December was a quiet month for the Draper Family. Sure we made and decorated Christmas cookies...
We observed the beautiful sunrise on December 25th, gleeful at the lack of snow after an inspiring Candlelight service at church the night before. Yes, Christmas is beautiful with lightly falling snow, but usually we're knee deep in the stuff and tired from shoveling. This year we shared a quiet celebration of the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago and commemorated the occasion by opening 'Santa' gifts, crazy as it sounds. The gifts were to keep everyone busy until our real Christmas celebration when the girls came home in January.
We picked Jessica up on January 1st after she flew in from a relief mission in Vietnam. It'd been July when we last saw her on our Thunder Bay trip. She looked great and was all excited about her trip. When she sat at the table drinking coffee and reading Rachelle McCalla's Love Inspired Suspense, it seemed like she'd never left home.
On Jan 10th, Crystal flew in from rainy Vancouver - or was it snowing this year on the west coast? With her arrival, our family of 6 was complete once more.
January 11th dawned as our day of delayed Christmas gift-giving. The sunrise wasn't as colorful as it had been on Dec 25th, neither had there been a huge snowfall.
While I worked in my office garage during the days, Jessie had joined me to practice her piano and from that, we found out she was still composing, but needed a new keyboard - one with the ability to use headphones so she could block out her roommates when needed. So in the photo below, the huge present on the left is a new keyboard with tracks for composing, a headphone jack, and a slot for a 32GB memory card.
One thing about setting up the tree this year... when our basement flooded last summer, the water didn't reach the 'Christmas closet' beneath the basement statirs, but it did get damp. I'm not sure if that's the reason, but when we set up our pre-lit tree, 80% of the lights didn't work. Nelson spent 2 hrs looking for the 'bad' light, yet couldn't find it. Later, at a Canadian Tire store where we went to buy more lights, I mentioned to the clerk that we had hoped the Christmas trees would be on sale and yet the stores didn't have any left. She said everyone was having trouble with their pre-lit trees.
So, I ask you... is the problem because of the damp year? Or because pre-lit trees are made to only work for 10-12 years before burning out? Since all the lights go out if one burns out and they make them without the capability of replacing the bulbs, only two options remain: buy a new tree, or buy new lights. We chose the latter because we couldn't find a cheap enough tree to replace our 10 yr old one. Instead, we bought new LED lights. As you can see from the photo, the new lights don't give off the light that the old ones do except for the blue which outshines the rest.
I also have to give credit to Nelson and the boys who contributed a huge amount of effort to this year's tree and decorations.
Although it was the middle of January, when it came to being with each other and sharing our laughter, the calendar date didn't really matter.
I realized something as I posted the above photo...it's strikingly similar to a photo taken in 2009:
Nick was more laid back this year. Possibly because of maturity now that he has his driver's license.
But probably because he's waiting for JJ to finish hamming around with his Reese's Peanut Butter Cup which weighed in at a hefty half pound.
Would we do another Christmas in January? While it isn't our preference, yes we would, if it means we can all be together. After all, we don't need a calendar to remember Christ's birthday. We can - and should - celebrate it any day.
Have you ever had a Christmas on a day other than December 25th?