Our Christmas Eve was a quiet one. It did start to snow a little, which was really exciting, especially for Diddles, but it didn't really stick and just made things really wet! I've been really trying to simplify our Christmas Eve and not have my expectations too high, because it never turns out exactly how I envision it. Then I end up disappointed in myself, because I'm grumpy and emotional that my unrealistic expectations weren't met. I know. It's silly. I'm happy to say that I made some baby steps towards balance this year, but I still have a long way to go!
I enjoy Luminarias, so that tradition stayed. Every home in our neighborhood in New York did them on Christmas Eve. It was beautiful! They are inexpensive, easy, and the kids can help and I don't really care if they are perfect. We line the porch, driveway and front sidewalk. We set them out before dinner, but by the time we lit the candles, the bags and the candles were soaking wet! Made for a slog to get them all lit, but Josh was a trooper and helped me get it done.
Our Christmas Eve dinner we ate Clam Chowder, rolls, salad and sparkling cider by candlelight. We all enjoyed the meal, I think. We had ingredients to make Norwegian cookies, but we had piles of goodie plates from friends, and food coming out of our ears, so we decided to forego the cookies and plan on them for next year.
We've been studying Christ's birth and life this month for our family scripture study this year, so instead of re-reading Luke 2, we watched the old movie about the boy who milks the cows for his father for a Christmas present. I love that story! There is a part in there that the boy says, "What could I GET him, that could be THAT kind of special?" Josh then presented us each with a surprise present, on a similar theme of last year's Christ paintings. He had ordered a wooden box for each of us. Each one unique, that symbolizes the qualities he sees in each person. Yaks' was an elephant because he loves his creative adventure stories, and sense of adventure, Boo's had gilded inlays for her beautiful spirit and talents, Diddles was a red box with whimsical details for her great imagination and spunky spirit. Mine had a mirror inlay so that I can always be reminded that I'm beautiful and loved. He told us how although it's an empty box, it is filled with LOVE, and he hopes that when we see it, we can feel his love for us.
The kids didn't get up too early. Boo had been a little under-the-weather, and Yaks knew we really wanted to sleep a bit, so I think things got going around 7:30. Diddles heard the commotion in the other room and came bolting out of her bedroom, "DON'T START WITHOUT ME!" Never a more excited-for-Christmas child have I ever seen! She's been counting down for Christmas (literally marking off the days) since November!
|Oh, my goodness....|
|Her face says it all. A Jack-in-the Box! A box of Kinetic Sand was also a big hit.|
|Boo got some baking supplies as her big gift, |
but she's used this simplified Hymn book the most! Thanks, Nana & Papa!
|Rockin' out to hymns on Christmas day!|
|Yaks couldn't quite make up his mind which big Lego set he wanted most, |
so Santa (wink) decided he'd been such a good boy, he'd get both. LEGO HEAVEN!
Isaac and Megan had our names for gift exchange this year. They gave us a couple great games, but this MAZE called Perplexus has occupied Josh's time in a most wonderfully challenging way. :) Lots of fun!
We spent the day playing with toys, relaxing and eating, and Facetiming with Nana and Papa We abandoned our usual heavy dinner of ham and potatoes for a lighter salmon and salads. I enjoyed not cooking all day in preparation! It finally snowed three days later. All of Diddles' dreams came true!
Happy kids. Happy parents. Happy Christmas!