Merry Christmas, everyone! The Johnson Family Christmas of 2013 started off on Christmas Eve with a candlelight service down at Twin Valley Church. We had about an hour’s worth of songs and scripture reading, and Hannah got to dress up and participate along with a bunch of other little children who went up on stage with our portrayal of the holy family. We finished things off by turning down the lights, holding candles and singing Silent Night together. There were several guests who came to join us, including our friend Shirley, Randy and Jolene, as well as Pastor Drew’s folks.
We returned home for the evening to have a few hors d’oeuvres for dinner and exchange a few presents. Hannah got to open a new Elmo from Roxanne, which she took with her as she toddled off to bed. Then we started hauling up a load of presents to place underneath the tree for Hannah to find once she woke up the next morning. It was really the first time we got to “play Santa” in this way, and I think we were quite ready to settle our brains for a long winter’s nap by the time Christmas was ready.
The next day, Vivian’s parents dropped by bright and early see Hannah’s reaction as she woke up to find a pile of presents for her underneath the tree. The haul for her third Christmas included such items as a baby doll high chair and bed, magnetic drawing tablet, and play dough, all of which she seemed to focus on with a single-minded focus that left no room for interest in other presents (for at least half an hour at at time). Donna had brought some delicious quiche for a Christmas Brunch that we ate halfway through openings presents as a break. Hannah was quite happy playing with her new gifts and not quite interested in taking a nap that afternoon as we’d hoped, so I offered to pull on her new Minnie Mouse boots and drop by the park for some swing-time in the above-freezing weather. Dinner that night consisted of DiGiorno’s Pizza, a tradition carried over from my parents who had the brilliant idea of not spending Christmas Day in the kitchen roasting a turkey. We had a few more fun presents to pull out of our stockings after dinner, which included a balancing bird, and a tape measure that became Hannah’s newest Best Toy Ever (as well as some clowning around).
It was a wonderful Christmas to say the least, partly because Hannah was now old enough to enjoy a bit more of it with us.