I love the Christmas season! There's something in the air that is unlike any other time of year. For a few weeks a year, people hustle and bustle around, not for themselves, but for the sole purpose of giving to others. Families begin focusing on one another, eat together and share in rich family traditions. It's awesome!
Our little family has established our own little Christmas traditions. Each year, we spend a few days before Christmas with my side of the family. As many of you know, we lost my mom to cancer 5 years ago, and so time with my family is a little deeper and more solemn than it used to be. When you experience a loss of that magnitude it makes you reflect on what you have and although it is still tough to celebrate without mom, I feel strangely closer to the rest of my family. And just over a year ago, my Dad remarried to an amazing lady who brought with her a family of her own. Now Christmas is a bit brighter and a lot louder and more fun. We absolutely love and adore her and her family and it's kind of neat to have 3 more brothers and a bunch of more nieces and nephews.
On Christmas Eve, our family enjoys celebrating with our extended family at the church. We have always enjoyed intimate Christmas Eve services and love sharing it with our church family. Each year, we attempt to add to the family by inviting as many as will come into a personal relationship with Jesus. I can't think of a better way to celebrate His birth!
Following the Christmas Eve service Joy-Lynn and I love to come home and celebrate with our 5 amazing children. We each open one gift that night and then settle in to play a game or watch a Christmas movie.
Christmas Day is a blast. Joy-Lynn and I set this day apart to focus on just our kids and on each other. We begin the day with opening our gifts, followed by a hearty breakfast of Kethla, a German fried bread that has been a family favorite ever since I was a kid. Later in the day, I slave over the stove to prepare our annual seafood feast. We have lots of turkey between my family gatherings and Joy-Lynn's family and so a number of years ago we started this new tradition that our kids absolutely love. On the menu is lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp and other fun trimmings.
On Boxing Day we travel to Joy-Lynn's family in Saskatchewan. It's always an adventure as 35 of us converge at her parents place for a week of food, games, and lots of laughs. I enjoy the week as it is always refreshing and is an opportunity to rest and refresh for the New Year.
This is a simple look into our family's Christmas traditions. Our goal is simple: Make memories. We want to make memories with our families that will last a lifetime. Family is one of God's greatest gifts to us, and we must never take it for granted. Whatever your traditions are, enjoy your family and make memories that will last a lifetime!