Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A New Tradition

For as long as I can remember I've spent Christmas Eve and Day with my family. Even last year, we woke up at my parents Christmas morning, had our Christmas then drove to Rusk to spend the rest of the day with my Grandpa and the rest of the Eckel family. Since this year was going to be different with our beloved Grandpa no longer with us, we decided it was time to make some changes. We decided that we would stay here at our house for both and drive into my parents later on Christmas Day.

We started out two days before Christmas celebrating with Jim's family. We had a great ham dinner and enjoyed our gift exchange.

G-Lana and Alyssa

Papa Jim and his five grandkids.

Gift time

While we missed being with our family Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, we had a wonderful time celebrating with our little family. We spent Christmas Eve doing a little baking, watching Beauty and the Beast, which Sarah got the night before, playing games, enjoying a roast dinner and Christmas Mass at 7:00.
We let the kids open a few gifts on Christmas Eve. 

Laser Tag and a Slushy Maker which were both put to good use during the day. 

The boys both got a little baggie of reindeer food from their Christmas parties that they spread in the back yard. 

Making sure it's there!

Sarah got a princess hair accessory kit from Aunt Rhonda and after her bath she decided to dry her hair. She wanted to look good for Mass!! I think she has watched Mommy one too many times. :)

I walked out for a minute and walked back in and heard Luke say "I'm going to make you look all pretty." I mean really! So stinkin' sweet! He was using the straight iron. 

Sweet brothers!

I couldn't get Sarah to part with her new toys. Somehow we managed to talk her out of taking them into church without a meltdown. Whew!

My life!

Love these kiddos!!


After Mass we got the milk and cookies ready for Santa. 

Santa and Mrs. Clause had fun putting out all the gifts!

Santa always leaves three gifts for each kiddo. 

For Luke it was an art kit, a Jake pirate ship and a Wii game, Mario Party 9. 

For Jacob it was a new chair, a remote-controlled helicopter and a Nintendo 3DSXL. 
For Sarah it was a My Little Pony train set, a singing Belle doll and a stool for her bathroom. 

Cozy, isn't it!

Stockings are filled with goodies.

Christmas morning was everything we wanted it to be!

Santa left the kids a note by his milk and cookies. Jacob has had many questions about the big guy this year so we were hoping a hand written note from Santa might help!

Luke was so sweet and was very thankful for his gifts.

Sarah loved the opening process and had a blast with it all.

Despite the long face, Luke loves sharks and has enjoyed his new shark books. He can tell you all kinds of facts about sharks.

Sarah was so excited about her new Minnie night-night dress. She had to put it on right then!

Luke got a stuffed shark, the one from Finding Nemo. We named him Bruce! He sleeps with him every night! Sweet boy!

Jim was most excited about his KU spatula! A man can't have too many BBQ tools!

Stocking time.

The first day we put our advent calendar out, Luke asked if he could be the one to put baby Jesus up. He waited patiently all month to be able to put him up on Christmas Day.

After gifts we enjoyed a pancake breakfast. This is our Happy Birthday, Jesus angel pancake. We sang happy birthday and they each got to blow out a candle.

After breakfast we loaded up and headed to my parents in Kilgore. A snow storm was making it's way into Dallas and we wanted to get on the road to beat the snow. Once we all arrived, the fun began!

As we were opening gifts we noticed it started snowing. We all bundled up and headed outside.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! Look at those flakes!

Joseph and Michael

Luke was trying to catch some with his tongue. 

My Grandpa wore this red shirt and Santa hat every Christmas day. My Dad knew how much we loved this about him so he continued this tradition in memory of our sweet Grandpa.

We got Sarah nail polish along with her lip gloss. Here we are...her very first mommy mani/pedi. She sat very still and kept saying "pretty". Such a girl! I love it!

Aunt Katherine gave Gracie and Annie one next.

Time for the toes.

Happy girl!

We woke up to a winter wonderland the day after Christmas.

My Dad hooked up the sled to his four-wheeler and took the kids for a ride around the yard. They loved it!

Even little Joseph wanted a ride.

Then Joseph got to help Grandpa drive.

Fun times! But it sure did melt the snow!

Trying to make snowballs!

The girls!

Sweet cousins!

The girls!

Kristina's kids got a dog for Christmas. Trooper is his name. And Sarah had lots of fun playing with him.

Movie time! Comfy cozy!

We had a wonderful, blessed Christmas and I hope you did as well. What a better way to celebrate the birth of our Savior! Happy New Year to you as well!


  1. Aww, what fun Christmas memories from your first year at home! So neat to see all yall did and get a glimpse into your special morning with your precious family. And your mantle looked so fun and cozy with the fire going too. It was so fun seeing yall at Mom and Dad's. And might I say, what a good photographer you had during Sarah's mani/pedi time! hehehe :)

  2. I have loved seeing all of your December posts. Looks like you guys had a really nice Christmas and month leading up to it. Now back to real life. :-(

  3. Such fun, Loved reading all about your new Christmas tradition at home. I'm curious how the letter from Santa worked out (and how Santa disguised his handwriting??)! Miss you guys!

  4. You have created a beautiful family Christmastime, Katherine. Loved all the photos. Have to admit the part about your Dad wearing the red shirt and Santa hat brought tears to my eyes. Your little family is precious. blessings ~ tanna

  5. Our first Christmas ever without you Katherine, but new traditions have to start sometime. You are making memories for your precious little ones that they will have just like you. Christmas morning at home then driving to grandma and grandpas house.