One of our oldest and most cherished Christmas traditions is watching the movie Claymations together. It is an animated Christmas special that my dad taped years ago. We love watching the commercials for Ninja Turtles and other "90s" things inbetween the actual show--I still can't believe mullets were in STYLE....!
Another tradition we celebrate St. Lucia day. St.Lucia Day is a Swedish holiday where the oldest girl in the household (that would be me) dresses up in a white dress with a red sash, wears a wreath of candles on her head and delivers rolls and hot chocolate to family members in bed. The legend says that St. Lucia wore a wreath of candles so she was able to see when delivering food to the poor. Lacy loves this holiday so much and is always very excited. This year she had a sign on her door that said "Welcome Kelsey" and when I woke her up in the morning she said "I've been waiting for you!!" (this coming from the girl who is next to impossible to wake up for school). She even slept in her own white dress, and jumped out of bed to help me deliver.
. We have a special calender to help us countdown the days until Christmas. It has 24 pockets filled with angels, and each day someone gets to take an angel out of the pocket and stick into the "sky". The angels represent different countries around the globe and their dresses are decorated as the flag of each country. We love when we pull out an Ethiopian, American, or Swedish angel! '
/ And of course...COOKIES! We make peanut butter, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies with my mom and Swedish cookies called Rosettes with my dad. My mom has a rule where we can only eat the broken ones while we're baking, so Lacy and I have a tradition of "accidentally" smashing cookies, and then grudgingly agreeing to eat them ;)
. The things we do on Christmas Eve and Christmas day vary from year to year. This year was the first time we spent Christmas Eve at home with just our family, but it was very fun. We went to church in the morning, and than again at 5:00. Aaron was so funny...the pastor was concluding the service and he wished everyone a Merry Christmas, and Aaron yelled back "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!". Apparantly we did get the message across to him that today was Jesus' birthday!
. After the service we came home and had a big dinner, and then opened our presents from eachother. As you can imagine, it would be a little much to buy presents for all of my brothers and sisters, so instead we draw names each year and just buy for one sibling (we all give our parents gifts though).
My dad and I went to the candlelight service late at night, and it was sooo beautiful!
. The younger kids made sure to wake me up bright and early to see what Santa brought today...as tired as I was, it's was fun to see how excited they were. The best thing that Santa brought was an air hockey table for everyone!
This afternoon we went to our grandparents house to celebrate Christmas day. I think I ate almost a whole pan of my grandma's butterscotch cookies! They are my absolute favorite Christmas food. My grandpa shared a lot about his experiences in WWII and his journey with Christ today, and it was very moving. He has a way of really putting things into perspective.
I LOVE Christmas!
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6