Anyway! Between the pageant and the first service at the church, we grabbed a pizza from the "A Bar" (Aurora Lounge) at the hotel and were able to choke down some dinner. You'd think that there would be plenty of time between a 5:00 service and a 7:30 service to have some dinner, huh? Well, after the actual pageant is over, by the time we have to get all of the costumes collected and folded and stored in the bags and bins and the candles put back into a box and the table and advent wreath stowed away and the electric keyboard carried downstairs and finish looking around for any random items that might have been left behind, it's fairly close to 7:00. And it just doesn't seem to occur to me to have anything going in the crock pot, until around 2:30 and by then it's too late to do anything because we have to be getting ready to go by around 2:55. (it is my hope that you get a sense of the crazy-ness with how jumbled this last paragraph was)
Between the 7:30 and 11:00 services there is a bit more breathing room, but not much. We're usually home by around 9:30, after chatting with folks and cleaning up in preparation for the 11:00 service. We also took a few moments to get a family photo taken:
Once we got home from the 7:30 service, it was time to open jammies and ornaments. We take a lot of care in choosing the ornaments for the kids every year, trying to find something that reflects an important event or something they currently are interested in. The girls were fairly easy, while Samuel presented a challenge (because there just aren't that many Debate-themed ornaments out there, if you must know). In the end, all five kids got an ornament that reflected something special for them and it was a lot of fun to see them open the pjs and find the ornament nestled inside. In fact, the pjs are the 'wrapping paper' on Christmas Eve, which makes it nice and easy to get each kids' things ready for opening.
|Samuel's 'handmade' ornament*, which he loved!|
|Moriah got a guitar, which was as close to a ukulele** as I could get.|
|Susannah is making a funny face, but she loves her piggy*** ornament.|
|Abigail has a Sleeping Beauty**** ornament|
|Bethany has a Cinderella***** ornament|
We got the little girls settled in their new fleecy, warm jammies and put them to bed. Then off to the 11:00 service went four of us, with Moriah and Susannah sporting their new pjs as well. That's a plus for this service...the kids are welcome to wear their pjs, esp. since the service ends near or after midnight.
I think that is about it for our Christmas Eve report. Except maybe to share how pathetically late we were up finishing the wrapping. Then again, maybe I'll keep that sad information to myself. Every year I vow that the wrapping will be done well before the 24th and every year, I'm doing it late into the night.
Someday I'll get my act together. Probably just in time for the little girls' last Christmas before they head off to college.
* Samuel's is a 'tub' with 'folders' and 'paper' inside, meant to represent the Rubbermaid tub full of information that he and his debate partner use for their debates to formulate their cases.
** Moriah won the first annual "Girdwood's Got Talent" back in October. She sang Hey Soul Sister while accompanying herself on her ukulele. It was good.
*** Susannah loves pigs and will not eat pork of any kind. So it was time to get an ornament reflecting this preference of hers.
**** Abigail's affection for Sleeping Beauty is undiminished and still as enthusiastic as ever.
***** Bethany's affection for Cinderella is equally undiminished and she often refers to herself as Cinderella.