Belated Merry Christmas! We had a very peaceful and joyful holiday here at home. After our traditional German cookie fest at the Collins stronghold complete with the Christmas story, carols, and many many cookies, we headed to our house with my parents and aunt for our Wigilia celebration. Wigilia is the traditional Polish Christmas Eve celebration where we break bread and share blessings for the coming year, eat many dishes of fish (13, traditionally!), and exchange Christmas gifts. Being at our own house for this was so beautiful and special-- albeit not nearly as formas as in previous years. But sitting around our tiny candle-lit dining room table with some of the people I love the most in the world for a tradition I've participated in every year since I was born was beautiful.
Ben and I have never actually been at our own home for Christmas-- we've always traveled to visit family or friends (and now have the luxury of living among our family!). So this was our first Christmas morning on our own, and since both families do the majority of celebrating Christmas eve, we could do our own thing. This year, we woke up late (thanks, Zosia!), went out for a nice long Christmas morning walk at a park in Arlington (it was in the 50s on Christmas day, which was amazing), came home and started a fire and had some traditional German sandwiches while listening to Christmas carols. It was perfect, and relaxing, and gave us a little time to meditate on Jesus being in our midst.
Since then, we've been doing what we do best-- relaxing together, spending time with loved ones, and embarking on a few special adventures. Today, to celebrate Ben's birthday, we went out for breakfast at The Original Pancake House, a local Falls Church establishment that we've heard about for so long. It is amazing! No place we've lived has felt totally like home until we've found a great place to get some breakfast, so it was a homecoming of sorts.
I hope everyone else had a blessed and joyful holiday and I'm looking forward to hearing many stories!