Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

For two days straight before Christmas Eve, I was shut up in my mom's room with sisters, and sister-in-laws to sew the grandkid pajamas. Whew! It wasn't a big job when I volunteered to do it 2 months ago when I thought it was just for my kids and one other family. We buy some extra, XXL pj pants that match the adults (gotta love Old Navy) and then I take apart those pants and use the material to make a few kid ones. We were running out of fabric so I decided to make dresses for the younger granddaughters by sewing a skirt onto their shirts. They turned out alright. I just love to see the whole family matching. After the pj's and helping my mom finish up some chair covers for her nice dining room chairs, I was a little "sew-ed out" but the first crazy days on the machine helped the rest of the trip feel pretty relaxing!

Christmas Eve we visited a nursing home and sang a lot of the same numbers we did for my aunt and uncle's Musical Evening. 

Then for our traditional Christmas Eve activities we gathered with my extended family at another aunt and uncles house 20 minutes from Betteridge Bluff. Aunt Beth and Uncle Marse have such a beautiful home, I am always excited to get a chance to visit. 

We ate ham and other deli meat sandwiches on croissants, frog eye salad, vegi tray, chips, and cheesy potatoes. And then gathered in the living room for the reenacting of the Nativity Story, narrated by an older cousin reading the story out of the Book of Luke.

Then it was picture taking time in everyone's matching pajamas. 

I wish I had better photos, but this is all my iphone was giving me. Below is all 17 grandkids and 13 adults who were home for Christmas.

We also took the tallest to shortest grandkids/greatgrandkid picture which I will not include a picture of since it is one my least favorite Christmas-time experiences....I'm ALWAYS next to the 10 and unders. Then time for the favorite cousin pyramid. 

Then the traditional cousin gift exchange, opened one by one from the youngest to the oldest. 

Another picture time, with Grandma, Grandpa and all the grandkids:

As you can imagine...our kids were tired at this point. Especially Frederick. Poor guy, he fell asleep even before the pictures!

We ditched out on the dessert and birthday cake/singing for Jesus so we could put the kids to bed sooner. Time for the last minute Christmas morning preparations. A lot of stockings and Santa gifts in one spot! I remember thinking that we had done most of the wrapping and stuff the night before so we could just hang out together Christmas Eve, but there was still lots to do and by the end most everyone was tired. But I had had such a busy day that I needed to unwind and some of my siblings were kind enough to chat and play a few rounds of "inReverse." Its a cool iphone app/game where somebody sings a bit of a song, then the app records it, reverses it and breaks it up into segments. Then the rest of the people take turn listening to and learning a segment well enough to sing/record it and then the app strings all of the resung segments together and reverses it once more so you can try and guess what song it was. Kinda confusing to explain but really fun and short to play. 

Christmas morning!! We tried to keep the kids to a 7:00 start time and actually managed to keep them to it. We line up on the stairs youngest to oldest and wait for Grandpa to say goodbye to Santa before filing into the room to find stockings and gifts. 

It was so fun to see all the kids happy with the various presents they received. With so many young kids getting all different things, we worried about some being jealous of others, but (at least on the surface) everyone seemed quite happy and grateful for what Santa brought. All the Santa gifts were wrapped (which is different than how it usually is for our little family) so I think that helped ...everyone was busing unwrapping and enjoying their stocking surprises to really watch and see what other kids received. 

We played with the Santa gifts for a little while and then set up the tables for a nice breakfast before even touching the mountain of gifts under the tree downstairs. We made overnight French Toast casserole and cut up fruit and cooked the sausages and bacon all the night before so it was just warming things up. I remember thinking after breakfast... what a complete morning! The kids don't even need to open any presents from siblings, parents or grandparents...they're happy enough with their Santa gifts and stockings!

We ended up opening everything anyway. I think one of the older cousins stopped all the adults talking at the breakfast table and asked about opening up the other presents. Aunt Hailey kept up her tradition of handing out the presents, one at a time. The kids were incredibly patient to wait for their turn to open something. Towards the end, Hailey started handing them out at double speed to make it go faster, the kids were loosing interest. Towards the very end, we would have to call children back down to the living room to open their last gift! 

Kids were so well entertained, this really was the first relaxing day I experienced.  Gwen, Lynae and Charlie made up a song and wanted to perform it for Grandma. She had tweaked her back a few days before Christmas and had to take it super easy for a good while. All of us siblings jumped right in and helped make and plan all the meals and finish up any last projects for mom. She even had a little bell that she would ring, and one of us would come running in to see what she needed. It was almost comical. :) We all love our Mom.

I pretty much didn't see Alec for the rest of the day. He had shut himself in our room to build one of the lego sets he was given and built the whole thing. Such focus!

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