Too bad we didn’t get ALL the grandkids gathered here for this pic…we’re missing the young adults, the big teenagers, Saren’s twins, Charlie, Faith, Gabriel, and of course the other cousins in Hawaii and Switzerland who weren’t able to make it. But at least we got these ones as a little representation of the cousin love swirling around our house.
(I wrote a little about that back HERE.)
Then it was on to a pre-Christmas Eve Jerusalem supper (since three of those families had to clear out the next day to get ready for their own Christmas plans).
Someone had the grand idea to do a Jerusalem supper early all together because hey, that’s our Eyre tradition, and how fun that we were that close to Christmas to share it all. We all do our own tailor-made traditions in our own homes, but I think every one of us does a Jerusalem Supper in our own ways. I love to think of each of us dressing up the night before that holy day (or a few nights before in this case), lit up by candlelight, thinking of that holy family, Mary great with child, getting ready to leave Jerusalem for Bethlehem.
We all make different kinds of food for our own versions of the meal. We make chicken tikka masala here in the desert. Saydi makes falafel. And since she offered to make that fussy but delicious dish for the whole crowd we all got to work helping out.
I wish these pictures could more accurately depict the beehive of activity going on around here…this was just the initial crowd of cooks:
But mostly I wish a picture could emit a smell. Because the smells in that kitchen were divine as everyone cooked and worked together.
And set up the tables:
Then it was time.
My sister pulled out our Jerusalem Supper dress-up clothing and added as many dishtowels as she could find to adorn everyone possible in Jerusalem attire and the dinner began.
It was a huge crowd, not conducive to too much group talking, but it was great to be all there together.
The lights were still up from the wedding so we figured that would be a pretty great place to do our little nativity.
Lucy was pretty delighted to be a little shepherd with her own little “sheep.”
We sang Christmas nativity songs:
And gathered under that giant “star” to find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
Lucy was pretty delighted that Joseph gave her sheep a little attention:
(Bo was in desperate need of a bath but somehow her scrounginess made her a little more authentic, don’t you think?)
After the nativity we moved inside for a little bit of gift-giving. I love looking from the outside in:
…and then coming in to the noise and motion that all these people I love creates:
Couldn’t end an Eyre party without a little bit of charades:
…and a little celebration of Kristi’s birthday she’d be celebrating by driving all day long the next day.
I was so full of gratitude for these sisters who had come so far to celebrate with us…as well as my two awesome sister-in-laws.
Love them all so much!
My parents and brother Eli and his family from NYC stayed with us until Christmas.
This involved good tennis:
Loved being out there playing with my girls and my dad:
Loved watching these two whack that ball back and forth.
Loved our night discussions…
Max and Abby came back real quick to grab some things before they headed to California….and I got to give them a gift I was pretty excited about that.
…but I’ll do a different post about that soon.
So many of Elle’s friends were home, a couple just returned from their missions, and she loved getting to hang with them a little while she was home.
Dean, my brother’s son, spent most of his time in the desert right here in this spot:
…and Eli spent a lot of time trying to talk him down. Ha!
We loved having a baby around!
…and Zara and Dean too.
On Christmas Eve there was, of course, more tennis to be played.
Have I mentioned how much I really enjoy watching my girls play?
It is like a grand motherhood pay-off in my book. They are all looking way better than I remembered on that court. Extra bonus to have Eli and my Dad to play with them (they are great at tennis, and have a pretty long-running competition going, my brother trying to beat my dad).
We did all kinds of round robins to try to get everyone in playing.
And it finally dwindled down to Eli and Elle who stayed out there the longest, socking that ball back and forth to each other as hard as they could. So, so, so fun to watch!
Loved getting random pics from the honeymooners:
Loved a little impromptu visit from Dave’s sister and parents who were just in time for our “wrapping station” trying to finish the last of our wrapping in the beauty of that Christmas Eve afternoon.
And then the sun set and we started to get geared up for our second Jerusalem Supper of the year…
…lighting candles and preparing food, and preparing our hearts to slow down and let the magic of Christmas weave it’s way into our home.