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Christmas w/ the Kiengkhams: gingerbread village & gift wrapping

It's the eve of Christmas Eve! Oh happy day! It has been a warmer Christmas here, 70 degree weather doesn't make it feel like Christmas is near. We have been bringing Christmas cheer around here. Wrapping gifts, making gingerbread cookies, swapping gifts with our distant relatives/friends, watching Christmas movies, & a love feast at church with advent songs has fully made me feel like Christmas is coming very soon. My friend gave us his famous beef jerky for a gift, it will not make it to Christmas. Our family from Indiana sent us some wonderful gifts and unfortunately one gift (Santa cookie jar) did not make it. My neice said "Santa is resting in pieces" literally. I've learned my lesson, don't ship ceramic presents ever again. I recieved some sweet cards from our friends. I love getting cards! They are sitting next to our fireplace. I'll look at them as I am enjoying Christmas movies.

I spend all month long (November too) watching Christmas movies on the television and from my own collection. I have a whole box just for Christmas movies. My favorites are all in my collection. The Santa Clause, The holiday, Christmas with the Kranks are just a few I can name. I love to sit on the couch or lay in bed all day on the weekends watching these movies. On the weekends I'll get out, I'll attend church.

Christmas at our church (Coburn) is beautiful. Nothing like the church being lit with candles, poinsettas at the alter, and the beautiful advent songs sung by our choir. The love feast was a first for us. Souwan and I enjoyed having bread and Russian tea with our friends from church. This time of year is filled with so much hope and love. We are blessed! Another blessing would be spending time with family.

We are preparing for our first Christmas gathering at our first home as husband and wife. Rearranging furniture and prepping food for our first Christmas lunch with our family. Prepping for the holidays is a month long task, we feel like their is so much still to get done. It'll be our first time throwing a Christmas lunch for our family and we're both excited. Souwan and I get to put all of our wedding gift items to use for lunch with our family. Some dishes I have never even cooked by myself until now. My mom has taught me some of her recipes and now we will see how much I remember! My brother is skeptical and concerned about my cooking. Ha! Cross your fingers. I did have to call her last night about her recipe. Good thing, I almost forgot an ingredient. It's nice to have family nearby to call on.

We do miss our distant family and friends and wish them to be with us! For you all, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

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