I think, in my book, Christmas eve ranks above Christmas. I love that anticipation and excitement are at its peak and there is nothing but love all around. Over the years we’ve adjusted our Christmas eve traditions to fit our circumstances and I think we’ve found our groove.
Our neighborhood lines the streets with white paper bags filled with candles – which makes for a beautiful sight when they’re all lit up. The kids know their responsibilities in helping Steve get these all set out. We didn’t know when buying our corner lot house that we would be responsible for lighting the whole distance on Christmas eve! Good thing we have good workers!
We acted out the Nativity using the costumes my mom had made for me. We even skyped them in so they could be a part of it. Of course our donkey…Bennett…found much entertainment in putting the donkey head directly in front of the camera for a good portion of our skit. We all had a good laugh. We were able to watch some short Christmas messages and share our feelings about the birth of Jesus Christ. It was reverent and touching and the kids offered such insightful comments. Perhaps my favorite 30 minutes from the whole day.
We opened some Christmas jammies. (thank you Gap for providing the same pattern across all sizes!) Its funny because the kids know they are opening pajamas but they get so excited as if it’s a toy! Just getting them warmed up for the big day!
The kids decorated cookies for Santa with a nice kit from Wal-mart. I’m happy with a few oreos thrown on a plate but the kids seem to enjoy decorating far more. Possibly because they get to lick their fingers of all the icing and sneak some candy in the process!
We rotate giving gifts to Steve’s siblings and we gave to his brother this year; Steve’s favorite kitchen appliance – the Coco-motion (a hot chocolate maker) and a hand-made nativity puzzle. We stopped by to deliver the gifts.
We had dinner with Steve’s family and just before dinner we saw the most beautiful sunset. Bright, vibrant pinks and oranges painted across the sky. Such a beautiful sight.
After dinner we went on a hayride with friends to check out the neighborhood lights and luminaries. We sang and laughed and let the excitement continue to build. I had to pause in song and thought as we passed by our house dressed in Christmas lights. I can’t help but have overwhelming amounts of gratitude for this house and every memory and tradition that takes place within its walls, especially at Christmas time.
We walked in the door just before 8 which left just enough time to get ready for bed and have Steve read Twas the night before Christmas just as it was done in his house growing up.
Hunter and Hallie begged and pleaded to sleep in the same room and after some convincing we agreed. After which, Hallie decided that her bed was more comfortable than Hunter’s room and decided to stay in her own room. That’s a sign of growing up if I’ve ever seen one!
I was prepared for extra bathroom breaks, and more drinks of water and anything else they might do to stall. But they didn’t. They each got in bed. Stayed in bed. And promptly fell asleep. A Christmas miracle. That left time for Steve and I to finalize a few things, visit with his sister who stopped by and get to bed at a decent time.
The day was awesome. Every bit of it.