For years we dragged ourselves out of bed Christmas morning, after a full month of squadron parties, wing parties, chapel parties, special chapel services and Christmas projects....so exhausted it was hard to take much interest in the day.....what little energy we had seemed to go towards corralling the gift exchange.....we kept gradually tweaking our celebration until 2009 when we moved the gift exchange to New Year's Eve - the 7th Day of Christmas. Suddenly, Christmas was about WORSHIP and celebrating Jesus. We have a birthday cake and share and it's wonderful. We are able to give ourselves fully to worship and serving during the Advent season, no added shopping or stress. We also get to shop the clearance aisles for our gift exchange.
In 2012 we added a few more elements to NYE
- not only was it a gift exchange, but we began to brainstorm activities we could present hourly - this helped young children (and older parents) stay awake. LOL
It's 5 p.m. and all but Cory, who is working, have gathered. The first bag is opened and we are instructed to proceed to our tables for an hour of Bunco.
|Gpa Paul and Arielle|
|Bella's first Bunco game|
This wis the first time many have played Bunco. It went well. It's fun to have enough for 3 or 4 tables with just us. LOL Six p.m. and Nolan discovers plates, napkins and munchies in the bag. We move into the kitchen where everyone chose to either create a Yum Bowl or a Taco.
|Yuuki waits hopefully for someone to DROP something|
|Gpa Paul being silly |
Dinner is consumed, cleaned up and the 7 o'clock bag is opened. We are on to a Nintendo Snowboard single elimination competition. Cory showed up and grabbed dinner during this portion of the night.
|Jamin won - but wisely decided this would be a target on his back at A&M|
He passed the prize off to Alex
Eight o'clock's bag gave instructions for the first round of the Gherkin Gingerbread Competition. You can find more photos and such in this post.
While everyone feverishly works on gingerbread masterpieces....Gramps and I play with Bella.
|Gpa and Bella|
Right at 9:00 p.m. we move on to this year's family gift exchange.
|Love Jamin's gigantic cards from Gma Jan|
Not because she's the youngest, or we think she's the cutest - but simply because she IS still the most expressive gift giver and receiver..... Stacia is excited to get a Rapunzel pillow from Lorri.
|Nolan, Stacia, 2nd Cousin Lorri |
And a "FOLDING UMBRELLA" from Krista
Krista gave Michael this - and it's perfect!
|A man-size pocket knife|
Ten o'clock brings round 2 of the Gingerbread Competition
Eleven O' Clock and we play an hour of Mafia. Gpa Paul is happy to play with Bella. She is an amazing trooper!
BreZaak and Bella called it a night a bit early...but the rest of us are ready and waiting for the New Year after opening our 11:55 p.m. bag!
Another fun holiday in the rear view mirror. Thanks to Krista for opening her home to our celebration, the motorhome would be a tad bit crowded for all of us at one time.
Happy New Year! 2016 has certainly had it's challenges...but in it all and through it all....God has proven good and faithful.
Love the idea of a late gift giving Christmas and only worship on the actual day!
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