Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Festivities

Christmas Eve is always a big event at my mom's house.  She has a bunch of traditions that the kids and adults look forward to every year. Since this was our "on" year (meaning the kids were in town, not with their own in-laws), everyone was in town and X&X were able to be here as well.  They most look forward to the traditions at Grammy's house I think the most out of anyone. 

Normally we do caroling, drinking hot chocolate/apple cider by the fire as we listen to a Christmas story, then all the kids open their pajamas from Grammy.  We did, however, change things up a bit because Nanette was in Camarillo (about 2 hours away) for Christmas Eve and would be coming Christmas Day.  This year we did those things on Christmas Day and on Christmas Eve had a great Soup Dinner with everyone who was in town.  Then we loaded up into cars and went driving over to Eagle Hills to see all the Christmas lights.

Afterward, we all came back to the house and Grammy gave the kids her pajamas to open.  We've now deemed them "Grammy's Jammies."  All got dressed and we sat to watch The Nativity Story.

I only got pictures of us sitting down to watch the movie, can you believe that?  Hopefully I can some day get pictures from someone else.

Heather and James

Ben & Katie, their daughter Ruby, and Scott

Spencer, Lulu & Ollie waiting to watch the movie.

Max, Xoe & Porter

Spencer & Xanthe

Grampa & Eliza

Spencer-I know it's a bit redundant of a picture but I love this picture. He was having a good time playing on the bean bag with Lulu (only 7 months younger than him).

Amber, Lily, Brian, Max, Xoe, Porter, Xanthe, Michael & Grammy (sorry this isn't such a great picture of everyone).
Then we put all the kids to bed (including Brian since he was really sick) and I helped Heather finish my dad's present.  We had to make four of these pairs of Yo Gabba Gabba pajama pants, one for my dad and 3 for other presents Heather was giving.  This project had gone wrong the past two days so we were hoping we were actually going to get it done.

At about 12:00 a.m. I started to be Santa Claus.  I pulled everything that I had out and realized that I had wrapped EVERYTHING, whereas my other sisters had laid quite a few things out.  But mine looked boring so I started adding bows to everything and figuring out where to lay it all.  It took longer than I expected but I think the kids would like it.  Amber's family's stuff is on the left, mine is on the right. Ruth and Scott's are across from us (you can see it in another picture below).

I never explained my wrapping system.  It's a pet peeve of mine when children count gifts under the tree and whine that so-and-so got more gifts than the other.  Many years ago before the girls were even old enough to know about Santa, a friend of mine shared with me her system, something I've adopted over the years. This year I wasn't going to do it because X&X no longer "need it" (if you get my gist... can't say it out loud just in case a child reads my blog.).  But before I started wrapping they asked if I was going to still do it this year.  Those girls just really love traditions.  

The system is this (stop reading if you'd get bored)--- Choose wrapping paper for each child and wrap all their gifts in that same wrapping paper.  Don't label them.  Then the second child has all their presents wrapped in a different wrapping paper, kept unlabeled. The kids have no idea which ones are theirs until the day of. I used to hand them an envelope where they would find a swatch of their wrapping paper and then run to find the gifts.  This year I just put them all out on their couch.  I also started numbering them... there were gifts I wanted the girls to open at the same time because they were the same gifts.  I didn't want one of the girls opening something and giving it away to the other one.  But I never number it consecutively. There may be a #"1" gift, and there may be a #"518" gift. If I did it consecutively then they'd know how many gifts they got.  

Kind of a duplicate... but wanted to show how I set out their clothes and rolled their pants with ribbon.

Spencer's loot.  I didn't even do a stocking cuz he didn't understand. All he cared about is the unwrapping. I literally wrapped EVERYTHING.  A little bag of Teddy Grahams. Two already opened bags of Oreos.  And a couple of bouncy balls. He was in heaven.  You'll see tomorrow.

I finally went to bed at 3:30 a.m.

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