Christmas was relatively quiet for us this year. Like much of the country, we had some snow and high winds for a few days in a row just before Christmas – ideal conditions to stay in and cozy up at home.
Christmas Eve was clear and very cold. We went to our church's Christmas Eve service in the morning this year, and I wore my Grandma Donna's pearls, a turtleneck sweater, skirt, and insulated tights. We went home for awhile, and then went over to Nicholas' dad's house for biscuits and gravy (something we've done with my MIL the last few years on Christmas Eve, as a fun and easy supper), and to open stockings. Cooper was rather wild, so we didn't stay for too long before heading home.
That evening, I cast on a new pair of socks, and we enjoyed cardamom buns after the boys were asleep.
On Christmas morning, we all ate breakfast and had coffee, then read the Christmas story (this year, we read an illustrated kid's version my parents gave to us), and then exchanged gifts.
We gave Cooper a backpack, a mini rolling pin, a CD player (that had been in the basement at my in-law's!) and some CDs, and then a mini (real) level and mini (real) ratchet screwdriver, since he loves tools.
From us, Finn got an EZPZ tiny cup, a silicone teether, and a wooden magnetic teether toy.
We went back over to my in-law's for a Christmas lunch of ham, mashed potatoes, sourdough dinner rolls, and veggies, all made by my SIL, Katelyn. We read from Luke, about the birth of Christ, and then we exchanged gifts.
Later on, while the little boys were playing with trains, Katelyn made us all lattes (this time, she made our's with raw milk– so so good), and we had cardamom knots and other little treats for a Christmas fika.
And then we went home, had a simple dinner of leftovers, and worked on a puzzle after the boys were asleep.
Other little things from the week of and the week after Christmas:
- I made sourdough cardamom knots for the first time and oh my goodness, they were so good. It's a rather involved recipe that requires a bit of work over the course of three days, but I would argue they aren't difficult to make, and they are so worth it. Thanks to my friend Greta, who made these and brought some by the week before Christmas, and then shared the recipe with me!
- Lots of fort-building with the boys. We have a few dome-shaped lights from my brother Matt that are perfect for interior lighting in forts.
- Watching The Grinch, cozy next to Cooper, with Bear, wrapped up in his new tiny quilt that my mom made for him (it matches the new quilt she made for us).
- Admiring and cozying up with the quilt my mom ^^ made for us
- Lego- and train-building. Both boys love trains and received train sets from family, so we've had fun exploring different track layouts.
- We visited Nicholas' Grandpa DeVries the day after Christmas, too.
And now we are in that span of time between Christmas and New Year's where everyone jokes about not having any idea what day of the week it is (and I'm there too). This week:
- Making homemade hot chocolate with whipped raw cream after playing outside in the snow
- Cooper pulling Finn in the sled for the first time. Finn was a good sport, for awhile!
- Cooper absolutely loving the CD player. He loves to choose music for us and play it for us, and he dances around his room in circles, and so enjoys taking out a CD carefully, and swapping in a new one. Such a fun (and free) gift. I brought back some CDs that were in my old room at my parents and it's nostalgic in all the best ways to hear him enjoy music I listened to years ago.
Christmas felt joyful and poignant this year, in the wake of missing family members who are in heaven. I'm so thankful for quiet moments here and there, and the chance to feel present and in a place of worship this Christmas season. For what joy there is to be found in the gospel, in any and all life circumstances.
I'm praying for an unhurried heart; the chance to pause and anticipate the Lord's faithfulness in the new year, and that's my prayer for you, reader, as well.