Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eves have settled in the nice same scene year after year for us. That is part of what makes Christmas so great - the Traditions - the same wonderful events, constant warmth, consistent love and enjoyment that never grows old. I am lucky to have all my siblings and their families close by - so on Christmas Eve afternoon, we all head up to Grammy and Papa's. You can feel and smell "Christmas" from the driveway. The kitchen is all a bustle as the women pull together the finishing touches for the feast. Kids run and play with utter excitement to all corners of the house. This one was caught LOTS of times, doing this...
We gather together and Papa, in his choked-up voice does the same welcome/gratitude speach we all love. Then we "try" to enjoy a beautiful, peaceful dinner. With so many little ones it's usually more like mahem - spilled drinks, laughter and usually some tears - but beauty and peace can come in lots of packages.

After dinner, the kids get costumed and perform the Nativity as Papa reads from the scriptures.
Each year there are new cast members to add to the performance. Cole-the shepard guards the manger until everyone is ready to roll.
Some of the new cast members aren't as eager to participate...
The older kids still love it as much as the little ones
By the end of the Nativity play, it usually looks like this...but it is a work in progress.
The kids all help carry up the presents from downstairs to arrange under the tree (or more like around the room) - Our grammy has perfected the art of gift-giving. Then everyone opens one gift, which is always Christmas pajamas. Even the parents and guests get a new set of pj's - but we don't make them pose for a picture.Then for the evening wind-down, someone plays the piano and we all sing our favorite Christmas Carols. As you can see, the winding-down part wasn't successful - it turned into more of a dog-pile/wrestling match. Poor Aunt Haley on the bottom.

Then the parents have the job of getting their kids home, to bed, and eventually asleep - So Santa can come!

Every year, as the kids get a little older, the feelings of Christmas seem to change. The traditions are the same, and the scene looks identicle. But there seems to be more excitement, more anticipation, more gratitude, more LOVE. I remember it being great when I was a kid. The best part is that is seems to keep getting better!


Carrie said...

Love this Mandy!!!