Christmas in Paris...for many it would seem a dream vacation. Although it is a very fun place to be around Christmas and New Years, I have to be completely honest and say that after the first year the "sparkle" of being in Paris for Christmas has faded. Our children miss out on church Christmas programs, being with Grandparents, and no one was here to celebrate Micah's first Christmas with us. For us adults, we can only play two player card games; Jonathan misses out on football with the family; and I really miss going to the day after Christmas sales with my Mom and sisters. :) It's been enough to make me very homesick this year.
But lest I sound as though I am slipping into a pit of depression, I must say that this has been an absolutely wonderful Christmas for our little family. We have enjoyed complete relaxation. There are no activities, no one to meet with, and I will risk embarrassment here and say that there have been one or two days when we stayed in our pajamas until around 2 or 3 pm. It has been good for us. Here are a few snapshots from our relaxing break.
We also visited the Marchés du Noël that take place all around Paris with vendors selling yummy treats and homemade goods. It wasn't the smell of my Grandmother's kitchen, but it was still an appetizing scent!
Claire was quite excited to find a strawberry iced doughnut for her special treat.
Then Micah got his first ride on a carousel. He had a blast. People kept stopping to watch, laugh, and smile at my kids who were giggling up a storm on the carousel. Thanks, Daddy!
As a family, we read our Advent book every night. The kids loved it, and the reason why Jesus had to come to earth became more real to Claire. She accepted Christ as her Savior 2 weeks before Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we colored pictures and pasted presents on the pictures for Jesus since it was his birthday.
Then Jonathan and I got everything all set and ready for Christmas morning and cuddled on the couch. I think we now have as much anticipation as we did when we were kids. It's so much fun!
The kids were sweet and slept until 8:30am on Christmas morning. They were also super patient and let me take this picture and a few others before opening their gifts.
Of course, it was Micah's first Christmas. He really didn't have any interest in the toys or the paper! He just wanted to crawl!!! He really took off crawling on Christmas Eve, so it was still exciting for him Christmas morning. We did, however, have to clean a few scraps of paper out of his mouth.
We then had Christmas brunch, and set out to play with our goodies...
Jonathan completed this about 1 1/2 hours later. The instructions didn't really say anything, and lets just say that there was "some" assembly required. They hadn't even put the lines on the road. Those were stickers that we got to put on. Haha!! Great memories. I personally love Matthew's worried face in this one.
We ended our fun day by hanging out and watching our new "101 Dalmations" movie. It was an amazing Christmas. We all had a blast celebrating Jesus' birth.
Although it all looks different, we are in a big city apartment and not a country house, munching on nougat instead of peanut brittle, and walking to the Marché de Noël instead of making tents in the basement Christmas is still Christmas because of the One who made it so. Those memories and people will always be missed this time of year. Yet, no matter what, I know that we are celebrating for the same reason. And He NEVER changes.