Every Monday night we have family night. Sometimes we play games, sometimes we watch a show and have popcorn, sometimes we have a lesson, whatever strikes our fancy. Recently we had a family night where we talked about Christmas. We read a few Christmas stories. We sang some carols accompanied by Jacob on his guitar. Then we talked about our favorite Christmas memories. It was a fun evening together.
Since then I’ve been haunted by the ghost of Christmas past, trying to document some of those memories, gather pictures, etc. I thought I’d put them down here.
Our first Christmas as a family unit was in December 1998, Manina and I as newlyweds on our honeymoon (and use that term very loosely) in Alaska. We stayed at my high school principal’s house, house-sitting for them, and we managed to kill most of his fish and I vaguely remember some flooding problem. It was great.
The best gift that Christmas came from my sister, Abby. We had rented an apartment at BYU, but hadn’t moved in yet. We didn’t have much money, and hardly any possessions. Our shower curtain was hung with twist-ties. Abby found out about that and bought us some proper curtain rings.
Both Manina and I were surviving going through school, and we lived in a dump of a basement apartment in Provo. Our tree that year was a mini-tree, probably only 2 feet tall. We decorated it and put in on our coffee table.
First Christmas with Jacob. I can’t believe Manina actually dressed him like that. Poor kid.
On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, our furnace went out. Yeah, good luck getting anyone come out and fix the furnace during that time. It was getting really cold in our house, so we called up my parents and they were gracious enough to let us crash their Christmas morning.
We had added little Megan to our family earlier in 2002, and we had a fun little Christmas together. Uncle Derek even came by for a visit earlier that month.
This was a very exciting Christmas for us for a couple reasons: we had recently bought our first home, and we also had welcomed Katelyn into our growing family. Also, Grandma Ria came down for a visit the day after Christmas and stayed with us for a while. We love having family around at Christmas time.
The gift-giving was out of control in 2004. We went way overboard. It was just so much fun having three little kids who saw and love the magic of Christmas.
We have a Christmas day tradition at my parents house where we light candles on the Christmas tree, read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible, and listen to the Hallelujah Chorus. It’s a great way to end Christmas day — usually. This time it ended in disaster. Grandma Jan had the great idea to show five-year-old Jacob how to put out a candle with wet fingers. Jacob tried it and promptly burned all the skin off his finger and thumb.
I’m not sure when we started this tradition, but it’s one of my favorites. On Christmas Eve, the kids get in their pajamas and get all ready bed. Then we read a beautiful pop-up book of The Night Before Christmas with the kids. That book is untouchable for every other day of the year, so it’s something the kids really look forward to each Christmas Eve.
We were expecting Drew any day, but Christmas 2007 was great. It was also pretty well-documented as the first chronological post here at MightyJohnsons.com.
We had a great Christmas in 2008, with Uncle Matt coming for a visit, also Grandpa Mike and Grandma Jan came by early Christmas morning, and we also had a great snowstorm that day. We wondered if it was the best Christmas ever?.
Can’t wait to see what memories we will make for 2009. Merry Christmas to all!