We left the hotel in Cancun in the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning to get home to Elle and Carson who were arriving a couple hours before us.

That light in the Houston airport (layover) was so incredibly beautiful bringing in that holy day.

We arrived to our rainy, foggy desert (after the most turbulent flight I’ve ever had) and had a happy reunion with our girl who was there to pick us up:

Drove through our neighborhood that is in the process of shifting to beauty-Fall (my favorite)…

…and got busy with the last of the prep work for Christmas.

Which, this year, included being mesmerized by old family videos. (OH! they made me homesick for my babies!)

We invited Dave’s sister and brother and their families (who were with us on our trip) to join us for our Jerusalem Supper since their flights were getting in too late for them to whip anything up, and prepped our expanded traditional table to fit everyone in.

…complete with the parts of the nativity on various plates to talk about over dinner:

I loved gathering with all those good people we love so much encircled by the beautiful power of those things we were discussing. I love that our kids are all old enough to really grasp the depth of it all and add their own contemplative thoughts.

Followed by watching Luke 2 and some Christmas carols…and of course, rewatching some funny old family movies that included those cousins:

Love them.

Then we were ready for the sibling gift exchange.

(our kids give each other their gifts on Christmas Eve and it is my FAVORITE part of Christmas, untangled from Santa and “getting.”

The joy of giving is such a beautiful thing.

… filled with the customary humongous hugs and gratitude.

We missed Max, Abby and Grace terribly, but luckily we had Bo Jangles to join in on all the excitement.

Had to do the Christmas PJs, of course….

Dave always reads “T’was the Night Before Christmas” just like his Dad did every year for Christmas Eve growing up:

Bo was quite interested. Ha!

Then everyone settled in to watch The Polar Express for old time’s sake since my brother Josh used to watch that movie with the kids every Christmas Eve when they were younger.

I thought I was all prepped for Christmas, even had the stockings stuffed before we left for Mexico, but somehow I was still up until 1:00, bleary-eyed, trying to write those squiggly-lined letters from Santa.

Despite the bleariness it was such a good Christmas Eve with all the magic seeping in.

Other posts about our Christmas Eve traditions:

Our Jerusalem Supper Tradition

Instagram post about that Supper

Sibling Gift Exchange

Old Christmas Eve Posts

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  1. I would love if you shared more about how you organize your family videos. I have so many videos on my cell phone (and a bunch of older ones on tape) and I just don’t know what the best way to put it all together is. I would love for us to be able to sit down and watch all of the funny videos but right now they are hard to locate among all of my pictures.

    1. Oh I WISH I had someone who could help me on this. I am honestly a mess on family videos. They are all organized in my Lightroom, but so much trickier to just pull out and watch when the kids aren’t with me. And they ALWAYS want to watch old movies. We got all our old videos put on DVDs years ago and we loved and used those so much, but those are now so outdated and we don’t even have a DVD player anymore. If anyone out there has any ideas please let me know.

  2. I would love to hear more about how you organize, period!! How do you get so much done all at once?! Also would love to hear how you put your videos together too! What a joyful celebration! Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year’s!

    1. Thank you, C! I’m on a journey, always, to figure out how to organize! But I am a multitasker and sometimes I think that’s to my detriment! Ha! I’m trying to slow down in 2022. Thank you for your sweet message, happy New Year to you as well!

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