Christmas From Afar

5:15 AM Amanda Greathouse 0 Comments

Christmas. Such a magical time of the year!

The lights. The trees. The music. Ah! I love all of it! It is the perfect time of year to eat way to many sweets [better pack them in before those New Years resolutions to "eat healthier" start up] and spend mass amounts of time with family & friends.

But what happens when you live thousands of miles & a giant ocean away from your family? You celebrate the best that you can.

I have been reflecting on how Christmas has changed for us through the years.

We used to wake up at our homes before the crack of dawn, peaking downstairs to see what gifts were awaiting us under the tree. Then we grew up, became less-than-enthused teens who slept in and casually strolled downstairs. Only to wake up one day to realize we're adults who have our own house and can only really by for ourselves.

Even after that, I knew once we had kids, everything would change again! And it did! Greyson brought a new meaning to our Christmas. Obviously I was happy to receive gifts from Greg and our parents, but I was way more excited to watch Greyson try to open his gifts - although that really meant mommy & daddy did it for him. He doesn't yet understand the joys of Christmas and the meanings behind it, but the memories that we are creating and the pictures we've taken will last a lifetime for us.

It's just not the same being so far from family. Skype just isn't the same when it comes to sharing very special, meaningful moments with family. We could see them and they could [kind of] see us. They watched us open the gifts they mailed and we expressed our gratitude and how much we miss them. But something about the internet and a webcam just doesn't capture that brightness of Greyson's eyes; the fascination when he sees a new toy; the obsession he has over the most random things around him. And those things are so much a part of his personality, a part of who he is.

We will never have another first Christmas for our baby. But we can take delight in knowing that there are more Christmases to come, with Greyson's understanding, excitement and joy growing each year. While this Christmas may not have been what I imagined it would be while growing up, it was still a special day for our little family. One day we will no longer be separated by an ocean and will be able to enjoy the most amazing time of the year surrounded by everyone we love.

As I am always trying to find new things to do at home with Greyson, I took advantage of the best time of the year to try some new things. Crafts happened on occasion. Painting with a baby is both messy & incredibly fun. A little difficult at times too! But we got some really adorable keepsakes to remember how small he was this year.

We did some Black Friday shopping, even though it isn't nearly as exciting here as it is stateside, complete with coffee drinks in hand & comfy clothes. And once we commenced, baby nap time went down & the Christmas tree went right up!

We also started the Christmas Eve box tradition already, complete with new PJs, a book and a new movie - contributed by both sets of grandparents & an aunt & uncle.

I wanted to drive around & look at Christmas lights, but not many people decorate outside of their houses here so it would've been a lot of driving and little excitement. Maybe next year?

And the Christmas lover I am - I am already looking forward to next year with toddler Greyson & even more traditions that we can start up!

What are some Christmas traditions you have started with baby that you plan to keep going for years to come?

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="455"]Image Greyson opening his stocking with daddy[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="455"]Image More excited about daddy's new Browns cup than his new toys![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="455"]Image Helping mommy open his new turtle toy - definitely one of his favorites![/caption]