Christmas was great. But my favorite moment was on Christmas eve. As a matter of fact, I think it always is. Because that’s when the kids give their presents to each other. And watching their anticipation and smiles and full-on knock-each-other-over hugs because they’re so excited makes my heart turn to putty.

The kids drew names for each other this year as opposed to the usual dollar store run when everyone buys for everyone. They always spend their own money to buy the gifts, but this year it was a little different because instead of spending $5 or so total at the dollar store they each spent much more of their hard-earned money on each other.

So here’s my favorite moment:They were all so excited to give to each other, but Max took the cake. He could hardly stand waiting a second longer for Claire to open her gift. And she was purely delighted about it too. They were all a jumble of hugs and smiles. Love that. Plus I love that my two brothers were sitting there on the couch behind them…one with his lovely wife. It was fun to share it all with them too (and my parents who were on the other couch).Do you think these girls were delighted too??
I think they got it: the joy of Christmas giving.

Other Christmas eve stuff:
Paper crown explanation: My sister (on her mission in England) sent English “crackers” to help us celebrate. You pull them and they pop…then they have little gifts in them including little paper crowns.

Then of course, we had the traditional Nativity (thanks to my sister who made us these awesome outfits a couple years ago for our Christmas gift…thanks Sar!):
Lucy created a little commotion since she did NOT want to wear any type of outfit and she sure as heck did NOT want baby Jesus (her doll) to take any part of the show. (So Elle made a fake one with some extra fabric.) My Dad did a great narration and even held auditions for who would get to be Mary.

Each year I take a picture of the kids in front of the Christmas tree with their new Christmas jammies before they head to bed. And they are usually my favorite Christmas picture.

Well, guess who threw a hanger in the works this year?
Yep, you guessed it. That little chubby cherub of ours. She smiled for this first picture (too bad we’re not sure what the heck Grace is doing), but only caused pure commotion for the other tries.
See, the problem was that she REALLY wanted Claire’s new stuffed dog Max gave her.And, well, Claire did NOT want her to have it.
She miraculously returned the dog…Can you tell who was excited about that??But wasn’t about to pose for any sort of picture…
But hey, that’s the story of our Christmas Eve.Dave told the traditional “T’was the Night Before Christmas” story by the tree and we tucked the kids into bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
And then we had super late-night chocolate fondue…a new tradition Julie introduced us to. Maybe next year we’ll get it together enough to actually have the kids join us.

So, fights over stuffed dogs, a feisty two-year-old, bad luck on getting a cute picture or not, the true spirit seeped out into each of us on Christmas Eve…all because of a little giving.

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  1. I love how Dave was the donkey in the Nativity.
    Next year can I just send all my kids to your house for all the Christmas fun? Maybe we could take turns!!
    Ha Ha Ha
    Looks like so much fun!

  2. It looks like a fantastic Christmas Eve at your house. Love all the jammies. What a great idea to have the kids open gifts from each other on Christmas Eve. I think I may have to incorporate that next year.

    And no worries about not picking Claire and Ava up. I was making the rounds looking for another mom that is usually stuck in nursery. They were so cute together and man do they look like each other. Is Ava from your side? I asked the girls but they didn’t seem sure.

  3. I don’t know how you do it… I only have 3 family members in town and I feel totally overwhelmed, often forget to take photos, and did NOT treat my guests to a chocolate dessert! What’s wrong with me!?! 😉

    Looks like you guys are having a great time with family… enjoy the rest of 2008!!

  4. I love that your kids exchange gifts with their own hard earned money. I will be stealing your idea for my three little smooshies next year and doing days of shopping with them.

    Your photos are all beautiful…small or not!

    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!!

  5. So fun to get a glimpse into your Christmas! That little Lucy…every picture makes me chuckle!
    Looks like a great Christmas! Love that ice-skating video too! Too cute.

  6. i’ve been following your blog for months now, and just had to comment on this post!
    (and also to let you know i have been lurking for all this time)

    your family is too precious!
    i love all your post, your writing style, and your pictures!

    thanks for always putting a smile on my face, and keep me coming back for more!

    happy new year to you and your beautiful family! 🙂

  7. It was great to catch up on your posts. I loved them all. Sweet little Lucy makes me laugh all the time.

    I loved this post. When we stop and soak in the real meaning of Christmas it sets the tone in our heart and our family and reminds what really matters. It makes every moment that much richer.

    I love how your kids gave each other presents. Some of my fondest memories of Christmas as a child are from Christmas Eve giving presents to each other. I love how delighted Claire was when she opened her Webkinz. I am sure Max loved the moment even more.

    It looked like you had a great holiday- from New Years to Christmas Eve. Thanks for sharing it all. I love your stories and pictures and most of all your thoughts on life.

    Happy New Year!

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