holly jolly

 - by Beth

It’s time for the annual Christmas recap! This year both of our girls were so excited, so enthusiastic, so enthralled by every aspect of the holiday season.  It was wonderful.

A family photo before church on Christmas Eve.  We've found a real church home this year and it was so wonderful to celebrate Christmas there!

A family photo before church on Christmas Eve. We’ve found a real church home this year and it was so wonderful to celebrate Christmas there!

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After church and dinner, the girls of course donned their Halloween costumes so they could spread reindeer food.

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Bumblebees like Christmas, too.

 

Christmas morning began at 5:30 AM when Mandy woke. Ouch.  But do you remember the magic of Christmas morning when you were a child?  How stunning it was to see the presents and lights? (Even when it was dark outside because all sane people are still sleeping??)

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Ally’s favorite presents this year were an American Girl doll and a Furby.  Mandy received some Octonauts toys but loves most her Winx club dolls; both girls like the show and can “play Winx” together for hours these days.  It excites us so much to see them have shared interests!  We also re-stocked our play-doh collection for some Christmas morning play doh time.

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On Christmas day, we hosted our usual family party, though this year it was especially nice because we had a large group– I think 27?– with family from far out of town included.  I can’t describe how happy I was to have my house filled with the people I love and to start to follow our normal family traditions again.

Mandy changed her outfit about four times during the party; I distinctly remember her running around in circles in her underwear immediately after Christmas dinner. (My relatives were very impressed.)  She received a costume and bow and arrow set for the movie Brave and spent much time attempting to shoot people.  Fortunately with family (and the aim of a 3-year-old) this behavior is charming rather than, well, fearsome.


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Rob and I wish to send our thanks to the many who made this holiday especially meaningful.  I have looked forward to Christmas for months now knowing it would signal the end of chemo and a return to more normal life, and the day did not disappoint.