This year has gone by even faster than the previous year!
I'm so thankful to have my little family that I love and an extended family with grandparents and a sister-in-law who care for us!
There are 2 public holidays over Christmas in Germany - the 25th and 26th.
In the past, we would spend all 3 days from 24th to 26th December with the entire Tews clan - ok, there's only 3 other family members, so that's not exactly a "clan" but you get the idea.
For the past 9 Christmases since 2006 (when I relocated to Germany), we always had a guest(s) over for Christmas.
It all started with my Brazilian classmate, a 50-year old guy who stayed on in Germany after the World Cup to learn German and reorientate his life.
I felt that it would be a pity if he had to celebrate Christmas alone in a foreign city so I invited him over to join Christmas with the Tews family - after consulting my in-laws of course.
Since then, we somehow always had a visitor over Christmas. At its peak, we had 5 Singaporeans and 4 Germans at the dinner table before!
This year was the first year since I got married into the family, that we actually had Christmas just by ourselves.
It was so cozy! And small! And very relaxed!
And it was our first Christmas at our new place!! Such a blessing! We love our house!
On Christmas eve, we went to church in the afternoon for the traditional nativity play. I actually sat on the floor with Gabriel right in front of the stage since that boy insisted on marching all the way to the front! And oh boy, was he enthralled by the play, music and all the sound effects! I hope he understood the Christmas message of Jesus' birth too!
We went home by 6pm and got ready for raclette with the extended family. Dinner was ready by around 7pm and we all feasted on scallops, prawns and a couple of servings of melted raclette cheese on cold cuts of meat.
We also decided to cut down on presents this year.
The kids only got presents from us and little gifts from their grandparents. I made a personalized photo calendar for my family and in return, we got some home-made jam. There was some money which we have put aside.
I'm all about not buying stuff for the sake of having presents because it's such clutter! We don't have unlimited space at home and neither do we want to transform our living space into a mini playhouse. So we have to be pretty selective about what we buy for our kids.
And to be honest, I didn't have a lot of toys growing up. One learns to be creative and find different ways to play with the same toys. Or one makes toys! I remember transforming the bottom of my study table to a little grocery store!
I'm still trying to figure out how I want to be able to bless my kids with presents but not raise them up to think they should be entitled to everything. Such a delicate balance!
We got Sammy a remote-controlled toy car and Gabriel got a Brio engine which he can now use on his Ikea train tracks.
Seriously Gabriel was actually shocked that the train could move by itself! He was actually a bit scared at first! Like "How can this be?! My train is alive!" I wish I took a video of it!
It was such a lovely Christmas. We hope you had a great one too, filled with joy and being surrounded by those you love.
Above all, we thank the Lord for sending Jesus in the form of a baby for the salvation of mankind. He truly is the reason for the season.
Our first Christmas tree in the new house!
|Gabe was so hungry, he was the first to eat!|
|Raclett - basically you BBQ either on the hot stone / grill or you make your little pizza with toppings and raclette cheese|
|In his new pullover before he removed it cos the living room got so warm|
|LOVE his "caught-in-the-act" expression!|
|The happy guests|
|Still looked like we had a lot of presents huh!|
|A couple of the snail mail Christmas cards we received!|
|Sam went straight for his present from us!|
|It's so nice that Sam is at an age where he understands the concept of presents|
|Before he went crazy with his toy car|
Gabe needed a bit of convincing to open his present and when it was opened, he was too skeptical to take it!
|We gave my Mom-in-law her first Chinese wok|
|Doing the obligatory pose next to our tree|
|That's what babies are for! Endless snuggles! Ahhh... Gabe still has his very delicious baby smell!|
|He has a thing for necklaces! As a matter of fact, he broke mine (and I had to repair it) that evening!|