Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Just the two of us would like to share our family's holiday traditions and the big Christmas surprise that made last Christmas a Christmas to remember...
Christmas time 2005 brought the wonderful and amazing birth of our first precious Grand Baby, little Ben. Our hearts were blessed as he was born Dec 2nd, and this alone would have made this a Christmas to remember, but more surprises were in store for us. Here he is at 2 weeks.
Traditionally, we put a real live tree up the first weekend of December. We decorate in homemade, rustic or old fashion ornaments and red and green lights. My wonderful hubby takes down about 8 huge totes of decorations. I admit it is a bit out of control. hehe! We string popcorn and cranberry's and used to, all five of us did one string, so that would pretty much cover the tree.
My kitchen is traditionally done up with ice blue snowmen. One snowman, is fiber optic and my daughter swears the eyes look possessed because the eyes do turn red for some odd reason. lol
Traditionally, every Christmas Eve, we celebrate with lots of food, Mostly finger food. This is when we celebrate with my hubby's folks. Christmas Music fills the house, the family gathers around the Christmas tree and we exchange gifts, and on occasion we all pile in the car and drive out to see some awesome Christmas lights and sing a few Christmas Caroles. Then when the kids were little we would return home to sit out cookies and hot cocoa for Santa. Once that was done and the kids had their baths and pj's on, the kids would all snuggle up together with just the two of us, in front of the fire place, if we were living in a house that had one at the time, otherwise just anywhere we could get all get cozy and read "The Night Before Christmas". The kids just loved this tradition. Once the kids were tucked in, and we were all down for that long winter's nap, amazingly Santa would come and the kids were not allowed to wake us up until 6:00 am and then the majic would be unwrapped. Oh the splendor of it all! The birth of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate this glorious day, we say a special prayer together and either go to church the that evening or in the morning.
Last year, we were delighted to have our house full of company. Our kid's Auntie Deb and Uncle Noel and their three sweet children Samuel, Sawyer, and Tori were staying with us for a week through Christmas and then on to celebrate my the folks' 50th Anniversary. We also had other family members staying here and there and with the folks too. All in anticipation of a wonderful Christmas Eve Family Celebration and the 50th.
I made up four huge pans of Lasauna, a dish the kids all go nuts over, along with you name it salad, little smokies, deviled eggs, mini cinnamon rolls, veggies and dips and all kinds of cookies, I love to bake for the holidays! One of the favorites is the Christmas cookies we all decorate with icing and flavored sugar and candy bits. Pictured left Uncle Noel, and Sawyer.
While the festivities were heating up at our house with my hubby's side of the family. There were oodles going on with my side of the family, we all wanted to keep up with our lovely family traditions of going up to my wonderful, sweet and kind Mom's lake house for Christmas Day. This is the most treasured and beloved day we spend together as a family. Pictured right, Pamela's Mom.
Christmas 2005, was sure to have a little added surprise element, as my wonderful Daughter Chrystal, who had been attending Oral Roberts University and had met and knew a wonderful young man named Dave, for about three years, had become much more serious; dating as of June 10th of the current year.
Well, imagine our delight when just the two of us got a call from Dave and he wanted to speak with "both" of us on the speaker phone and yes, he asked us both, for our little girls hand in marriage. As I had mentioned before, it was so sweet of him to include me too. We gave him our blessings, and now here it was about the second week of December and he had called to let me know he had some plans in store that he wanted to know if he could have my approval...and without further ado.
A Christmas to Remember ~
It was Christmas Day. Chrystal, had finally come to terms that her boyfriend, Dave was not going to magically show up for Christmas here at our home in Florida. In fact, he had made it adamantly clear to Chrystal the he was looking forward to spending Christmas with his folks, who were all going to get together in their hometown of New Hampshire.
I had warned Chrystal that she was just setting herself up for a big let down, that he needs to be with his family too. We were on our way to Grandmother's house, when Chrystal decided she better make a call to her Dad, who was called into work, at least that is what she thought...he definitely had his finger upside his nose. (meaning he had a secret)
We went out to Grandmother's lovely gazebo on the lake and Grandmother was going on about something like a board she was concerned with on the gazebo and all of us were standing there wondering what in the world she was talking about, her gazebo was fine, when suddenly, Chrystal's Dad snuck up and wrapped Chrystal in a big burly "Daddy hug". Chrystal was happily surprised her Dad had made it, when out from behind him someone said, "Sir, I can take over from here".
It was all unfolding too fast for Chrystal to comprehend what was going on, but then her eye caught David, and then David's parents and his brother Dan, who were suppose to be in New Hampshire, they had flown down for this special moment. So there we all were both families, all encircling David and Chrystal, as they embraced each other in an intense and emotional hug. Chrystal was trembling like I had never seen her tremble before. David had tears in his eyes.
Our family, Kevin with Renee holding little Ben, Terrence, my brother Duane, the kid's Grandmother, and lastly, Chrystal's parents, just the two of us were all touched as our sweet lovely Daughter and her boyfriend David shared a tender loving moment of just melting in each others eye's. David knelt down on one knee and there out on the gazebo nestled out on the lake, with all it's beauty and the family attempting to take in and devour every precious moment, David asked Chrystal to become his wife and marry him...and she said "yes"!
There wasn't a dry eye among us it was so precious and meaningful that he thought to let us share and wittness in this their moment. David presented Chrystal with a gorgeous heirloom diamond ring that I had given them that belonged to Chrystal's Great Great Grandmother. David had to have the band repaired and polished up and it came out absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. A true heirloom I know they will treasure forever!
While I have always cooked and served the Thanksgiving Dinner, my Mom makes an incredible Turkey dinner every Christmas. It is a feast with all the trimmings that we all look so forward to. She pours her heart and soul into decorating every single room of her house with Christmas decorations that date back to my kids Great Great Grandparents, on up to little trinkets we grew up with. Our home is filled with love and laughter and we always play games together after our huge feast, it is wonderful!
So here we were, last year, asking her to set the table for four more people that she had never met, and serve us all. I mean our family alone is quite a bit for her to cook for. She was so kind and understanding to open up her home, and invite them to stay. I noticed she was shaking like a leaf and I never loved her so much as I did right then. After all, this was only the second Christmas after loosing my Dad to a sudden heart attack, and well holidays can be the hardest.
Just the two of us, will always treasure this Christmas and the surprises that we were all able to enjoy and witness as one to remember. We hope as the years unfold your families will enjoy a Christmas to remember and treasure, with both old traditions and new traditions.
For more Holiday Traditions, click on the link and see our wonderful host, Sandra, of Diary of a SAHM.