Our church had a children's program the Sunday before Christmas. Considering how young some of the kids were, they did great. (We were seated way off to one side so we didn't have the best view.)
Early Christmas Eve morning, we had our own celestial gift: snow! Up to this point we've had bare ground, so this was unexpected and most welcome. (Unfortunately we didn't get much.)
It's always funny to watch chickens in the snow.
Vista across the fields.
On Christmas Eve morning, we put out our annual Junk Food Feast. This is a congregation of every type of nutritionally-useless culinary rubbish we never, ever buy during the rest of the year. Long story short: After Thanksgiving many years ago, Don commented about what a pity it is I work so hard and make such a nice meal for Thanksgiving, only to repeat the same work load over Christmas. Somehow one thing led to another (aided and abetted by two eager children, no doubt) and before we knew it, we had started a tradition of having nothing but junk food for three days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day) in which no one has to ask permission to eat potato chips for breakfast -- and I go on a kitchen strike. (By the end of this, everyone's begging for broccoli.)
Lydia always enjoys our clumsy moments.
I came in from doing some outside chores and found a spontaneous recital in progress.
The candlelit Christmas Eve service was beautiful and uplifting. Did you know the Christmas Truce of World War I happened 100 years ago exactly?
We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. Our friends Dallas and Susie always join us for opening gifts. These fine neighbors have been with us for every Christmas Eve since we moved to Idaho, and it wouldn't be the same without them.
Here's Don's father's Bible opened to Luke 2.
He always reads the Christmas story out loud before we open gifts.
Some of our presents. Don gave me a hand-cranked meat grinder -- wow!
I gave him a magnetic sweeper for shop and barn (picks up nails, etc. from the ground).
Younger Daughter (who's into Steampunk) received a necklace...
...some lacy scarves...
...and two patterns so she can sew some clothes.
Don made Younger Daughter a perch for her parrot Lihn -- who adores it!
Older Daughter received a hand-made choker from GG...
...an antique-styled bandbox...
...and a gift card to a clothing store of which she's fond.
Christmas morning the girls have stockings and one unwrapped present each. They each received a leather journal...
...and we gave our friend GG a beautiful copy of Shakespeare's complete works (she's nuts about the Bard).
(Not an electronic gift in the lot, you'll notice.)
An early-morning flock of turkeys wandered by.
We always feed the livestock extra well on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because legend has it animals are granted the gift of speech at Christmas and will gossip about us. Can't have any bad news spreading to the neighbors!
The sunrise on Christmas morning was beautiful through some fog.
We visited our friends Mike and Judy in the afternoon and enjoyed a glass of wine in front of their pellet stove.
Mike just had surgery and wasn't up for moving around much. Here their little dog snuggles beside him.
In the evening we had some other friends visit us (no photos, sorry). Altogether it was a warm, wonderful, magical Christmas. God bless us every one!
UPDATE: I just received the most delightful comment on this post as follows:
I am an 18 year old girl living outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Among the gifts I received this Christmas, "The Simplicity Primer" was one of them! I have greatly enjoyed it so far, but on Christmas Day I seldom got a chance to read it because other members of my family kept stealing it to read your words of wisdom! I also love your blog, and I check it everyday. I hope you and your family have a happy New Year! - Joanna
Thank you Joanna, and Merry Christmas.