After a quiet day at home we went to our Church service which was held at a local high school - the normal Church building is too small to hold everybody and their extended families. We really enjoyed singing along to all of the Christmas songs including a rendition of Happy Birthday Jesus!
Charlotte said her favourite was 'Gloria' and mine was the country sounding version of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'. Towards the end of the service they asked us to pass round glow sticks and crack them all together. It was quite a sight to see the whole auditorium lit up.
Church for us has transformed since moving to America. Our faith is growing and we are delighting in hearing the kids talk about Jesus and God. Charlotte says wonderful prayers at night and this year we have really tried to focus on the birth of Jesus and giving at Christmas time as much as the other traditions like Santa and mince pies.
After a quick stop to pick up a classy meal of chicken nuggets from the McDonalds drive thru (we really didn't plan our day well and we were all starving by the time we left the service at 6:30pm!) we drove up to a housing estate off Oakland Drive called Winchell as they were doing their annual luminaries.
Every street on the neighbourhood was lined with paperbags, lit up with candles. They cast a soft light over the sparkling snow and looked beautiful! My photos do not do it justice! Most people turn off their main car lights and drive up and down the streets looking at the rows and rows of glowing lights.
We arrived home feeling very festive and joyful. The kids were already pretty excited but then we told them we were going to turn off all of the lights and go to bed by candle light! I have a box of batter operated tea lights and they ran round the house putting the little lights on the stairs, in windows and even in the bathrooms!
With the Christmas tree, the fire and tealights, the house had a wonderful feel to it.
After hanging up the stockings, laying out treats for Santa and reading 'The Night Before Christmas' we finally got the kids to bed around 9pm!
A wonderful day spent with our little family.