Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

I love Christmas....and a huge part of that love comes from all the crazy traditions that go along with the season. It has been fun (and stressful at times) for Jeff and I to try to merge our family traditions to come up with our own. This is the second year we have been away from either of our families for Christmas and we've been trying on different traditions....I think things are starting to gel a little.

This is a picture of or "Nazareth Supper" that we hosted on the 23rd with a few friends (see last years post for more details). We had falafel and pita and sat and talked to Mary (Hazel) and Joseph (Charlie) and Elizabeth (Liz) and Mary's midwife Bathsheba (Heidi) and her husband (Mike) and a bunch of shepherds, a sheep and even an angel. It was so good to really think through what these people may have been feeling and thinking. The kids got really into it. I wish I could convince them to be Mary and Joseph every night at dinner time....they were so polite and so meek and mild. We had watched the "Nativity Story" a few nights before and they were acting remarkably like the people in the movie....perfectly was amazing.
On Christmas Eve we had a "wana-be" Shumway Christmas dinner. Our dear neighbors had two Honey Baked Hams sent to them so they generously gave us one....which I was so thankful for....I had no intention of cooking a big meal and Jeff's family always did a wonderful Christmas eve meal. Jeff and John were in charge of the rolls and the second batch was remarkably good considering that they accidentally poured in the whole container of yeast (at least a cup of yeast) into the first batch.

Here we are in our Christmas Crowns that came in the real Christmas Crackers that Charity sent all the way from England.

After dinner we had a little reenactment of the Christmas story. I love these pictures, can you see how solemn and serious Hazel and Charlie were.....a real Christmas miracle (contrast them in these pictures to the ones above.....can they always pretend they're Mary and Joseph...please?)
And it was magical to have our very own baby Jesus.
She also played the part perfectly.
After we sang some Christmas carols (the kids can actually sing this year!) Hazel and Charlie got to hand out the gifts that they carefully chose at the dollar store and paid for with their very own money. They kind of got the giving thing this year....Hazel much more than Charlie. Hazel darted through the store eager to spend her hot little hard earned quarters. Charlie on the other hand was much more into making sure that someone gave him the things that he saw as we were looking for others.....I assured him that Emmeline would be giving him that Lightning McQueen night light that he saw as he was shopping for Jeff (yes, in the toy section....he knows is dad well). Needless to say, he didn't really get it...but he sure was thrilled to hand out the gifts on Christmas eve and get all the praise we were dishing out in hopes that the joy of giving wouldn't be completely drowned out by all the getting they were going to do the next day.
After tucking the kids in (those threats about Santa passing by our house didn't really phase them.....and it took quite a while to settle them down) we got to work. This is what the house looked like after Santa came. I love the magic of Christmas's sad for me to go to bed because I know that the morning will come and we'll tear through these presents and then we'll have to wait a whole year before another magical Christmas eve.

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