Christmas Eve is usually my favorite part of Christmas.

It is special not only because my amazing Mother-in-Law was in charge of dinner and a beautiful program at her house with all the cousins:
But the aftermath is what really gets me every year.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas morning. The air thickens around us as time slows down and we sit around the tree and the fire giving each other part of ourselves to the tune of beautiful Christmas music.

But Christmas Eve is when our kids give gifts to each other. It used to be “treasures” they picked out for each other from the dollar store. But last year we graduated to the “drawing names” thing where they each chose one sibling from a hat to buy for with their own hard-earned money.

And it stuck.

I love that they put a bunch of thought into this and they get SO excited to give to each other.

Grace bought her present for Claire a full few weeks before the big day.

She COULD NOT wait to give it to her.
…she knew exactly how Claire’s face would look when she unwrapped her gift. She had pictured it all month, and it turned out just as she thought:

Elle bought Max a hat he’d been dreaming of.She wrapped it in multiple layers of wrapping paper so he wouldn’t be able to guess what it was before the big night.
He was so happy that I didn’t even care that it looks like a gangster hat to me…you know the kind that need to be worn with multiple gold chains around the neck to add to the bling…

Claire picked out some wing-dingers for Elle…I think those fake eyelashes are going to come in very handy some day:

And Grace…well, she hit the jackpot with a new guitar.
…given by her dear, thoughtful brother Max who couldn’t have been more excited to see her unwrap that thing.
Oh I love it all so much.

Of course, the kids got to head upstairs to their visions of sugarplums in their traditional new p.j.s…and Lucy didn’t even ruin the pictures like she did last year.
I love Christmas Eve. I love to see kids catch the joy of giving.

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  1. Oh, I LOVE this post. I have been lurking for a while and can not be silent any longer. Thank you for such a great idea for drawing names. I can hardly wait to do this next year. Thank you also for the amazing example you are to all mothers.

  2. Hi,
    I've just recently become a regular reader of your blog. What a lovely idea of getting your children to buy pressies for each other. The article really touched me.

    I wish children here in the UK would do that as it really makes them think of others.

    Thanks for a great blog!

  3. Hello! I am new to your blog and I must say I love it. Of course I have been drawn to Lucy's story but also to your family's strength and your beautiful kids. Your Christmas Eve celebration looks fun, even though I don't know that the Dots would have made it onto my house because I most likely would have eaten them all first!

  4. We do this too on Christmas Eve and it is my favorite part for sure. Taking them each out to buy the gifts is hilarious…and I bite my tongue at some of the choices, but they end up knowing more than I do about their siblings. I always sit and watch and fast forward to 10 years and know that we all won't be together forever in the same house forever. It's also nice to know they actually CAN and DO love eachother, in spite of all the fights and arguements and teasing!

  5. I had tears in my eyes when I saw that genuine hug that your daughter gave your sweet son thanking him for that gift. Wow!! what awesome kids you are raising!!!!! You should be so very proud!

  6. You havea beautiful family!I have enjoyed reading about your beautiful ,youngest daughter. I have a daughter who is 3 months old who has a few complications, of which we knew about before she was born. One of those complications was being born with out an eye; the globe and optic nerve did not develop. Her "good" eye is not focusing and functioning as we would like it to yet, which has worried me that she will not be able to see the world, or as clearly as I do. You have inspired me to not be afraid of the unknowns, and to cherish every second that I have with her instead of worrying. Thank you!

  7. This was always my favorite part too! What were we thinking when we had each kid buy or make a gifts for each other kid? That was 81 gifts from the dollar store! YIKES! I don't know who first thought of drawing names. A great idea! Love the false eyelashes Claire!

  8. Oh what a great idea – for them to draw names!!! I'm going to keep this is my memory file … we've done the dollar store before, but I didn't do it this year. (too much stuff in our house already to bring in more stuff just to bring in stuff…if you know what I mean!) Drawing names is DEFINITELY the thing to do!!!

    Thanks for the idea!!!

  9. My mom gave me a copy of "A Mother's Book of Secrets" for Christmas. I absolutely loved it! Thanks for all the amazing tips and letting me know it is okay to not be a "Library Mom"!


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