Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

Friday afternoon my parents came down to spend Christmas weekend with us. We always appreciate that they take time out of their schedule to help us wrap gifts, assemble things, and spend time with us. Friday night the kids opened gifts that were given to them by my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jim. Every year they give them each a book and a cuddly. These will be extra special since they are the lasts gifts from Uncle Jim.Christmas Eve we got ready and went to service at our church (LifeChurch.TV). This was our first year to go to Christmas Eve services at LifeChurch. I wasn't sure what to expect. Would this non-traditional church tone it down and have a quiet, contemplative Christmas Eve service? Well, not so much! Ha! If anything, the worship team was more "alive and kickin" than normal! The message was great (as usual). And at the end we did get a little traditional with the whole church singing silent night. No candles for us though--glow sticks instead! =-)
Christmas Eve we can always look forward to Taevy's Christmas play. This is the 3rd (or 4th?) year she's done it. The first year it was basically them singing carols. It's getting more sophisticated every year. This year was complete with lines (that they didn't quite have memorized), staging, and a spotlight! This year's production was called "Christmas Bread" and included a theme of "Christmas isn't about gifts; it's about the birth of Christ."The guys spent about 4 hours outside, trying to put together the kids' basketball goal so that it would be ready Christmas morning. Bust. But they get points for trying!

After the guys gave up on the goal we emptied our stockings of all of the kind words that everybody had given over the month of December. This is a new tradition we're starting. Can't remember where I heard the idea, but basically, we leave out index cards and pens, when we "catch" someone doing something kind, we write about it on the card, and then deposit the card into the person's stocking. It was a really sweet and encouraging time as each child read the kind words given to them by others in the family. This tradition is a keeper.

Before bedtime, time to get in Christmas PJs! Has anybody else noticed that they make way better Christmas PJs for girls than boys? After the kids went to bed we got busy wrapping all of their gifts. [We always wait to wrap all of their gifts on Christmas Eve.] My mom can really whip out some wrapping skills! Unfortunately, I didn't have enough supplies, so I got stuck with the kiddie scissors and a role of tape that was meant for a dispenser (scraping the tape up every time I needed it). Here is mom doing our dishes even though she didn't need to. Always so helpful.Our Christmas tree after everything was done.My kids aren't encouraged to "believe in" Santa (except by my mom). My mom diligently set out cookies and cider for santa, with carrots for the reindeer. =-)We were in bed around midnight, wishing for more sleep than we would get!