Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Eve

After celebrating our little family Christmas on Christmas Eve morning, we had the rest of the day to just relax. Well, Eric worked after we opened up the presents, but the kids got to just hang out and play with their new toys until it was time to go to church.

Since we were visiting Eric's family on Christmas morning and then hosting my family in the afternoon, rather than cooking a big dinner at home, we went to our favorite Thai/Chinese restaurant, which happens to be right by the church and placed an order, then drove around the lake and looked at Christmas lights until the food was ready while singing the Christmas songs that came on the radio.

When I was growing up, my dad always made a treasure hunt for us-starting with easy clues that took us around the house when we were little, and eventually elaborate adventures around town when I got my driver's license. We would have to make phone calls, recite silly poems to neighbors and 7-11 employees, etc until we finally found the prize. The prize was always matching Christmas pajamas so we'd look cute on Christmas, but we looked forward to it every year anyway because of the fun of the clues.

It was definitely a tradition I wanted to keep going with my kids, but we're getting to a number of kids where it doesn't make sense to buy brand new pajamas for everyone every year, I'd rather spend that money on other things-adorable pajamas for 4 kids is not cheap! So this year we started a new tradition. I bought red and green pajamas at the kid's resale shop, none of them match but they're all red and green. Next year I'll just have to buy red and green pajamas for Jeb and Vivi (oldest boy and girl) and the younger ones will wear hand-me-downs.

Then I needed a special prize for the end of the treasure hunt. I decided to get Christmas treats. So this year, each kid found a traditional Christmas treat at the end of the hunt-eggnog, chestnuts, and one of those chocolate oranges that you bang to break into slices. Then we got the snacks ready, made a big bowl of popcorn, and curled up on the couch together to watch VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas, which tells the story of the actual Saint Nicholas and talks about giving and loving. There's a great part in the movie where Nicholas talks to a nun who is handing out loaves of bread, and asks her if she gives because it makes her happy, and she says "No, I give because I AM happy" and talks about God's love for us and the gift of His son. It's probably my favorite VeggieTales movie.

Here are a couple of pictures from the evening.

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