friends, holidays, house, oregon

Christmas by Firelight

We made memories in our own home this year as it’s the first Christmas we’ve spent in Oregon, and the first Christmas that we’ve owned this house.

I’m so happy we have a fireplace, and we took the chance to use it quite a bit this holiday season—even roasting marshmallows in the family room {not the best choice!}.

One night after the kids were in bed, Stephen and I were enjoying the fire when he suggested we sleep downstairs in front of the fire all night. I was giddy with excitement since Stephen doesn’t often let his whimsical side show!

The kids made several ornaments this year which I think we’ll add to our permanent collection. I bought a few ornament kits at Michael’s, and the kids also made some at church and at our small group party.

Most of these Christmas pics aren’t quite clear since we had such low lighting in our family room, but it was awfully cozy! Brynn was catching on to the present idea, and kept asking for more presents after she opened each one.

Here’s the doll I made for Brynn that matches her hair color, and the clothes are made from scraps leftover from her baby blanket from Grammy.The boys got a ninja line that we’ve strung between two trees in the back yard. I’m hoping it will be a hit with the neighborhood kids too.

Silas played his Pacman arcade game like crazy, and Cooper spent the day spying on us from behind his new Batman mask. Brynn is a chapstick lover {just like Mommy} so we both got some in our stockings.

Portland had a white Christmas this year, which only happens less than 1% of the time! Because of the light dusting of snow and ice {combined with the lack of salt on the roads}, we didn’t make it to the Christmas Eve candlelight service and cookie potluck. I was disappointed, but thankful we were still able to get together with friends and open a few gifts.

Christmas morning was full of opening presents, reading the Christmas story and placing our final Jesse Tree ornament,

drinking coffee, eating lox and bagels for brunch, and playing with presents.

I had decided that I wanted to try some new recipes this year including crock-pot wassail, crab imperial {thanks to inspiration from my aunt via my cousin’s blog}, gingersnap truffles, Swiss and prosciutto wrapped apples {an interesting appetizer for my various gluten free friends}, so I spent most of the day cooking.

That night, in spite of the snow and ice, we made our way over the river to our pastor’s house. It was special to enjoy Christmas dinner with Michael and Adrienne and their houseful. We’re thankful to sit under Michael’s skillful, grace-filled preaching that points us constantly to Christ!

And that’s what Christmas is all about—pointing us to Christ as we celebrate his incarnation. It’s his incarnation that made Jesus our kinsman redeemer so he could rescue us by living and dying in our place. I’ve come to realize that Christmas is just the beginning of the story that crescendos at Easter’s celebration of Christ’s resurrection. But the grand story ultimately climaxes when Jesus will come to make all things new!

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