot that would do the trick, but they opened at 6:00 a.m. December 26!!! As much as I wanted a new tree, six in the morning was not a possibility for me. Thankfully, Michael Luke volunteered to swing by Wal-Mart and Home Depot before he went to work Monday morning. My troubles were put to ease, and we continued on with our Christmas Eve activities.
Michael Luke requested red beans and rice for Christmas dinner. Maybe a little unusual, but he wanted it to be a reminder of others who had less than we did to eat. So I did a little recipe searching and found this yummy sounding Caribbean Red Beans and Rice recipe. Nutmeg and cinnamon were involved, so it sounded like the perfect recipe for a Christmas dinner… and it was. As a side we had sweet potatoes and for dessert bread pudding.
Everything was delicious! Michael Luke has requested this to be a Christmas tradition. Which is fine with me, because it was super easy, and we had leftovers for the next day. That’s right, I didn’t cook at all Christmas Day. We even had a ready-made Whole Foods pizza Christmas night. Yum!
Anyway, after supper we listened to some Christmas music, had a short devotional, and sang a hymn as a family before putting Noah to bed (in her own room for the first time). Later, Michael Luke and I exchanged gifts and called it an early night. That will probably change in a year or two.
Christmas morning, we woke up to the sounds of a crying baby… not Jesus, Noah. After feeding her we brought her downstairs, so she (we) could open her presents.
Santa brought her some pacifiers and a banana-shaped teether.
In all of the commotion of the morning, we managed to get ready for the church service and on time too. This was Noah’s first time to attend a church service. She slept through the whole thing. The rest of the day was spent lounging around the house and enjoying time together as a family. A little different than usual but wonderful.
The day after Christmas, Michael Luke kept to his end of the bargain which consisted of me staying in bed and him hitting up Wal-Mart and Home Depot before work. He brought home two trees, one from Wal-Mart and one from Home Depot, that looked like they would work. The funny thing is he took my compact car, a Huyndai Elantra, instead of our Ford Escape. The car was packed full with one tree in the trunk and the other taking up the back and passenger seats (it was a floor model so there was no box for it)! Haha! A little crammed but it fit.
The GE Black Hill Spruce tree from Home Depot was our favorite. It’s a 7′-6″ LED pre-lit tree. By waiting until after Christmas, we got 50% off for the low price of $130. That’s a big step up from our $30 tree!
Our old tree is no comparison to this. We plan to buy one more ornament in March (more about that here), but we might have to buy a few more to decorate the tree next year!
That wraps up our Christmas activities. Did anybody else find any good day-after-Christmas deals?
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