I'm still trying to figure out Christmas Eve at our house. Growing up for me, my dad was always home on Christmas Eve, and while we didn't have any major traditions during the day other than getting ready for the evening festivities, it definitely felt like a holiday because everyone was home. In the evening, we'd always invite people over, and after dinner we'd go around the room and share something Christmas-y. It could be a poem, a song, artwork... anything. And usually our guests would share something too, often a story. And, of course, we'd read from Luke about Jesus' birth. I'm not going to lie, some of us grumbled about having to put something together (ahem, me), some of us would prepare at the last minute (me, again), but gosh I miss that and want it so badly for my family now! It truly brought the Christmas spirit and truly made Christmas Eve feel special.
Will has a full work day on Christmas Eve, which is fine, but it makes it hard for me to feel like it's a special occasion. I do miss what I grew up with and want to start some of our own Christmas Eve traditions during the day that are Christ centered, even if I do have to do it alone.
Anyway, it was still a great day! The kids played with their cute friend Adam in the morning. Bella put together a fun Santa craft for them to do, and then in the afternoon I did some last-minute Christmas prep and got the kids dolled up to go to Auntie Kay's for a fun evening with family. I do love that we dress up for Christmas Eve because that's something we did at our house growing up, too. (Hated it back then; love it now--what's up with that?) There's something about childhood traditions (especially Christmas ones) that are hard to let go of. Ten years later, and Will and I finally aren't debating about whether or not Santa presents should be wrapped. I won't tell you who won out on that one, but you can probably guess.
^^All dolled up. They were very good sports for all the picture-taking I put them through. Thank goodness for the candy cane in Charlie's hand, otherwise there's no way he would have gone for sitting still!
^^Here we are at Auntie Kay's! Juliette loves her Aunt Tina so much!
^^Great Grandma Gross and her sister, Auntie Kay! I love how close these sisters are. Makes me think of what my sisters and I might be like some day. I know we'll be close like these two and I fully expect us to wear matching Christmas sweaters. :)
^^Charlton thought it was the best thing ever to have a coffee table right at his height full of all kinds of finger food and treats. It was kind of the cutest thing ever to watch him carefully eat. Such a little man! I can't even call him Charlie looking at these pictures. He's such a Charlton here! haha
^^Isabella gave Great Grandma a red rose that can light up, and Charlton thought that was the best thing ever, too.
After all that fun, we hurried home and did the Christmas bedtime drill! I looooved that the girls wore some of my old Christmas nightgowns, handmade by my amazing mom. They looked so sweet in them. I don't have pictures of everything, but we read "Twas the Night Before Christmas," put some treats together for Santa, and the kids put all the presents they were giving under the tree. They were all kinds of crazy during these activities. Will and I kept looking at each other like, who are these children?
^^I also LOVED that my sister Emma sent the kids the most darling ever Christmas pillowcases that she made! My mom also had Christmas pillowcases for us kids growing up, and so I've always wanted to do that for my kids but haven't ever gotten around to making them. Now I don't have to!
We have a tradition of all the kids sleeping in the same room on Christmas Eve. They chose Liam's bed since Charlie's crib is in there, and surprisingly enough, the four of them went to sleep in a flash. They even slept in until like 8am, which is crazy to me! But Will and I weren't complaining after the record-breaking hyper/crazy they had just put us through. Happy Christmas Eve!
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