We usually spend a chunk of time at Dave’s parents’ house on Christmas Eve.

We love getting a chance to spend with the cousins in the midst of all the hoopla and excitement.

This year we did our traditional cousin white-elephant gift exchange on Christmas Eve.
The kids love that part and I must say all the switching around of gifts and glee when they get what they want is pretty entertaining for the adults as well.

We have a gift-giving-rotation going on with those guys and Dave’s sister spoiled us this year with baking stuff and gift cards. She is so very kind.

Then we go home and have our own family festivities.
Lucy was baby Jesus this year.

She took it very seriously.
So did Claire.

Dave was a pretty good shepherd……and Josh was a great asset as the donkey.

Then the sibling gift-giving began.

Oh I love this part.

Let’s just observe the progression of Claire giving Lu her gift:
I just love how proud/happy Claire’s face is.
That Ariel doll has pretty much not left Lu’s side since Christmas. …and Claire gets that same look on her face (above) each time she sees her with it.
This next one is a pretty good gift-progression series as well (let’s just ignore the fact I was trying to figure out whether to do flash or high ISO with my camera this whole night…):
First it was a cute sweater.
Then she opened the “piece de resistance:”
Some “fake glasses” she had been dying for.
Yeah, she was pretty excited.

Grace always gives opening gifts a little bit of flair:

Wait, is it some chips??

No way, it’s a really snuggly blanket.
Grace gives her thanks with some extra flair as well:

Max gave Elle some funny feather earrings and a gift card for Forever 21.
He was pretty happy about that too.

Lu gave Max a shirt.Yeah, not quite as dramatic since she didn’t really know what it was she was giving him when he opened it up (a little help from Dad on that one). Next year she’ll be better at that I’m sure.

But he sure loved what he got too.

Needless to say they were all pretty pumped up with their gifts.

And of course, their traditional Christmas PJ’s too:

Dave read the traditional “T’was the Night Before Christmas:”

And then we sent them off to bed with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.

We adults have our own private Christmas Eve traditions too: watching “A Christmas Story” and helping Santa put together a couple things.
Santa sure loves having Josh around to help on Christmas Eve.

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  1. I just found your blog a few days ago and have already fallen in love. You have a gorgeous family.

    I will be reading!

    Love from Cleveland.

  2. oh i love their faces… because of this blog, we also started that tradition this year, it was sooo fun taking the kids to pick out gifts for each other, we also did it on christmas eve, so that it didn't get lost inthe hoopla of everything else, and it really was magical!!

  3. oh i had a question:!
    as i looked back at your before chrsitmas day, i was loved the picture of you and grace ( you reading, her combing your locks).. and i thought, how does she do all this 'stuff' and her house looks like there is not a thing out of place.. i only have 3 kids and i feel like i am cleaning all day, after one thing and another.. so when do you clean? do you have a schedule? how much time does it take you to clean every day.. do you have a cleaner that helps etc

  4. And we thought Janie was funny for walking around in her fake glasses all the time! Must be that age 🙂 It takes ALOT of strength to keep a serious face when she's upset about something and talks to me with those glasses on her nose.

    Loved your card this year and miss you guys … and if you are going to move, make it Denver 🙂

  5. Claire looks adorable in those glasses!!! My fave pic is her hugging Grace & Grace covering her face…LOL!! you have such cute kids!! & I love all the special traditions you have =)

  6. Wow, the pressie giving that your children do has touched me again:) It's such a lovely thing to do:)

    I especially like the pix of Claire giving Lucy her present & also Claire receiving hers. I think of all your children Claire is the cutest:)I love how she loves her dolls.

    Thanks for a great blog:)

  7. I meant to also say – I love the look on all your Children's faces as each one were opening their pressies:) (I'm not quite sure if you say pressies in the US:)) They really have learnt the gift of giving.

    I'll have to show a friend in my ward the pix with Josh in, he went to her house sometimes for a meal when he was in Bracknell ward. (The Asletts)

    You truly are a great example to me:)

    P.S. Sometime on your Friday q & a please could you tell us how old all your brothers & sisters are & how many children each of them have?

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a question regarding gift giving for birthdays and Christmas. How do you select gifts, do you decide on a certain amount you're going to spend on each child or do they come up with a list and everyone chooses what they want to give or how does that work? You have an amazing family!

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