Last night's Christmas pageant was the best ever! Here you see my darling "Mary," my other darling the graceful angel, and their inkeeper friend (AKA BFF- on loan from the Catholic church). Seeing my children perform at the 5:00 service is a tradition that I look forward to each year. They were outstanding last night. There's something about the pageantry, the ceremony, the traditional carols, that never fails to move me. It is refreshing and uplifting to spend time remembering the true reason for the season.
After the service, we all head to Grammie & Grumps' for our traditional Christmas Eve fun. As children, we would get to open one present from under our tree on the 21st, our Mom's birthday. Then each night after that, we would get to choose another present to open. Never have packages been studied more scrupulously to decide which present would be next! The great thing too was that chosen present was literally the "present du jour" and was loved with all our hearts for at least those 24 hours until the next present was opened. On Christmas Eve, we opened everything else under the tree. Oh what fun! Last night was so special with two little boys who loved EVERYTHING! Seeing Christmas again through the eyes of very little ones was indeed magical. Watching my girls spend time with their little cousins, helping them with their new toys, was a delightful sight. I'm not sure who had more fun!
When we got back to our house, it was time to get ready for Santa. The girls put out the requisite cookies and milk (we baked and decorated before church), though this year we put them on the mantle instead of the coffee table to be sure Santa got them instead of Shadow! This is the one night of the year they go to bed without complaint!
Again following tradition, I spent a few hours in the kitchen preparing for my annual Christmas Day brunch. I wanted to go to the 11:00 service to ring in Christmas but wasn't finished in the kitchen on time. I got into bed amid DH's snores with visions of sugar plums (and French toast casserole) dancing in my head...
What are you favorite holiday traditions?