Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Eve

 I found this picture on the camera, I think a sibling took this picture of little Christmas princess Claire.  It doesn't really count as Christmas Eve...but I threw it in anyway.
Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days ever.  And we had a great one this year.  
We had the opportunity to help a family going through a tough time.  The children and I talked about what they could do and they decided to help them by earning some money to give to them.  Madelyn decorated an envelope and they placed their hard earned cash inside.  True, it wasn't much.  But it was everything they had.  The widow's mite indeed. 
We always have appetizers on Christmas Eve.  They are our favorite.  The kids go crazy for them.  I guess we all kind of do.
 Claire's first pickle.  At first she was leery, but she sucked that thing dry by the end of dinner.
 Lily is holding up her yearly tradition of chugging a cup of egg nog--not even coming up for breath until the cup is empty.
 Then on to my favorite of favoritest parts of Christmas Eve:  the sibling gift exchange.  
The children draw names for each other at the beginning of the month, then are to do extra chores to earn money to buy that special someone a gift.  
To be honest, they procrastinated like crazy til it was starting to eat at me a little.  But then they finally kicked it in high gear and earned their money and Jed and I took them shopping.
I love that part too.  
Each child carefully selecting the perfect gift.....its cute.
Anyway.....Drew could hardly wait for Christmas Eve this year.  He was practically more excited for Christmas Eve than for Christmas day, and he would tell you so multiple times a day after his gift was prepared.  He could not wait to give his gift to Lily!
 And it was SO sweet.  
This is why I love this so so much.
 She loved the gift and made Drew's day.

 Hannah loves the coloring books Madelyn picked out.
Did I mention I love this tradition??  
I love that they look forward to giving and not receiving, at least on Christmas Eve.
I love that we have traditions of our very own and the kids know and love them now too.

 I couldn't really capture what was going on here, other than excitement.
Drew loved what Hannah picked out too, can you tell?
Love the hugs!
The room is just filled to the brim with love!  It's the best.
Claire gave Madelyn these fancy chapsticks, my that Claire has good taste.  :)
 Lily gave Claire some toys, it was so fun to be with her to pick out Claire's toys.  She was very particular....

 The Christmas tree after we loaded the presents underneath.  
We started something new that the kids could come upstairs at 6:30 kind of failed because after everything was out we had the two oldest come up for some reason or another.  One involved throwing up.....not sure if that was sickness or sheer excitement...
Our Christmas Eve festivities changed a bit this year.  We usually go out and look at Christmas lights and do the nativity.  It was so snowy that night (which I loved) that we decided to not go out on the crazy roads, and we did the nativity with cousins at my parents house the night before.  
So we sang Christmas songs, did our gift exchange, read a story, and then watched a movie.  It was low key and perfect.  Then we sent the younger ones to bed, and hung out with the older ones and played games.

Good times.

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