peace, love + hohoho.... 12.25.08

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! it was another fantastic christmas at the chester household! santa + the reindeer found our house without a glitch even though it was pouring rain. he loved the cookies + milk and the reindeer devoured the carrots. the girls woke up at o' dark thirty this morning and ran out into the living room to see what santa brought and we can officially report that the toys the elves made were a big hit! how does santa + company manage to pull it off for all those kids every single year? WOW is all i can say! the girls do miss the elf, fondly named sparky, that had been visiting with us for a few days that went back to the north pole with santa but they know he will be back next year {for all of the parents of young children out there...if you have not heard of elf on the shelf yet, you must check it out for next year!}
we spent the rest of the day with my family eating good food and sharing lots of laughs as the girls entertained us! we started a tradition in 2001 with my family that in lieu of exchanging gifts we would all find charities that we wanted to donate $ to in the same amount that we would have spent on the gifts. it has been so rewarding to do this year after year and as a family this year we supported the efforts of unicef, heifer international, the atlanta community food bank + the national resources defense council. our oldest is really becoming very aware of how blessed her life is and also how important it is to give back to her community and the world around her. that's such a cool transition to experience as a parent! one daughter down, one more to go : )

we did not get around to officially sending out holiday cards (gasp!) so we will let this first image suffice as the 2008 holiday card from the chesters! of course A had to have a pink tree in her playroom this year and it's decorated with ornaments that she has made over the last few years at school. in this shot they are both standing on a huge toy storage table in their playroom spreading some holiday cheer! yes, A did get those black shoes that make a click-clack sound when she walks from santa (they were #2 on the list) and yes she will probably wear them non-stop from now until next christmas! did i mention that we have all hard wood floors in our house?!? and L, i could just eat her up!!!

A loves everything about the word love! she writes it on all her artwork and she made scott + i these 'love' cards for christmas! she picked out these tiny glass red keepsake hearts for gifts and handed them out to all the family today along with handmade cards. talk about melting my heart! ahhh, she is so sweet!
we wish you + yours much peace, love + hohoho this holiday season!
cristen + scott

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