I think Christmas Eve might be my favorite part of the holidays. All that anticipation in the air. Lots of the work behind me. Clear cut list of exciting things that need to be pulled off and enjoyed ahead of me. It just feels good. I was sad not to be with my family this Christmas. So many of them had congregated in Utah for a big epic old tradition Eyre Christmas. It was just way too expensive for us to go. All of our Christmas budget and then some would have been sunk into airfare. So we stayed. And luckily we got to Skype. I kind of felt like we were right there with them for a tiny second, and then I felt the emptiness of that cold screen. One year. Luckily, we had lots of Christmas magic right where we were. Our Christmas dinner was the same old ham and potatoes of every year. (I really want to mix that up next year…maybe make something fancy and decadent like a prime rib or tenderloin roast, or roast beast….any ideas?). Aunt Karen and some friends from church were there for our dinner and our Luke 2 re-enactment after dinner. They all pitched in to play parts. We got that funny manger bed this year from our white elephant dinner group swap. Not sure what it was to begin with , or what we’ll use it for going forward, but it was a great manger bed. Emmeline really got what was going on this year, which was fun. Peter was clueless, but very interested and happy (as always, that little gem). The dinner was great, the nativity pageant was sweet, but my favorite part of Christmas eve is when the guests leave and the kids hand out their presents that they’ve saved up for and thought about and bought for each other. I’m going to let the pictures tell the stories here…. they do a much better job. But, I will say that the love between all of us was thick as they each took turns to give out their gifts. Even little Emmeline saved up and waltzed around the dollar store carefully picking presents for each person in the family. I think it’s the only time ever that she’s been in a store and not asked for something for her self. It was a mini miracle. And oh, that Hazel, had saved up nearly $100 to try to buy herself an iPod touch and then she spent every penny on it on gifts for us and her friends. She is a generous soul. And Charlie, though he’s not nearly as good at earning money, also used all he had to buy very thoughtful gifts. As this scene unfolded there in our living room I could see thick bonds of sibling love being woven around each little heart. It was pretty glorious.
Ok. I said I’d let the pictures tell the story here, so I’m going to shut up. (sorry, i know i said I’d shut up, but I have to say one really quick thing about Peter here. He also gave out presents and he got it! Of course, he was delighted by opening the gifts given to him, but after watching each sibling take a turn giving out gifts, he realized that it was his turn and was so cute to clap and cheer “YEAH!” as people opened the gifts he was giving them.) I wish I would have taken more video footage of it, it was adorable.
We closed off the night by putting on new (for some who needed them) Christmas PJ’s and reading the Grinch.
I love Christmas Eve.