Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

We have developed a weird Christmas Eve Tradition. We go out for Chinese Food.  It started about 10 years ago. As you know, my husband is a pastor.  Our church used to hold two Christmas Eve Services as so many people came, they didn't all fit in the building at the same time. Since our home is nearly 1/2 hour from the church, it was not feasible to go home for dinner between the two services. We resolved that problem by going just a few blocks down the street to a Chinese Buffet.

Things have changed. We are now in a big building and can all attend one Christmas Eve Service together. Still, the Chinese Dinner Tradition continues.

We go to a nicer place where there are plenty of vegan options for our vegan family members.

We feel all fancy and nearly have the place to ourselves as we go pretty early.

We aren't always all there but those of us in town gather for that bit of family time to kick off Christmas.

From there we go on to church. I love Christmas Eve! I and our son-in-law, Eric, are on the Worship Team and we begin singing about half an hour before the service. I love it! I love the whole service. Often there are people back in town that we've not seen for awhile.  Many of the little kids are dressed up in their finest and they look like sweet angels. It always just makes me feel so warm and happy. I am always a bit disappointed when it concludes.

When I get home Christmas Eve, I put together cinnamon rolls for the next day (I will do a separate post and give away all my cinnamon roll secrets). After that, there are always some last minute things to do before falling into bed.

When I was a kid, we often were at my grandparents house for Christmas.  My Mom had 4 sisters and a little brother and usually at least 4 families were staying there at my grandparents. I usually got to be one of the kids that got to sleep in the living room. I really loved sleeping in Grandma's living room. That way, I was sure to be a part of any of the action!

Early Christmas morning my brother and I would each go into one of the bathrooms and start flushing. For some reason, we were allowed to be obnoxious on Christmas morning. Grandma and Grandpa's plumbing was really noisy so the flushing produced some pretty good results in that everyone started waking up. That, of course, was our goal. Sometimes we had everyone up by 5:00 or so!

My last year staying there for Christmas Eve I think I was 19. My brother wasn't there but by then there were a lot of younger, much younger, cousins.  I don't know what came over me but I got them all in on my evil plot. I had a nice little talk with them before bedtime. I was much too cool for the toilet-flushing by then. I had bells! Yep, I walked around shaking little bells and that was their cue to wake up their parents (the kids were sleeping on the floor in their parent's rooms). Why the relatives let me get away with that, I'll never know. I do know that there were a lot of photos of sleepy adults at my grandparents house on Christmas mornings.

Anyway, we no longer open presents quite that early. In fact, we let Sam sleep in and wait until our daughter and her family come by.  My apologies to my aunts and uncles.

 Cordelia got a new doll. Little girls and dolls... too precious.

Eric and Elise

You really should bop on over to our daughter's blog for a second to read about the gifts the little girls gave to us.  It is pretty adorable.  I hope you went and read her post as it will make this picture make more sense.

This is our Advent Wreath. Each candle is lit for meals during the four week prior to Christmas. I added that center candle as our "Christ Candle". It was a gift from some sweet friends at church and I just thought it looked right to have it in the center of our wreath this year.

The girls have been wanting dance classes and we also got them the clothes to wear. Elise's class is actually a tumbling class, set to music. Instead of new ballet shoes she got Hello Kitty Sneakers but she was just as delights. I'm sure the tumbling teacher will allow her to wear her ballet clothes...I hope! Anyway, I couldn't stop taking photos of those sweet girls, dancing around amidst the Christmas mess.  It was great!

I hope your Christmas was as sweet as our's.

Do you have any weird Christmas confessions such as our toilet-flushing trick?

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