Christmas 2012

Can you handle one more Christmas post?  This Christmas was so phenomenal that I can't NOT write about it at length so I hope you will hang in there.  

If you've been here a while you will know that is was our VERY FIRST Christmas that neither Doug nor I were working retail.  In many ways it felt like our very FIRST Christmas together ever.

In all of our years of marriage we have never had more than a few hours to cram Christmas into and to have days upon days upon days this year was a blessing that I can't even begin to describe.  In Christmases past Doug would have maybe ONE weekend between Christmas and Thanksgiving in which we could "do" Christmas.  And on that weekend he was usually so tired that we laid low and spent time at home.  It's a tough and lonely way to spend the season, especially with small children but never knew any differently.  Most Christmases (and Thanksgivings too) we spent alone because Doug would have to work the day before and the day after so there was no way to travel to see family.  We would rarely make Christmas dinner because Doug would have a couple of short hours to enjoy the day and I didn't want to spend it cooking.

In Christmases past we wouldn't do parades and dinners and hours of cookie baking.  There just wasn't time or energy to do this as a family.    
But this Christmas?  Oh man.  What a difference!  Weekends off and home by 5pm every day goes a long, long way to providing plenty of time for spreading Christmas cheer.  Add to that the fact that the business Doug works for is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and you have the recipe for awesome. 

We were spoiled with time together and Christmas doings.  Doug and I shopped together!
We had time to have friends over to make gingerbread houses!
And still had daylight to spare!
We went to not one but TWO Christmas parades...
 ...the second of which the boys were in!
We enjoyed things like "pajama day" and "red and green day" at school!
We made and decorated gingerbread cookies together! 

We took the boys to see a movie!  This was Aaron's first movie ever (Wreck it Ralph)!
We took the boys to see a live nativity. 
We enjoyed a little Christmas crafting. :) 
We enjoyed spending time with these cuties.  
We baked...
 ...and baked some more!
We went to Christmas Eve service as a FAMILY! :) 
We were silly...
and we laughed a lot! 
There was lots of extra time for cuddling.  
And time for enjoying all sorts of gifts.  
But my most favorite Christmas blessing was that we spent loads and loads of time together. 

I believe that at some point in your life you should be a waiter/waitress and work retail.  It gives you a whole other perspective that just can't get otherwise. 

But I am praying that we have seen the last of those roles.  The way the world is going it's getting harder and harder to find a job that respects the institution of family and all that entails.  We feel so blessed with Doug's new job that on a regular basis we ask each other if this is real life...this new life is still so bizarre to us that I sometimes vaguely fear that I will wake up to find that it's all a dream. 

So for now I will just give thanks, for Doug having a great job, for a husband who works hard for his family, for healthy boys, a marriage that is rock solid and for a life that is better than I could have ever dreamed for. 

I can't wait to see what 2013 holds, can you?
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