December 24, 2010

getting in the christmas spirit

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! I hope you are filling your bellies with delicious homemade treats and surrounding yourself with wonderful family and friends.

I am really getting in the Christmas spirit. This week has been full of Christmas activities.

Michael and I went to a local school choir concert a few nights ago. There is something special about hearing a choir sing Christmas carols.

Wednesday night, I went to a Christmas party at my friends Sarah and Steve's house... you remember them from the Taylor family photos?

I made mulled apple cider and let it simmer away on the stove, smelling the whole house with cinnamon and oranges. Michael made homemade pizza. Then the whole gang made gingerbread houses out of gingerbread graham crackers and tons and tons of candy.

Does this look like the most fun thing you've ever seen? I agree.

There were people all over her house making gingerbread houses.

My sister and her husband were there. They were serious.

This is our creation. Michael built the house while I sprinkled coconut everywhere and shouted, "IT'S SNOWING!" I think I'm so clever.

Our friends Travis and Patrick made Egypt... complete with pyramids and the Nile River. I thought those sour patch kids were people, but they are fish. So don't worry.

Someone made a camp ground! So creative.

There were so many colorful creations. We had the best time.

And I ate a ton of sour patch kids. And M&M's. And peppermints.

 I baked cookies today, a popular Christmas Eve tradition. I baked a bunch of Orange Ricotta Cookies that I'm going to drizzle with dark chocolate. I will post the recipe soon!

I finished wrapping my presents this afternoon. I went with a modern printed wrapping paper this year. I liked the idea of red and white, then I found this blue paper with peppermints and candy canes. It's so festive without being way obvious. It's bright and fun. I can't WAIT to give these away. I am so excited about a few in particular, I can't wait to share those with you tomorrow.

My vanilla extract babies are labeled and ready to be handed out at my family at dinner tonight. Michael and I are headed over to my Aunt's house in just a few hours for a total Christmas feast. There will be ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn, bread,  baked pineapple, mashed potatoes and tons of dessert.

This is my first time bringing a boy to Christmas Eve dinner, which is a well loved tradition in our family. I am so in love with Michael and I can't wait to share this time with him tonight. I am really looking forward to it.

I love Christmas so much. The cookies, presents, snow, lights, evergreen trees, family dinners, gingerbread houses are so wonderful to experience and share with loved ones.

And there is Jesus. Take away all those things, and you get to the reason why we celebrate this day. Thank God for Jesus. Thank you that the price was paid, once and for all. Thank you for being born. Thank you for dying for all of us, that we may have victory in this life and the next.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:14

Merry Christmas, everyone!! May you be so blessed and know that you are loved.