Best. Christmas. Ever.

Every Christmas is wonderful. It’s not the presents under the tree, the food or the traditions that make a wonderful Christmas. Every year, Jesus is celebrated. Every year, we reflect on the greatest gift ever given. Every year, we rejoice in the birth of our Savior. I just can’t seem to “rate” our Christmases because they are all precious to me. However, the Jobe kids universally declared that 2010 was “The Best. Christmas. Ever.” I live with teens now so this was an “epic” Christmas. It ruled. It was “pure awesomeness” for a multitude of reasons.

#1. We had a gorgeous tree. I’m a dummy and didn’t get a picture of it, but really, it was symmetrical, huge (11-ish feet), and only $25. I could write a whole post about my tree, but in summary and in keeping with the teen talk, we “scored.” The day after Thanksgiving as we were driving home from spending time off the mountain with family, Anna, my fifteen year old daughter, read a friend’s facebook status update and informed us that this guy’s family had trees for sale for $25. I envisioned a family tree farm and thought, “Sure. We’ll support our friends.” So, we pulled over at the designated location and were surrounded by big-eyed boy scouts shivering from standing in the freezing cold trying to sell the last of the bailed trees that had been donated to benefit their troop. I’d not envisioned picking up a bailed tree on the side of the road from some scouts. We live in the mountains. We typically do hay rides and meander through Christmas tree farms in pursuit of our yearly tree. We don’t buy them unseen or uncut. But neither my hubby nor I could say no to the boy scouts ready to tie slip-knots and secure the last of their trees-for-sale on our huge 12-passenger van. Daniel said as the scouts got to work, “Honey, I’ll just throw it in the woods when we get home if it’s ugly.” It wasn’t ugly. In fact, it was gorgeous. We could not believe it. The. Best. Tree. Ever. All for $25.

Pot holders for Ma Boo.

#2. We stayed home. Neither of our families are local, so often we travel on or around Christmas, but not this year. We missed seeing my family, but because my parents lived with us for six months as my dad waited for his heart transplant, we were blessed to have more time with them this year than we’ve ever had. We enjoyed the slower pace of celebrating Jesus’ birthday at our own house.

Converse socks and ear warmers from Uncle Stephen

#3 Family came to see us. Christmas Eve, Daniel’s parents and brother arrived and attended our Christmas Eve service with us. Anna and Christina danced and it was beautiful. Having Ma Boo and Grandall and Uncle Stephen  with us Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and for breakfast on Sunday was special indeed.

#4. We didn’t lose power. Last year, we had an ice storm and were without power for 48 hours. We ate cold bread and drank Sprite for our holiday meal. We couldn’t play new Wii games. We were freezing. We couldn’t flush potties. We couldn’t take showers. We slept in the den all together and Esther didn’t like it. It was not the best Christmas ever.

#5. Though we kept our power, it snowed. Yes, we had a white Christmas – a gorgeous white Christmas. Peaceful. Beautiful… About a foot of the pretty powdery stuff… not the dangerous icy stuff.

#6. The children had no wrapped gifts from their parents. They were a little worried. Even on Christmas morning, Christina questioned me, “Seriously, Mom, did you really not get us anything?” This year we gave each child two gifts and neither of them were “wrap-able.” The first is a promise to see Tim Hawkins, a hilarious Christian comedian, live in March. Many evenings we’ve spent as a family laughing at his you-tube videos. All of our children love him! They’ve never been to a live show such as this and are so looking forward to it! The second gift is family season passes to Carowinds, an amusement park two hours away. Instead of unwrapping their gifts, the children played Wheel of Fortune to guess the gifts in puzzles. This was a total blast and took about thirty minutes on Christmas morning. Once they figured out the puzzle, they were absolutely ecstatic! Our large gang doesn’t frequent amusement parks often. We’re all looking forward to some special family times ahead on roller coasters and water slides!

Our Wheel of Fortune guess the gift game

Carowinds Season Passes

#7. I didn’t shop in any malls or stores. None. Tickets were ordered online. I baked a little. I made my parents and in-laws picture calendars. Staying out of the stores made for a much more peaceful me.

#8. The children, however, shopped for one another. Five siblings (Esther didn’t give, but she received) X 5 gifts each, meant that even though mom and dad didn’t put gifts under the tree, there were still 25 beautifully wrapped presents. This is the first year they’ve done this and I must admit, I loved it. They spent time thinking about one another and were good shoppers. Anna styled little brother up a bit. Nathan bought perfume from Bath and Body Works with Bethany’s help for big sisters. Sarah patronized the dollar store and selected everyone’s favorite candy. Sweet. Very sweet.

Presents... all bought by the children for one another

Precious Esther

#9. We read Jotham’s Journey every day of Advent. I highly recommend this sweet story. From the website of the author:

After running away from his father’s tents in a moment of anger, ten-year-old Jotham has lost his way, and his family. As he journeys through Palestine in search of his nomadic home, Jotham is helped by a fool, a priest, a zealot and a wise man. Chased by a gang of thieves, thrown from one “foster parent” to another, Jotham slowly discovers the miracle of the first Christmas, and some miraculous things about his own life and his own family.

Written as a devotional for parents to read to their children during Advent, Jotham’s Journey unfolds day by day until the exciting climax on Christmas Day. Each day’s installment of the story is followed by a short devotional which will challenge your family to share in Jotham’s discoveries.

My children all enjoyed our evening time together reading this Advent story!

#10. We gathered with friends Christmas night and played new games. Some of our dearest friends who live in our neighborhood invited us over and we so enjoyed our time of fellowship with them! The children think next year we should invite a family over to our house for games. They’d like to see this become a new tradition! Enjoying some time with dear friends after an already perfectly wonderful day was just “icing on the happy-birthday-Jesus cake!”

Game time with friends

My children say this was the best Christmas ever. I disagree. The first Christmas was the best ever 🙂 However, this one was special. Very special. Maybe even epic.

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6 Responses to “Best. Christmas. Ever.”

  1. Cindy Says:

    Gifts are soooo much better when they are xperiences rather than stuff! I’m a big fan of stuff, too, of course, but I’m diggin’ your Christmas! And where were you when I was looking for new Advent ideas on FB? I didn’t like the devotional I found. I t was sappy and poorly written. The first page was OK, but the author just didn’t know when to stop laying on the breathless wonder and just let the reader think for a moment. I felt like I was being beaten with a sack of Sweet -n- Low packets. It didn’t hurt none, but it was really annoying. LOL

  2. Tina Says:

    Oh, Cindy… too funny! I missed the Facebook inquiry. Loved Jotham’s Journey! Daniel couldn’t finish the last page. He’s doesn’t cry easily, but it was well written and touching. He handed the book over to Nathan to finish reading and wiped his tears. And that made me teary – thankful for a good story and for my honey who’d take the time to read it for a month! Keep Jotham in mind for next year!

  3. The Jobe Journal » Blog Archive » New Year’s Resolutions (without a spreadsheet) Says:

    […] The Jobe Journal « Best. Christmas. Ever. […]

  4. Boo Jobe Says:

    So beautiful!!! I think it was one of the best Christmases ever for us, too!!

  5. Holly Law Says:

    Where did Uncle Stephen find the converse socks!?!?!!? Rachel would love those!

  6. Tina Says:

    Holly, I will find out and shoot you a message 🙂

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