Scenes from Christmas Eve…(2010 Edition)

As I’ve mentioned in years past, Christmas Eve is our big night. We pack a lot into one evening and it is always quite magical for me. I hope my children feel the same way. When I was growing up (and to this day) my family had a feast and opened all their gifts on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if it came from the German tradition on my dad’s side, or if it was because in South Africa, it is hot and sunny on Christmas day and it is easier to create the cozy atmosphere on Christmas Eve when it is dark. Either way, I loved it.
Since it is cold and snowy here, we open  (almost all of) our gifts on Christmas day, so Christmas Eve is reserved for an intimate family night where we try to focus on the spiritual reason for the season, and all of the traditions Aaron and I have brought from our childhoods and created over the years with our own little family.
twasthenightbefore Gracie prepares our lovely Christmas table…sugaring the glasses..
  gracie prep
and designing the beautiful center piece (isn’t she talented?). The little birds are actually salt and pepper shakers. So creative.
We are ready for our lamb feast (my mom’s Greek-style recipe which is heavenly) and soooo excited. Gabe is an endless source of hilarity and entertainment for his siblings.
christmas table
A toast to Christmas Eve and traditions and a wonderful family to share them with..*clink*
Daddy, our hero and master chef..(he makes it taste just like my mom’s-a much appreciated feat)
The snow set the scene outside…
A quick family portrait (thanks for the tripod, Joan! Now we don’t have to hunker in the corner anymore ;)
family portrait
Anxiously tracking Santa via Norad
A cuddle with my baby girl
We made some last gift deliveries to friends, and had a quick peek at the Christmas lights in the ‘hood. Then it was back home, and time for the Nativity pageant.
Written and directed by Gracie and Finny. Performed by Gracie and Finny and narrated by Benj and Gabe reserved
(I wonder why they felt the need for this??)
Mary and Joseph wend their weary way to Bethlehem. I love the costume choices. Naturally Joseph was man enough to wear a sheer purple headdress..maryandjoseph
The faithful Narrators in the background
Taking a bow and a curtsy respectively (don’t you love their props…I found them sooo cute and creative)
Singing Silent Night while Benj accompanies them on the piano
Since we have been reading accounts of Christ’s birth from the scriptures every day this month, we ended with a little testimony meeting. It was beautiful (sniff) and a tradition I hope we will always continue.  (Gabe was shy rather then  forgotten in these shots;)testimony
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: That He lives!” (D&C 76:22)
Gracie unwraps and reads us our second to last Christmas book….she is such an expressive little reader. It is such a joy to listen to her.
Daddy reads The Night Before Christmas
Reindeer food (oatmeal, carrots and some sparkles to show them the way) is prepared
reindeer food
and sprinkled in the snow…
sprinkling reindeer food
And now it is finally time to open just one present. (The big boys restrained themselves this year, choosing to have an extra one for the morning-I think it just about killed them though ;)
A book for Gracie and a webkinz for Finny. Both of them were rather pleased.
Bribes  treats are laid out for Santa. (There was talk of substituting a salad since he could probably use one, but the fear that he might take offense won out.)
santa treats
Santa showed up…and he didn’t forget a soul. Not the dog, not the bunny, not the unborn baby sister. (That’s her little elephant webkinz holding her tiny stocking on the back of the couch). What a guy that Santa is.  Isn’t it crazy to imagine that unborn baby sister will be at least 9.5 months old next Christmas, and no doubt wreaking all sorts of havoc with the wrappings?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
(Actually…. true to the Christmas carol, as hard as they tried, “tiny tots, with their eyes all aglow” did indeed “find it hard to sleep” that night….as did their parents.) We are still recovering!

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Sara A Broers said...

What an awesome re-cap~ Fun memories!

Peg said...

I love the manger/suitcase/violin case (whatever it is).

Thalia said...

LOL re: Gracie reacting so highly to her book :)

Anonymous said...

It is SO good to see that your children do better than you did! I am so proud of you re: the strong spiritual emphasis on Christmas Eve which was sorely lacking in ours this year. We did manage a tiny bit of reading.
Also love Joseph's head dress, and as you say, a man secure in his masculinity can eat quiche and wear pink and purple! Way to go!