Oh wow. Time does fly! We got 2 little boys now! Our Christmases simply get bigger with kiddos!
As per our usual Christmas tradition, we had the newly-weds Belinda and Kian over from London. It was good seeing old friends again! Every time we see each other, we are reminded at how another year has passed!
What can I say. We went to Strasbourg, France with them to check out the amazing Christmas market! There was a distinct difference between the Christmas market in France and those in Germany. The decorations are out of the world, with hanging teddy bears from houses! Their shops are also different.
And this time, instead of going crazy with Christmas shopping, we each had a budget of 20€ to spend on each person. I found this more meaningful because that meant that we could buy presents which we thought were appropriate for the other person. In the past, we would sorta be exchanging gift vouchers, which while practical, seemed to me more like exchanging money at the end of the day.
Sammy has more than enough toys (which he doesn't even play with independently!). Hence, I decided to order English board books from Amazon.uk and got them dispatched to Belinda's address in London. She then brought them over to Germany for me, so I could save on shipping costs. Reason behind this was that Amazon.de does not have as wide a range of selection of English children books as Amazon.uk. does.
We celebrated Christmas eve at our place for the first time, so that the kids could go to bed. Gabriel went to bed pretty early, before dinner started at 8pm. That meant that I had both hands free to enjoy our raclette! Sammy on the other hand, partied with the adults until late at night. He had fun though, unwrapping his presents, although I don't think he has quite grasped the idea of getting presents on Christmas yet.
We did make it a point to read him the Christmas story on the days leading up to Christmas and Sammy watched the nativity play at church too.
Since we were hosting the dinner, we went crazy with seafood! On top of the usual cheese and cold cuts, we had scallops, giant shrimps, mushrooms, beef and pork to grill on the hot stone / iron grill. The Singaporeans were over the moon with the yummy BBQed food!!!
It was a very fun-packed and busy Christmas but we loved it! The kids got lots of time to spend with their Singaporean aunt and uncle, so much so that a couple of days after they left, Sammy woke up one day and said "Linda", "Kian" out of the blue!
Thanks for visiting us and all the lovely presents you got us! Belinda, it's been so amazing being able to walk through our "overseas" years together. Thoroughly enjoyed catching up, reflecting on God's goodness in our lives and praying together before you left. We're very happy for both of you, B&K and know that God will continue to guide your paths as you walk with Him.
|Strasbourg, France - That's what I meant with the hanging bears from a building|
The majestic cathedral set aflame in the setting sun
|That incredibly huge Christmas tree right in the middle of the city centre|
|Best.ever.waffles that I've ever tasted. They make them fresh from a dough for you. In the basement of Rivieria mall|
Gabe got a personalized teddy bear from Bel
|Look at all that seafood! Yummy!|
|Presents galore! We opted not to get a tree this year so the presents were relegated to the couch instead!|
Gabriel's first Christmas!
|Our Christmas was pretty warm actually! Hence the shades!|
|Bel made this collage and I absolutely love it!|