Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My friend, Ashley, did a post on her family's Christmas traditions, which got me thinking about our traditions. We have several that have been in place for generations and a few that we have started on our own. 

  •  Cookie Decorating- I'm a huge baker. The boys and I always bake some sort of cookies and decorate them. This year we've been loving peanut butter cookies with Hershey kiss centers, reindeer sugar cookies, and drop sugar cookies. Some doughs I make from scratch, some we start off with a mix. I don't really think it matters as long as you're getting quality time with the kiddos! 

Caleb 2010

Caleb 2009

Bray 2010

Me 2009

  • Trimming the Tree- This is always done as a family. Gone are the days when I was obsessed with having just the right mix of ornaments on the tree- this red glittery ball can't be too close to another red glittery ball- and now I unpack the ornaments and let the boys do as they please. I may or may not still  "fix" a few after they've gone on to other things. :) Oh, and shatterproof ornaments are of utmost importance. 
  • Christmas Movies- We love movies anyway, so Christmas movies are extra special! We start watching them around Thanksgiving and until the New Year. It's a great way to spend some relaxed time as a family. Some of our favorites include The Polar Express, Charlie Brown's Christmas, Prancer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street (both versions), It's a Wonderful Life. 
  • Christmas Books- My boys love to read as much as I do! We have a stack of Christmas books that only come out with the Christmas decorations. We curl up together on the couch and they listen for as long as I will read! 

  • Christmas Parade- Our town has an annual Christmas parade, usually the first Saturday of the month. We love to bundle up wear our short sleeved Christmas shirts, go see all the floats, and catch candy! This year Jeffry helped direct the whole parade route.
  • Gifts with Jeffry- Jeffry and I always pick a special night, usually a night or two before Christmas Eve, to open our gifts to each other. We started this a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite traditions. It gives us a chance to take our time and enjoy each others reaction without the craziness of extended family and the kids around! 
  • Deanash Party- Our church hosts a party for the local children's home each year. We buy the gifts on the children's lists, and then we bring food and our families to celebrate with them. Half of the fun is having our children play with them! This is always a special night. 
  • Christmas Eve Communion- This is an important tradition to Jeffry's family. We usually spend Christmas Eve with his parents, grandparents, brother, sister in law, aunt, uncle and cousins opening presents and stuffing ourselves. Then at 6 or so, we drive over to their church and partake in Communion as a family. I always get teary! 
  • Table Gifts- My grandmother started this with my mom and my aunt. Either Christmas breakfast or lunch, the table is set and each person has a small "table gift" at their place setting. They are usually just a small $5 or less gift that's something fun or useful. My grandmother still buys them all for us, so I always buy hers! This year she's getting 2 crossword puzzle books. Sometimes she will buy the boys character bandaids or playing cards. Just a little happy. 
  • Christmas PJ's- Every year I buy the boys Christmas pajamas, which they get to open on Christmas Eve. I got this idea from my childhood best friend's mom. I don't buy matching sets; I usually pick something individual to the child. I also buy them for Jeffry, me, and my brother. We're kids at heart! (And I like having something new to be photographed in Christmas morning, haha).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I have been so busy and overwhelmed lately that blog posting has taken a backseat. And I'm okay with that. Trying to lower my "perfection" standards and accept that sometimes my best is good enough. Thanks to you all who stick by me and still read when I do post!

Now that it's almost Christmas, I guess I should start by going back to Thanksgiving and sharing our photos with you! We are so blessed to have wonderful extended family, and we got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. We started out Thanksgiving week in Gulf Shores with Jeffry's mom, dad, brother, and sister in law.

Jeffry, Caleb and Trace playing a toss game at Lulu's. 
We rode the boat from our bayhouse and parked right outside. So cool. 

Bray and me on the ride back from Lulu's. 

Thanksgiving dinner...Bray's view :)

Everyone filling their plates!

Looks like Trace is trying to steal some pie!

Sweet Caleb 
Ready to rest after eating too much!

Caleb and Trace at Thanksgiving dinner #2 with my side of the family. 

Jeffry cooked our first turkey on the Big Green Egg! It was sooooo yummy! Not dry at all. Success!

Going thru the buffet line. 

Trace enjoying his dinner!

Haha, Trace waiting on everyone to go through the dinner line. 

And after Love Bray's outfit. 

All the guys kicked back enjoying some down time.

The big boys at their special table...complete with candle. 

This Christmas season has been so enjoyable. Although we have been beyond busy, I have been able to relax and enjoy things in the moment. God is truly blessing us right now! So thankful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

From Our Family To Yours!

Merry Christmas from The Peters!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cheer and Random Acts of Kindness

Our church is on a mission through the end of December.

We are performing Random Acts of Kindness to unsuspecting recipients in our community. I'm so excited about this!

Did you know that the holidays have the largest suicide rates of any time of the year? That breaks my heart. People feel so lonely and with the busyness of the holidays, we often pass them by. As a church, we are pledging to stop and care this season. We are making a concentrated effort this month to perform Random Acts of Kindness to show people the love of Jesus. We even have cute little cards to pass out that say "something to show you that God loves you".

I love this YouTube video of a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus in a mall food court. How's that for a RAOK?

I challenge you to join with us this month in spreading Christmas cheer, Random Acts of Kindness and most importantly, the love of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He's not a baby any more. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Can't Shop Anymore

Ya'll, I think there's something wrong.

I can't shop anymore!

And it's December 1st! As in 23 days til Christmas....

I have some (very little) of my Christmas shopping already finished, but I'm having a hard time committing to things. Like I will be in a store, pick up an item intended as a gift, and then talk myself out of the purchase. I just can't commit.

For different reasons...price, quality, they have something similar, is that really the best thing for the money, etc.

What's wrong with me?

This has never before been a problem, I assure you.

I must really find out what happened to my old shopping self...before my family has no gifts to open!

23 days....