We began by sleeping in.
We next went on an outing with our dear friends, the Radants. I don't know how we are lucky enough to have begun an annual tradition with friends on a major holiday. It seems that in most cases days like Christmas and its Eve are reserved for family only. Don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly and deeply enjoy our traditions together. But I am also blessed with many friends in this life and there are times when I would really like to spend a special holiday with them, but it rarely happens. Happily, we have our friends the Radants who, like us, don't have any big family traditions during the day on Christmas Eve. Krista and I have both bemoaned the fact that the day can really drag out and test the patience of both ourselves and our children, thus making it rather miserable. You MUST have an activity on Christmas Eve, preferably one that wears out the kids in a hurry.
Last year it was sledding and caroling, this year we discovered the fun Elf-Scavenger Hunt held at Gardner Village. Elf-displays are set up all over the charming shopping area and you get a list of clues to hunt down. It's fun for the kids, lets the grownups wander around and chat, and you all get a cookie at the end and possibly a few minutes to give each other a few Facebook quizzes while munching away in the cafe.
Although this was entertaining, it wasn't enough. So we headed down town for some seriously delicious barbecue at R&R Barbecue (corner of 3rd West and 6th South - do go see for yourself) where the adults over-ate while the kids complained and didn't eat much at all. Well, at least my girls didn't eat. The mac'n'cheese wasn't kraft, the meat had spices....all the indicators of a good meal if you ask me, but the girls didn't go for it. Oh well. They had fries, so everyone was able to eat at least something. Then we continued our journey to the Grand America Hotel where was held another Elf-Scavenger hunt of sorts, this time displayed in windows with very intricate detail. Our friend Eugene Tachini was the designer and maker of the elves and their clothing and we were all very impressed. The crowning display of the tour was the massive gingerbread house made of all real ingredients that sent its odors beckoning throughout the hotel. Amazing.
In the evening we were invited to my sister's house. Her home looked so beautiful, all lit up with warm yellow lights which glowed off of the red furniture and decorations. It looked very cozy and inviting. We agreed to make Korean food, since it is a favorite of both our families, and the kids were happy because they could eat all the seaweed they wanted. I don't get my kids. I mean, I'm thrilled that they enjoy exotic fare such a seaweed but how can they love that and not enjoy home made mac'n'cheese? Don't get it.
Anyway, we had a very mellow evening enjoying dinner with my parents and then letting the kids make bead necklaces and frost cookies while the grown ups played for each other our favorite you tube videos we had seen over the year. This may not sound like a fun activity but actually it is very entertaining. What a nice evening.
We headed home at not too late an hour, miraculously, and got ready for bed. Sweet Bitty decided she couldn't sleep until she wrote a note for Santa. It is the CUTEST.
After some stories and snuggles we tucked everyone into bed for a not-long-enough winter's nap and then OF COURSE headed straight to bed ourselves for a long and restful sleep.....NOT. Because that's how Christmas Eve is!