Since it was our first Christmas with baby Elias we wanted it to be a very special one. Of course, just being with him any time is special, but we had to coordinate five different family groupings including our own which made things a little difficult. My aunt and uncle wanted to celebrate with us, but were busy Christmas eve, and were getting ready to leave for Arizona for the winter. They are on their way now and are hopefully warmer than we are! Then there is my brother and his wife who also had other families to coordinate with. My parents were in the mix as well as Nate’s family who are in town over Christmas for the first time in years. We had a fun filled couple of days spent with family.
Our Christmas festivities actually started on the 23rd when we went to a candlelight service at Nathan’s mom’s church. There was a woman who recited some wonderful poems, and singing the Christmas carols was nice. The musicians at Beaverton Foursquare always do a very fine job. I find it refreshing to worship in a different style every once in a while. The sermon was a little long for our taste (especially with a tired baby), but the story the pastor told at the end of the sermon was very powerful and will probably stick with me forever.
Luckily, Nathan had Christmas eve off this year so we got to spend the morning with just the three of us. Elias was a very happy camper. Then we headed off to brunch at IHOP with my parents, Greg, and Nate’s dad. The food was good, but they put the calories for each item on the menu which was a bit depressing. They do have a few healthy items there which is nice. The place was quite busy and very cheery. It made me sad that the people who were working didn’t get to be with their families too.
We rested a bit in the afternoon, and then went to the Christmas pageant at St. Bart’s where Elias had his debut acting role. Elias got to play the part of baby Jesus. Kristin, who played the part of Mary was very capable and our big fears of a fussy baby were for nothing. He was very sweet tempered and made it all the way through the pageant. We were joking about the fact that he started out in a starring role, and then has to work his way up to being a stable animal.
It will be fun to see him grow through the different parts in the play. (Angels, animals, shepherds, etc.) After the pageant the rest of the service was very nice. Our preacher also sent a good message about making Christmas center on Jesus instead of so many other things that it usually does.
After the service, we headed to Nate’s mom’s for Christmas burritos! Burritos always taste better at Judith’s house. I try to make them, but they never turn out as tasty.
She has the magic touch! We had fun snapping pictures of the babies and just relaxing after an eventful day. When Nate, Elias and I got home we tried to open Elias’ presents, but he was too tired. We ended up just putting him to bed and learned that babies don’t care what day it is….even if it is Christmas.
Christmas day was also great! We first went over the Nate’s mom’s house to exchange gifts over there. Then we went to my parents’ to exchange gifts. Then everyone from both families got together for dinner. I just felt so happy that we could have everyone together who we love for one big dinner. We didn’t have to feel like we were leaving anyone out.
On another happy note…Elias laughed out loud for the first time on Christmas Day! It was so cute to hear him. It actually sounded a bit like a hiccup, but many people agreed it was actually a laugh. He did three or four big guffaws while listening to Grandma Smith tell a story and being held by Grandma Bartle. I guess those grandmas are quite funny. Overall our first Christmas with Elias was a wonderful one! I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Here are some pictures from the day: