Well, it was really Christmas Eve morning because with Christmas being on a Sunday, we knew we'd have our day full with preparing for and enjoying our Sunday service and being with our church family.
By the way, I LOVE Christmas being on a Sunday. What better day than our Lord's Day to celebrate and remember our sweet Savior's birth!
The children didn't gripe at all about having our family Christmas celebration a day earlier. :-) Of course, being as it was my half birthday, I was all for making it a special day too.
Sooo up bright and early. Well, the children and I were. I'm not the sleeping in type of parent on Christmas morning and still think I get as excited as I did when I was 10. But my hubby is mature and wise and keeps us all in anticipation to when the day will begin. Really, it wasn't that late. I think we started around 8 am but when you've been up since 5am it feels like forever!
We started with a special breakfast of the yummiest coffee cake ever along with hot cups of maizena.
*Note for next year:
Make about half the food that I normally do as certain children will be sooo excited about opening gifts that they will not be hungry.
After breakfast, we cleaned up (fastest chores have ever been done) and gathered together in the family room.
I'd been reading the account of Jesus's birth from Matthew and Luke along with some of the OT prophecies throughout the week with the children, so even the younger ones had it fresh in their minds and were following along as Daddy read it out loud to us all.
Afterwards, we talked about that wondrous time and the children went on for quite a while asking Daddy Bible questions. He's always the best at answering them!
In years past, the children have memorized much of the account in Matthew and Luke each learning a certain part and reciting it out loud. We got this idea from here and loved it. This year, as we've just gotten home from being on furlough, we have been concentrating hard on school and didn't do all the things we normally do for Christmas. But we had a wonderful season as always and covered some of the most important things:
Reading and talking of Jesus Birth
Christmas Box Program
Christmas Crafts (Snowflakes and Carolers)
Christmas Cookies (Gingerbread and Sugar)
Learning new Christmas Carol
Finally, it was time to open gifts. First, we had each child, oldest to youngest, give out the gifts that they had for each other and Mommy/Daddy. It's so sweet to see them save up and buy such thoughtful presents or if they don't have much money, to choose a toy or other item that is in good condition that they own and know another sibling would love to have and give it.
I got a new spatula, coffee mug, pot holder, sweet hand written notes, new pens, candy ( :-) ), and among other things, a note card titled "101 things to do besides drugs". :)
Then we had the gifts under the tree...Gifts from Grandparents, new Bibles/covers from Daddy/Mommy, and some extra special gifts made possible by a surprise gift from my Uncle and Aunt. Their faces said it all! :)
Of course, the rest of the afternoon was spent with them enjoying/playing with their gifts, Mommy making our Christmas meal, picking up wrapping paper that managed to spread to every room of the house, and responding to, "Mommy! Look at this!" about 100x, and Daddy assembling toys/games.
That evening, we were invited to Hno. Ninfa's house where many of the families of our church were and we ate a late night supper, the children played, had a pinata, and fellowshipped together.
Things are back to "normal" now. :)
Little ones playing
and getting into things they shouldn't. :)
And back to school
Thankful for my Lord, my husband, my children, my church, friends and family...
Thankful to be just where the Lord wants me to be!