Christmas is never the same when you’re away from family. However, Brian and I both really felt like this year, with our own little baby girl, there was really nowhere we’d rather be than tucked away in our own home with our own little family, celebrating the holiday. Elena is just big enough to enjoy Christmas, but not quite old enough to really grasp the concept. It was still a blast, from start to finish! 🙂
We have had a group visiting from the States for the past week. They came to help with Pennies for Peru. On Friday, they put on a really nice Christmas party for the missionary kids here. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an American party and even longer since we’ve eaten a bunch of the treats they bought down for the kids to make their own edible nativity scenes! The whole afternoon was super fun and I’m glad they took the time to do it for our little ones.
That evening, Eva came over and we shared our pizza with her and then gave her a couple presents. We have so enjoyed having Eva in our hearts and lives this year. She is amazing with our daughter and we feel like she’s another daughter to us.
Christmas Eve, we went to a dinner with a good chunk of our co-workers, a bunch of students who didn’t have anywhere to go, and then the American team.
Then, of course, it was time for Elena to open one present before going to bed.
Christmas morning dawned hot and sunny! Such a change from cold and snowy, huh? Elena opened her stocking and then we headed to church.
In the afternoon, we were able to talk to pretty much our whole families over Skype, which was pretty awesome. We even got to see Brian’s grandparents – they were thrilled to see Elena! Elena opened presents in front of the computer so both sets of grandparents could watch. She really got the hang of it and, of course, helped Brian and I open presents later, too. 🙂
Christmas Monday, Brian took the day off so we could all be together. We went to the ocean in the morning, just to walk and show Elena the water. Of course, she was terrified to be IN the water, but was perfectly content to be held and watch the waves…from a distance. The water was SO COLD it was making a thick fog over the beach.
Finally, in the afternoon, Brian set up Elena’s Christmas present from her grandparents:
Phew! No wonder Elena’s been tired today. 🙂