Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve, 2016

Here's the milk and cookies left out for Santa, and we're set for tomorrow morning, I think.  Madison was so excited, it took her a LONG time to get to sleep.  But she did eventually fall completely asleep by about 1:00 am.  No exaggeration!  Earlier, we were reading "The Night Before Christmas" and even "The Polar Express."  Madison was just so excited about Christmas that it was hard to sleep!  We're going to be a little tired tomorrow, Mommy and Daddy!  But that's the way it is at Christmas, isn't it?  Tomorrow, we'll join the legions of sleepy Moms and Dads waking up early to watch their kids so filled with joy and discovery.  And that overrides so much fatigue, doesn't it?  Suddenly, being tired isn't as important as Christmas morning, and there are presents to open and squeals of delight to take in.  We can't wait to see Madison's face tomorrow morning, just like it looks each Christmas morning.  But today is a wonderful day too.

Our tradition is to go over to Nana and Ye-Ye's house, which is where we went to join Aunt Shain and her family.  There was all kinds of food there, Christmas movies and music.  The house is decorated nicely, and it's just always great to go over there to spend a very special evening together.   The movie "A Christmas Story" was on TBS as always.  It's a tradition to turn on TBS, because I think they loop the movie over and over again.  But we had to turn the volume down during the commercials, as they inexplicably felt like showing inappropriate advertisements for upcoming inappropriate television shows right there in between breaks in the movie.  Hello?  It's Christmas Eve?  Kids might be watching too?  And thus, the reign of TBS on Christmas Eve has officially ended!  I mean, we actually OWN the movie, so why not just plug in a DVD?  Goodbye TBS, you're officially Feliz Navi-DEAD to us!

Okay, so we were a little tired befor that.  You'll have to excuse us, as we had just had two services at church.  One we all served at, helping out at KidPak.  Daddy was hosting a game, and there was a special Christmas message shared with the few kids that joined us downstairs.  Most wanted to be upstairs with family for the candlelight service, which is always a special one.

Yes, Mommy and Daddy got to go to that one as well.  It was still a packed service.  Lots and lots of folks had gathered to celebrate the greatest birthday of them all.  Madison, however, wanted to go to KidPak for both services.  She loves KidPak so much!  The kids all got cupcakes, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  It was really sweet, like a kids' birthday party.

Listening to the Christmas story in such an intimate environment, with a full band and really nice lighting was something special for the kids, and the volunteers who we were so grateful to have help.  Before leaving to go to the grandparents' house, we spent time talking and sharing with our friends from the church.  It is always a sweet sort of night, one filled with warmth and joy.   We left the church, passing by all the Christmas decorations on the way to the grandparents' house, listening to Amy Grant's first Christmas album, all ready to once again celebrate another Christmas.

Earlier today was the usual Christmas Eve routine:  there was the scramble for last-minute gifts, making cakes, and lots of wrapping too.  But it all got done in time, and we were good to go when those services were starting.  It was quite a full day - as tomorrow will no doubt be.  But it is a special day, isn't it?  We'll relax next week - the busyness of Christmas is here, and we all sort of get swept up in it.  It's the most wonderful time of the year, and tomorrow is here already.

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