Christmas Eve. I think I love that night more than I love Christmas itself. The excitement, anticipation, the family together. It's terrific. Well, the entire Romney family gathered on the 23rd, but that didn't stop those of us who were able to spend Christmas Eve together as well. I figured we at least needed a change of venue, so we got together at my house this time. We enjoyed soup, bread, salad and pies together. The kids and I made gingerbread cookies that afternoon - I was actually just cleaning up the floury mess when everyone started arriving:
(And by floury mess I am referring to Bitty rather than the kitchen...)
The kids decorated cookies together - I knew if I had one big project that everyone would be happy for a while, and I was right. My niece Hannah kind of took the cake on the decorating thing - she did a cookie in the shape of a house with a tree in the window. Clever! And the winner of the evening? This beauty here:
We chatted, we watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and then I kicked everyone out by 8:30 because I was so exhausted and still had quite a ways to go before bed. That whole wrapping thing really caught up with me this year.
So, tell me. I really love the tradition of giving kids jammies on Christmas Eve, plus a new Christmas book to open and read together. I did these things and guess what. My children could not have cared less. Neither of them would wear their jammies - Stomper had been wearing jammies since approximately 4:30 telling everyone that it was time for bed (cute!) and Bitty got a dress as a gift from a friend and would not take it off. Nor did the book get read. I still love the idea of the jammies and book, but do I force it down their throats? I'll give it another try next year I guess.
I'm not sure that Santa was really up for the 3D frosting on these cookies, but seeing as how there were only crumbs left on the plate by morning, I suppose it was okay!
Then the big morning finally arrived. I love that I have all these pictures of the kids opening gifts with a pitch black sky out the windows. They didn't get out of bed too darn early, but seeing as how Bundle got me up at 6:30 anyhow it didn't really matter. What was really fun was that at about 7:15 there was a knock at our door and there were my parents standing on the doorstep! I wasn't expecting them but they decided that they could fit in two Christmas mornings - one with us and one with Peter. It was really fun to have them there.
I think Santa did a great job this year and someone should give him (her) a raise. Or a vacation. I'm just saying. The kids were very happy and didn't seem to notice that only a fraction of their wish lists actually appeared under the tree. That's the best part. Sometimes I got a little weary of new items being constantly added to the wish lists, but really, the kids were just happy and excited to open their gifts and everything made them happy, even the boxes of sugar cereal they each got. Note to Santa - next year, get the kids each the same kind of cereal. A couple of great happy-face photos:
Yes, happiness. And I'm thankful for it. The kids were so good all day. Troy's parents came over around noon for some simple Christmas ham and potatoes, a dinner I confess I love. We kind of just hung out - eating a little, watching the kids play, and that was about it. I was going a little stir-crazy by bed time and was wishing that we had planned an outing of some kind, but it turned out fine. My OCD acted up a little (ha) and I had a hard time not sorting and storing each new plastic item in a new plastic bin - forgive me! Our house is a little small and to have 100 new tiny toys sprinkled evenly throughout made me a little nuts! But all in all the day was very pleasant, and guess what. The kids are still enjoying their gifts, one whole week later. Now THAT is something of an accomplishment.
The next day we had Troy's family party, and I was silly and did not bring the camera. It too was a very nice time together. We're so enjoying getting to know Rick's wife Tonja and her kids, and it's always nice to see Troy with his brothers. Happy family, Merry Christmas, Good Night.