Saturday, January 01, 2011

Our Christmas Celebrations...via Some Favorite Photos

As we venture into 2011 (Happy New Year to all of you. I hope this next year is your best ever!), I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures from our Christmas celebrations over the past month.

Christmas starts off with decorating the house. Nutcrackers are my favorite holiday collectible, so I decided to do something different this year and put them on my mantle. I really liked how that turned out!

And then I LOVE my white tree. Especially with its disco ball ornament.

(By the way, my Christmas decorations are still up and intact. I take mine down on January 6, which marks the official end of the Christmas season on the church calendar. Besides, that way I can enjoy them all a little bit longer and not have the stress of bringing them all down.)

We also listened to a lot of good music during the holiday season. Our CD of choice was the Glee Christmas CD.

Christmas, of course, is incomplete without a visit with Santa. The second picture gives evidence that he and Sydney were having quite a conversation.

The children's Christmas play at our church is a highlight of the season and many people say that it really kicks it all off (after the play, you're in the spirit whether you're ready or not!). This year, Sydney had a big speaking role and a solo. She did quite fabulously!

One of the highlights of the season for me is the party we have at church for underprivileged children in our community. My good friend, Ryan, serves as Santa Claus; this year, Sydney helped out in costume; and we provided presents for a bunch of kids. It's always a humbling and meaningful experience.

We always try and enjoy some Christmas "culture" (yes, even in Alabama we have it!), so we ventured as a family to see the Alabama Ballet performance of "The Nutcracker." As we left, however, it began to we stopped to take a couple of pictures as it began to flurry.

And then, at the performance, a picture of Gary and I all bundled up.

We decided to take a family portrait of the grandkids for Gary's parents. After a few failed (and humorous) attempts, we got a couple that we really liked.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is our favorite Christmas movie of them all and it's especially wonderful when you see it at the beautiful, vintage Alabama Theatre.

I decided to have a little girls-night-out Christmas party, and it turned out to be quite a blast. I decorated a red-and-white dessert table, had martinis, and invited some of my sweetest gal friends (McKenna's boyfriend also showed up, which was a treat as well).

The first family celebration is a Christmas Eve Brunch at my parents' house, where I got these cute picture of the girls (and one showing their silly side).

We then venture to Gary's parents' house for Christmas Eve dinner. This year, we bucked tradition and had an Italian menu for the dinner. It was quite delicious and a great idea! I also got another cute picture of McKenna and Delaney while we were there.

And Sydney and I enjoyed the beginning of snow flurries. (And, yes, believe it or not...we had a semi-White Christmas in Alabama! We had flurries pretty much all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day long, even though it didn't stick for long. But we're still considering that White!)

Back at our house, the girls eagerly anticipated opening presents from Gary and I, and also from each other.

Sydney wrote a special note for Santa Claus. (And as it is quite obvious, this note was just from HER.)

Santa apparently liked her letter because he (aka Gary) brought me all sorts of fantastic presents (two of which really fed the Nerd in me!) and brought Sydney the Rapunzel castle she wanted so badly!

I pray that you all had a wonderful, wonderful Christmas season and that you are anticipating all sorts of good things for 2011.

Thank you for spending another year with me here on my blog. I love you all!!!!


Jeff said...

What great pictures! Looks like it was an excellent Christmas season.

Happy 2011!

Phats said...

This post is awesome, what great pictures of your family!

Looks like you all had a great Christmas, and here is too a happy, and healthy 2011!

BTW how about your Tide WOAH they looked great

hippo chick said...

I have been a bad blogger lately, but am determined to do better in the new year.

I REALLY miss your blogs. Maybe you can do better in 2011 also?

~hippo hugs~

Cheryl Wray said...

Hey Jeff, Phats, and Pam--
Thanks for stopping by!!! Yes, my Tide looked AWESOME!
And, yes, I'm gonna do my best to post more regularly in 2011!

Andy said...

love the nutcrackers
crazy about glee
you pics are great and your girls have gotten so big
i've not been very in touch with blogging or checking blogs lately

Cheryl Wray said...

Andy--So good to see you again! I have been slacking in the blogging area as well, but am trying to be better in the new year!

Phats said...

I like to hear you will be blogging more I for one really missed your posts!! :) Plus I want you and Gary to do the March Madness challenge again haha.