Our Christmas was a very simple, special day. It was possibly the last Christmas we'll beat the kids awake in the morning...Charis and Tobin didn't get out of bed until around 8:15 or 8:30. Their innocent delight in the joy of it being Christmas Day warmed my heart. Believe it or not, they walked right past the presents under the tree and didn't even notice that their stockings had been stuffed until they had been awake and talking with me for awhile. The Christmas M&M's on a little dish on the coffee table was what captured their attention first, and we munched on them together, grinning in delight at being able to eat candy before breakfast.
After awhile they did look around, and Tobin was the first to discover that there were gifts in his stocking. It's a good thing they were wrapped, because he just couldn't help peeking! In our family, we have always had to wait until everyone was awake before opening anything. We told the kids they could open their stockings at the breakfast table, and to their credit, Charis and Tobin did manage to wait until then. After they finally noticed there were presents under the tree, they poked around and exclaimed excitedly when they found one with their names on it. It was such a joy just to watch them and listen to them! I was supposed to be having my quiet time (obviously I didn't get going as early as I should have that morning), but I quit after my Old Testament reading and figured I could double up on the New Testament the next day. :-)
After about a half hour, Tobin decided that Arden had slept in long enough and went to wake him. He stumbled out of his room in his pajamas with a sleepy smile on his face and headed straight for me with his arms up. I picked him up and told him "Merry Christmas," and he squeezed my neck and replied in his sweet little voice, "Mewwy Chwistmas!" It made my morning!
Ted and I worked on breakfast and keeping the kids out of their stockings simultaneously. While we cooked, the kids took their turns putting Baby Jesus in the manger on our Advent calendar. Charis and Tobin read the script out loud as they did this. For breakfast, we had Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, bananas, and scrambled eggs with sausage and cheese mixed in. Of course the kids had a hard time eating with their stockings waiting for them, and we let them dig in but did try to keep the candy away until later!
Then we sat on the couch and read our Advent Book from cover to cover. I love this book! It's a fabulous way to lead up to Christmas Day as well as a great opening for the special celebration on Christmas itself. We prayed together afterwards (see the next post for Arden's prayer), and then the kids passed out gifts.
The next half hour or so was spent taking turns (not always so patiently) opening gifts and exclaiming over them. This year Arden was more than willing to keep moving on to the next gift...last year he got so absorbed in each individual thing that we had to keep skipping his turn because he didn't want to be diverted from whatever it was he had just opened! This year was so much fun watching the kids. We scaled way back on our own gifts to them, as we are making a trip to Disney World later and had told the kids that that is their main present from us this year. However, the grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles did their fair share of spoiling this year. :-)
We spent a relaxing rest of the morning together, playing with the kids and taking pictures. We ate our big meal about mid-afternoon: ham, potatoes, green beans, Hawaiian sweet bread, and pistachio salad. Towards a normal dinner time we had Jesus's birthday cake, complete with lit candles and singing, and leftovers made a simple supper later on...after my two-hour nap!! Aaaahhh!
What a joy to be together as a family. We know of so many who are separated from loved ones as they serve our country, and we pray for their safety and comfort.