Christmas Eve day was spent baking, watching movies and spending a lot of time together as a family, while tracking Santa every 2 minutes on their Touches.
It was Jonas' first time making sugar cookies. He loved it as much as I knew he would and probably could've spent the rest of the day and long into the evening playing with the dough and frosting.
Mailee created a menu for Christmas Even dinner. Homemade soup and bread with sparkling cider to wash it down was what the kids requested. The kids always love to drink their beverage of choice out of our fancy crystal goblets and clink their glasses together. This year a few English accent were attempted while toasting (according to my kids, you are fancy if you have an English accent).
After dinner came the traditional Christmas Eve celebrations. First up was our Grover Family Talent Show.
Everyone got into their costumes and then the performances began:
Jonas did the Haka. He really got into it and growled at the end.
Mailee did a hula to "White Christmas". She was super cute!
Ella played a medley of "Joy to the World" and "Jingle Bells". Watching her made me realize how big she is getting.
Next came Bret's Irish Jig. The girls wanted him to be in costume as well, and though he wasn't too keen at first wearing leggings, he sucked it up and did it for the kids.
The belly laughing and applause made it all worth it...right Bret?
I ended the show with Christmas carols played on the Ukulele, while everyone sang. I didn't get a picture of me that night, so this picture of myself practicing will have to do.
After the talent show portion of the night, the kids were given their Christmas pajamas to open.
Once in our pj's we gathered around the tree and the kids chose what they wanted to be for the reading of the nativity story. We like to do puppets instead of costumes.
Bret read Luke 2, while the kids impatiently waited for their part to come up. Many, MANY, reminders were given for them to actually listen and then they would know when it was their part...
After the reading was complete the kids headed out to the backyard to sprinkle the reindeer food over the lawn.
Once that task was complete, hot cocoa was enjoyed (peppermint sticks included for stirring) while watching "A Christmas Carol".
One last check on the Santa Tracker just to make sure he was on his way and then it was off to bed.
Stockings were filled, Santa gifts that needed to be built/put together was done and we discussed how excited they would all be in the morning.
One last look (and make out session) by the tree and then it was up to bed. In case you're wondering, we pile all the gifts from Santa next to each stocking on the couch. Santa gifts aren't wrapped.
We slept until the kids woke up around 7. They rushed to brush their teeth and waited at the top of the stairs as they were instructed to do. We made them sing a few Christmas songs and do other things to prolong the process of having them come down...because it's fun to see them be excited.
Finally we let them come down and the craziness that happens on Christmas morning began!
It was so satisfying to see their genuine reactions of love and excitement as they opened the gifts we knew they would love!
Bret happened to be on call for work that morning but didn't have to leave until after all the gifts had been opened, but before the clean up part (lucky me).
I enlisted the kids to help with the Christmas wrapping carnage, making sure to repeat over and over to not throw away any small parts to all their toys.
After the clean up we remained in our pj's all day, watched the movies the kids got, played with the toys and games and ate a lot of candy and chocolate oranges.
I had all the items for our Christmas feast purchased and ready to be prepared and had every intention to do so, but by 5 o'clock that evening I had a massive migraine I could feel coming on all day and so our Christmas feast was postponed until the following evening,
What a blessed life we have and what a wonderful Christmas 2012 was for our family!