I wrote a bit about the first service the family attended on Christmas Eve, The Pageant. Okay, I wrote more about Abigail being naughty, but you know what I mean. Most of us were there...except (ahem) Samuel, who just isn't into the Pageant service at the Resort any more.
We did all go to the 7:30 service, after getting home, choking down some dinner (pork chops in the crock pot) and then racing back to church. I love the 7:30 service, which is a Lessons and Carols service. Abigail remained mostly under control and preferred her brother and sisters to her mother for most of the service (without any complaint from me!).
After the service, we headed home to partake in the Christmas Eve traditions of new pjs and new ornaments. The pjs are a relatively new addition to our Christmas Eve traditions. Maybe the last 6 years? I had seen other families' Christmas jammies in their photos and thought it was a good idea. Why not give the kids new jammies so that they look somewhat presentable for Christmas morning photos.
Bethany's jammies say I *heart* Hot Cocoa. Unfortunately, the stitching is itchy, so she hasn't worn them since Christmas Eve night. Have to get some fusable webbing or something!
Susannah and her spots
Moriah and her spots and "rock star" t-shirt that she lovesThe ornaments are a family tradition from both our families from way back. (I should say here that most of the parental childhood ornaments don't make it to the tree any longer, considering how many ornaments our many children now possess.)
For the record, Samuel did get new pjs too. His were kinda boring this year...blue and black flannel plaid with a black t-shirt. I couldn't find men's medium 'fun' pjs bottoms that weren't beer, Simpsons or AC/DC-related. He wasn't begging for his photo to be taken, so no photo.
Jim and I try to find ornaments that reflect something of the past year, something important or significant. For Samuel, the idea was an ice cream cone in honor of his first job at The Ice Cream Shop (sorry the watermark is across his face!!).
For Moriah (who had requested a left-handed pitcher), I actually found a left-handed pitcher at Hallmark!
Susannah, who is really into "peace", received a very pretty ornament with angels and scripture referring to Peace on Earth (Luke 2:14 if you're curious).
Abigail and Bethany both received Boyd's Bears ornaments, to commemorate their being "Little Bears" at their daycare.
Everyone seemed pleased with their ornaments and jammies. The little girls got ready for bed and the big kids got ready to go to the 11:00 service, which was a "Christmas Unplugged" this year...a stand-up bass and guitar for the music. I was home with the sleepers and was sorry to miss the good music. The three older kids all enjoyed it (and the girls went in their new jammies, too!).
I did take advantage of some quiet time and finished wrapping presents. And I finally watched A Christmas Story all the way through, courtesy of TBS running it non-stop for a full day. I do a minimalist approach with wrapping our kids' gifts. They each get one kind of paper and every gift from us gets wrapped in that paper. No ribbons or tags and very seldom bows. I thought I had enough left over from last year for the older kids' gifts (which would have made it a third year!) but I was wrong. Then it turns out I would have had enough for the little girls' gifts (I got them princess paper, not realizing I had Winnie the Pooh left over). So Samuel got Winnie the Pooh instead.
Jim and I stayed up way too late finishing up last minute stuff and stuffing stockings. Our kids know there's no Santa Claus, so there's no need to put out cookies and milk and do any of that kind of thing. I think we got to bed close to 3:30 am. Why do we do that every year? What's up with that? Part of the Parental Christmas Code? It's nuts, whatever it is. And we should stop it. Especially since I'll be 40 by the time next Christmas comes around. Too old to be staying up till all hours. Geesh.
Here is what our tree and stockings looked like as we slowly climbed the stairs to bed:
(Well, not quite. The lights are actually on in this photo. So it looked almost like this as we climbed up to bed. Only without the lights on. Which you can't tell anyway.)
I will work on a Christmas Day post tomorrow. Or Wednesday. Depending on how tired I am from the second day back to school after a lovely long break.