I admit that decorations have been put up long ago (why yes I did decorate for Christmas before unpacking from our Hong Kong trip)...
Christmas Jammies now worn so many times over the past month they have a hole in the sleeve...
Decorations now put away...
... Boxed up in our lovely new totes (for the record: Target after-Christmas sales have the best prices on these organizational wonders)...
And after all that is said and done, I still have so much to tell from our holiday fun. So thanks for staying tuned, and here are the last few tales of Christmas & New Year's Eve 2010:
We visited our church sites a couple times for their famous Nativities exhibit. That Lo spent more time playing with the water fountain than enjoying the art, but we will forgive him for it since his rosy cheeks and frumpy sweater are just too adorable. (also: he needs a haircut. I know.)
The photo above is the room of crystal, porcelain, and all other substances we hoped to keep out of Lo's reach. Again, no complaints about him spending time out by the water fountain, because at least it meant he wasn't terrorizing the breakable parts of the exhibit. =) I love how in this photo Jerry caught the sparkling blue Christmas lights outside the window as well as all the white lights from the Nativity display.
This room was my favorite, because they had soothing Christmas hymns playing over the speakers, and I felt peaceful with the predominate color scheme centering around the snowy white figurines.
Each time we visited the Natitivies, we brought friends. Here we are with Anne, a sweet lady I met at the grocery store. She has started learning from the missionaries, and went to church a couple times. She is so humble and prepared to grow in her relationship with God.
Luckily amongst all the non-touchable parts of the exhibit, they have included a children's room. Here there are dress-ups to enact the manger scene, plenty of stuffed sheep to love on, and...
A baby Jesus to hug. Ok, bad photography skills, but sweet picture once it becomes evident that is a baby doll snuggling up on that Lo's shoulder. =)
And here we are touching Nativities--wait! is it allowed?? Oh, yes, this is the children's room--
And we love that Lo in his charming Christmas sweater.
Here are some other friends we took to the Nativities on a different day. I like how this photo shows the birth of Christ (the carved olive wood statues) and the resurrection of Christ (the painting at the upper corner of the photo). So it comes full circle...birth and resurrection.
And now for a change of tone, we have our rowdy New Year's Celebration report. A few other young couples from our church came together for the evening and we had a fun time eating, playing games, and reminiscing on 2010. We made a time capsule, discussing what life is like currently and predicting ahead to what it might be like five years from now. During a memory sharing game, I was pleased to note my favorite "unexpected joy" from 2010 had been getting to take my little brother Brandon with us to Hong Kong. We also did a "2 truths and 1 lie" game to get to know each other better, and overall it was a great party.
As part of our plan to do different types of "countdowns" throughout the evening, we said "Happy New Year" in French, Spanish, Chinese, and English. Afterward, Jerry and I thought about how it would be a good idea in future years to count down with each hour once the first country on earth starts to celebrate the New Year. If that makes sense. In other words, starting at noon on our New Year's Eve, we could have said Happy New Year in Chinese, and so forth until 6pm we said it in French (because that is the time Paris would have been ringing in the New Year)...and at 7pm say it in English (for London's New Year) etc.
And while the grownups socialized among themselves, that Lo practiced his budding social skills with his friend Claire. They are at such a similar age of development that sometimes it helps them get along, but other times produces competition, like in the photo above where I'm pretty sure that Lo was about to pull Claire down so he could have his turn on the horsey's back. Since Lo was ready for bed from even about dinner time, Jerry and I left the party early, but at midnight we rang in the New Year as we watched (on the internet) the Times' Square celebration. I have to say it held no appeal to me watching the crowds party together, as my pj's were comfy and the quiet of our home a welcome relief from the busy-ness of the holidays.
May our January be the calm recovery time we need after so much fun and activities the past couple months.