Christmas 09

We had a wonderful Christmas.

All the kids made it in safely in spite of the snow storms.

Mother was here.

5 dogs & 1 bird shared the joy with us! 

Lots and lots of snow outside.   A fire eventually in the fireplace.

We started the morning with a big breakfast & Josh fixing waffles for everyone on his new waffle maker.

After breakfast it was time for a photo op – we have to take some good & some crazy pictures at Christmas – so we got a few – they’re on facebook. 

As we gathered in the family room – we shared the Christmas Story.  Then answered two questions we found in Rick Warren’s great book – THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS.  We shared what we were most thankful for this past year and shared about the gift we’ll give Jesus in the coming year.   The sharing led to several stories of how God has provided during this past year and allowed us the blessing of being used in other’s lives.  It was a great way to start our Christmas morning.  There was a lot of laughter, joy and some tears.

Then we opened gifts (too many but awesome fun!).  Our tradition is to go around the room and each person has to open one gift at a time and guess what it is before they open.  This took several hours and included lots of Kodak moments.  My mother cries everytime the kids give her a picture of themselves and this year Josh & Hannah and Chris & Julie did the honors so we got two doses of tears.  Then it was Julie’s turn to cry:  My mom had found some things my dad made before he passed away – they were all funny Aggie things he made out of wood – she found these recently & wrapped them up for Chris & Julie – there were quite a few tears when Julie opened this gift —- and the some funny stories of Christmas with my dad.  We all miss him so and everyone got a little misty eyed when Julie opened that gift.  We all got more than we needed, but had so much fun together.  

After hours of opening gifts – we sat down for another wonderful meal (late lunch) and began sharing again some cool stories of the way God has been working in our lives and churches this past year.  It was way cool — we had a lot of stories to share.

Then it was time for CHRISTMAS SURVIVOR with the kids – something Janet and I started last year and was a blast so we did it again this year.   The kids had so much fun again with it and this year we added a twist.  After they had bid and won all the gifts we had hidden in boxes we brought out 3 more large wrapped boxes and went around to each of them  (Hannah & Josh played as a team & Chris & Julie played as a team).   Each of them could give up everything they had won by bidding and take one of the big packages if they wanted – or they could keep what they won.   Eventually, they all opted to trade even though they had a bunch of great stuff —- they were all glad they made the trade because the big boxes contained some very cool gifts.  You’ll have to ask them about it.

Finally – it was time for a break.   Some played board games.  Some rested.  Some played Mario Kart in the media room.  After a few hours of this, we all kinda made our own snacks to eat a lighter supper.

Now it’s late and some of us are ready to crash.  A few are still playing video games in the media room – but most of us are ready to call it a day – IT’S BEEN A GREAT ONE. 

Our kids outdid themselves in giving us gifts this year – but the best gift of all was simply being together and having a blast.  I think one reason we have so much fun together is because of what my mom shared about what she was thankful for —- “that all of us (adults & kids) are Christians”.   

It was fun to celebrate Jesus’ birthday in such a fun way!

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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