Ready for one more?
Okay, here is the breakdown of Christmas Day. First we open gifts at our home and then we head to my folks' at about 9am.
So, The kids woke us up at 5:20. No surprise there. We ate a light breakfast, and stayed in our PJs. My parents decided to do a pajama theme this year, so that made things easy. We just packed clothes to change into later.
Fred and I talked to the kids (again) about the real meaning of Christmas. We showed them a video clip from The Visual Bible Matthew. We had already read them the story the night before. They do the question and answer fairly enthusiastically, which always kinda surprises me... I always worry that they'll be too focused on the unopened gifts sitting a few feet away.
Fred always hands the gifts out one at a time, so we can see what everyone opens. I really like that. My Dad did it when we were growing up, too. The kids need to take pleasure out of what each person receives, and it's also nice for them to watch others open the gifts they had made. The first time I did Christmas with Fred's mom I was shocked that they all just wake up and do a mad dash for the gifts. There is no story, no breakfast together, no savoring the time or ...anything. No traditions whatsoever. I did not realize that people really "celebrate" that way.
So, anyway, I'm very thankful that my husband has started these routines for our family. Isabelle even stopped after every gift and hugged and thanked us. Including after she opened a crossword puzzle book from her stocking. :-) So cute. Trevor was the only one saying "I want to open more presents. More!" Little rascal.
So, 9am we headed off to Mom and Dad's. My sisters and their families were already there. Mom had made a big breakfast of biscuits and gravy and eggs. We all took our time, ate food and drank coffee. We're a coffee lovin' family, let me tell you.
Julie and I put our babies down for naps and then we all gathered in the living room for my Dad to read the Christmas story. This was the second year that he's read it from his Palm Pilot. Ha. The age of technology. I should have taken a picture.
Then Dad passed out the gifts. The grown-ups alternate between opening their own gifts and helping the kids. It's so much fun to spend Christmas with my family. After all of the opening and cleaning was done, we spent some time looking over and enjoying our presents. The kids got new games and books and music and cameras....lots of stuff to keep them busy for awhile.
After lunch (lasagna and homemade bread and salad... YUM) we played games. Another family tradition. First we played Balderdash. I stink at that game, but I always enjoy it anyway. It was the new one, with movie titles (you have to come up with a convincing synopsis), People, Acronyms, Weird Words, etc. I believe my Dad won that game. And I did NOT come in last! Woo-hoo!
Next we played Cranium. I love it! We drew names for teams. Wouldn't you know that Fred and I ended up together! Neither of us were thrilled. Ha, ha. I guess we're both sick of losing. At least Amy and Vu were on different teams. They kill us when they play together. So that was great, too, despite the many distractions from 6 kids. No one minded, and the kids took it all in stride, too. They'd play on Noni's team for awhile and then switch. ;-) Adam and Vu ended up winning. And, again, we did NOT come in last. YEA! I guess you can tell that I'm really not ultra-competitive.
We had three fun Christmases, and today was our back-to-normal day. We did another room-by-room cleaning. That means we clean one room together, then eat a piece of chocolate and take a 20 minute play break. Then we move on to the next room. We clean as fast as we can for 20 minutes (I set the timer.) It works wonders and we're all happy. I don't know who looks forward more to the chocolate, me or the kids! It's itty bitty pieces, btw.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!! Jesus is the reason for the season and we are the reason for Jesus. Thank you, God!!