'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Christmas Eve is always a big, tradition-filled deal at our home. To me it eclipses Christmas day for pure magic and memory making. This year my sister Shona, and her husband Marc were there to help us carry out all the traditions and it was so much fun!

So here's my usual painfully detailed pictorial to cover some of the high spots.

We shall begin with the annual building of the Gingerbread House with Uncle Marc.
He aint heavy, he's my brother. My excited bwown boys.The men and the kids. Aaron and Marc have bonded over the trials and tribulations (er... wonders and joys) of being married to two women who are eerily similar in some regards.

Beautiful table setting. Thanks Aunty Shona!
The Christmas Eve dinner. Our mom's yummy lamb recipe, ably recreated by the boys.To family! And Christmas!
An excited little girl in a very twirly dress.
This photo makes me laugh. They have this angelic glow, thanks to me taking a photo at the same time as Shona's flash was going off.A slightly more accurate representation

Off to make our final "Drop".

We do the 12 Days of Christmas for a family each year. It is so much fun figuring out how to represent each of the 12 days in gifts people would actually like to have (as opposed to a delivery of 6 geese a-laying or 10 demented men jumping up and down).

We finish up with 12 Drummers Drumming on Christmas Eve (this year was a turkey -(with drum-sticks, get it?? and drumstick ice-cream cones). This is the hilarity that ensued after the less then graceful and stealthy get awayGo! Go! Go!
Our laughter soon turned to touched tears when we read the card that had been left for "Our 12 days of Christmas loves". It told about how their beloved dog had died just before we started making our "drops" and how with each day the grief had been replaced a little bit with the joy of the season. It was a really sweet and touching note, and since we do not know the family very well at all, it was a lovely insight into who they are. So anyway picture the scene, Gabe is reading the note in his sweet, clear little boys voice, the song "Let their peace on earth and let it begin with me" is playing on the radio as accompaniment. We are all gently sobbing, hearts fit to burst with Christmas joy. When suddenly the unbearably sentimental hallmark moment is interrupted with the sound of squeaking. It is the sound of sneakers squeaking against a window. Benj, having thrown himself head first into the van during the great escape, had quietly listened to the (somewhat long) letter with his head still somewhere in the vicinity of Gracie's shoes. So we were back to the hilarity and lifted from our Chicken Soup for the Anonymous Turkey Toss and Runners Soul moment. But still feeling very warm, fuzzy and grateful.

The Christmas program read from Luke and Matthew and lots of Christmas carols sung

Sleeping in heavenly peace. Here Finny is falling asleep as we sing Silent Night. Appropriate. (*my fuzzy self is singing melodiously here, not snoring with my mouth open)
Winding down with a Christmas movie

and some hot chocolate
Anxiously tracking Santa on Norad. Ack! He's getting close! Commence preparations! Stat!Reindeer food sprinkled on lawn whilst wearing (initially disappointing) new gift of frog towel*. Check. (*To be fair, when you can only open one present, nobody wants it to be a hooded towel.)
Finny inspects the cookies and milk. Letter for Santa? Check

Gracie especially asked Santa not to forget to put something in Thumper's little stocking.
Annual reading of the Night Before Christmas by Aunty Shona who gave us that very copy of the book several years ago....and a hasty retreat to bed.

I'm reading: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...Tweet this!


Kim said...

Awwwwww....seeing and hearing stories of your life always makes me all warm and mushy inside!

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas and very special to have your sister there also!

Janet said...

Looks like a perfect evening. And so special being able to share it with your sister and brother-in-law. Great job on the gingerbread house. Lovely in every way.