Lights of Portsmouth
This year has been a little different than any other year. We are living nearly 2,500 miles away from our family for the holidays. That makes this harder in some respects.
We miss the family parties. We miss the visits to grandmas. Partially because Grandma Goble always makes homemade chocolates and we won't get any this year. I think my wife has had those chocolates every year since she was born and this will be the first year without them - SAD. We miss our siblings and their kids. There are a lot of grandkids on both sides and many kids makes lots of work but lots of smiles.
But in some ways being away from family makes it easier. This will be the first time since we had kids that we won't be driving 8+ hours to Monitcello UT in the rain, snow and ice with our babies and toddlers. We would have to wrap and pack ALL of our presents in the car so that they could open them on Christmas day. Our car was clear full to the tip top with presents, clothes and snow gear. We would have to make a special trip to target every year to buy winter clothes for the kids for this one trip to Utah because Las Vegas doesn't get that cold and there is no snow.
We will miss the Christmas Eve traditions of being in Monticello and having a quiet moment when we light candles for every person in the family and reflect on the past year. We always end the night in prayer. I think this is one tradition Linz and I agree on that we want to continue.
But being in Virginia Beach there is always something fun to do. At the Nuaticus museum they were putting on a Charles Dickens Christmas. They had live performances, cookie decorating, decoration making and a magician.
The kids enjoyed all of it. McKay is always so excited when we go places. And, like any good child, he wants to touch everything! He wasn't very happy when I kept telling him to stop touching all of the glass ornaments...
We went to see two different Santa's this year. This one was "the real" Santa. He was at the Oceana Winter Festival. Which was AWESOME! It was amazingly put together and had everything the kids wanted to do. They had tons of bounce houses, which, pretty sure are McKay's favorite thing in the world. They had face painting, which, pretty sure is Kennedy's favorite thing in the world. Elsa was there. Pony rides, ornament decorating, lots of other games to play. Then they had Pictures with Santa which they took, printed off and EVERYTHING was free. When we went to Santa in the Mcarthur Mall they were going to charge us 50 dollars to take a picture with Santa.
We went to another local festival at a christian church. It was pretty good as well. Pony rides, roasting marsh mallows, a tree maze, a "fake Santa", a fake Elsa and Anna. But for a small local christian church they did amazing! We were pretty impressed. The wonderful thing about kids is they enjoy what you do no matter how much money you spend!
Since we have been staying home this year for Christmas Linz has been doing a lot things she remembers doing with her mother during Christmas time. I can't even count how many cookies we have made this year. Linz loves doing neighbor gifts, especially delivering them. The kids enjoyed that as well. We wrote letters to Santa. We had plenty of coloring pages. We had family home evening on Christmas and watched "He is the Gift."
Christmas is always a magical time of year. People are more kind, patient and willing to help. They are always willing to give and are more charitable. But the real miracle of Christmas was the one that happened nearly 2,000 years ago when Christ was born. He is the miracle of Christmas. He is the gift. I hope that my family and I never forget who he is and what he did for us all!
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