Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has come and gone. So much anticipation and so much excitement... and it's over so soon. Our family enjoyed a quiet morning at home and the boys must've asked twenty seven times "Is Nana almost here yet?" My mom-in-law left New Jersey Christmas Eve morning to drive and spend the next few days with our family.

While she finished the last couple hours of her trip down, we attended one of the Christmas Eve services at church.
Clearly the kids were way too excited about Nana coming to visit and about Christmas gifts to sit still and smile for a picture. But here you have it - a glimpse into the typical "Can you please sit still and smile for a quick moment?" scenario.
My handsome men were a little more cooperative, but since Annalyse was whining at my knee and begging to be held, the camera was jostled and pictures didn't focus well. This is my life.
With three beautiful services and over 10,000 people attending, it was a special evening to celebrate Jesus' arrival. During a time where a woman was dressed as Mary and singing a song to a baby, Micah leaned over to Grady and said, "Daddy, where is Joseph? He should be with Baby Jesus too!" He was quite concerned that Jesus didn't have a daddy on stage.
And, thankfully, our family was not liable for any dropped candles, burn marks on the pews, or wax drips on the carpet. Much to my amazement the boys held their candles obediently and sat super still. Apparently that's the trick: give your children flames and fire if you need them to sit still. Note to self.
When we came home from the Christmas Eve service, Nana was waiting with hugs and lots of bags to be carried in. Of course the first thing out of Grady Lee's mouth was, "Did you bring me any presents?"  He truly has mastered fine manners and the art of proper greetings. Again, this is my life.

While I got dinner ready, the boys discovered two presents under the tree that weren't there when we left for church. "Santa came early and brought some presents!" yelled Micah. Both boys tore the gifts open and discovered new Christmas jammies. "I'm so glad Santa remembered to come early and deliver these so I can sleep in them tonight," commented Grady Lee. "He's pretty smart to know that we were at church and could sneak into our house while we were gone!"
After dinner Nana read stories and played games with the boys while we all relaxed, content to be together and know that the next day was going to be full of laughter and delight and surprises.
Before bed, Grady narrated the Christmas story while the boys acted it out using all the characters. They were short a couple of shepherds and King Herod, but no worries, the story continued.
Just before heading upstairs for bed, the boys chose cookies to leave for Santa, along with some carrots for his reindeer. Grady Lee thought he should put out the whole bag of carrots since there are lots of reindeer, but I convinced him that just a couple would be fine. And the big red and white pieces of paper? Those are in advance thank you cards to Santa for what the boys hoped he was bringing. I'm wondering how many more years of this simple believing I have left.
With all three kids wearing new Christmas jammies and snug in their beds, Grady and Nana and I did not settle down for a long winter's nap. 
Instead, we lugged gifts out of the attic and put them under the tree. We stuffed stockings with treasures. We ate cookies (and carrots) left out for Santa. And we relished in the calm quiet knowing that in a few short hours two little boys would be awake and ready to bound downstairs.

1 comment:

  1. What a great memory! Very fun that our boys could hang in there for the Christmas Eve service and really enjoy it!