We had a great Christmas to close out the year 2010.  Not only were we at the farm–probably our favorite place in the world to be as a family–but we also had Grandma, Nana, and Uncle M with us to celebrate the special day.  It was a simple Christmas for the most part, spent enjoying the company of loved ones.  S and JR had cut a tree out of the woods, and at first we had no decorations.  Finally, Nana found some nice pine cones to lay on the branches, and I attempted a popcorn garland.  After stringing popcorn for almost 2 hours, I wound up with only about 3 feet of garland.  I confess, I gave up.  Then Grandma found her handmade decorations from when she first got married many years ago, and offered them for us to use.  So S and the kids spent an afternoon decorating the tree with handmade ornaments. 

Me trying to string a popcorn garland.

Our humble Christmas tree.

Finally, Christmas day arrived.  Grandma and Uncle M had a load of presents to bring from her house across the snowy pasture, so Uncle M borrowed the 4-wheeler.  The gift-laden equipment was dubbed “Santa’s sleigh.” 

Santa's sleigh

After arranging the gifts, S opened the day by reading the Christmas story from Luke 2.  Then, we proceeded to open gifts.  I actually took some thrill that the gifts were not all ornately wrapped and decorated this year.  Grandma had a few that were wrapped nicely, I had most of our gifts in the handmade gift bags I created last year, some were just in the UPS shipping boxes in which they had arrived at the farm, and Nana even had some of hers “wrapped” in trash bags due to her own situation at the time.  I honestly thought it was great, as it added such simplicity and humility to the day, helping us remember that Christmas is NOT all about presents, but about our humble Savior.  Nonetheless, boxes and bags were just as much fun to open as the nicely wrapped kind. 

An assortment of wrappings and boxes.

With all the extended family there, the kids were almost swimming in gifts.

So was S!

A few of my favorite gifts included a grain mill attachment for my Kitchen Aid (S has a hard time keeping up with my flour needs).  He got me the attachment to help supplement his pedal power.  It also grinds corn, so I can add corn meal and such to my fresh-ground grains list without buying the pricey attachment to my Country Living mill right now.   

My Kitchen Aid grain mill attachment.

A handmade cross, with real, appropriately-sized nails wired on. There are 2 nails in the horizontal position and 1 nail in the vertical position to symbolize Jesus' hands and feet. I think it's beautifully symbolic!

New additions to my Willowtree collection. I have been begging for some of these!

I think almost everyone walked away very thankful for their gifts, and I was thrilled that JR and M immediately started planning what chores they could do to earn money for buying gifts for others the following year. 

We then spent the afternoon playing and fellowshipping a bit. 

I think we all enjoyed the family gift “Twister!”  JR and M couldn’t get enough of it, and at one point, S and I kicked the kids off and made them spin, while we played a slightly more competitive version! 

Another year gone by….it’s really hard to believe 2010 is over!  Yet, at the same time, I am looking forward to what 2011 holds.  I hope your Christmas was as blessed as ours!