I thought I would share some of our Christmas traditions this year, just in case the kids forget someday!!! We start with a progressive Christmas Eve dinner with Mike's family. The order can change, but the idea is the same: appetizer and presents at one family's house, then main course and presents at another, and dessert and presents at another. The kids love it because they get to open more than just one present of Christmas Eve (which was my tradition!!). Mike says his tradition was to go to midnight mass, and come home to the tree set up, and Santa's gifts all under the tree. Lucky boy got Christmas a little earlier than the rest of us!!
So, this year we started at Jason and Kristine's house for appetizers. Lucy got all dolled up in her Christmas dress and LIPSTICK!! You know it's a special occasion when I let her wear lipstick :)
Then we all opened our presents from the "other Hynes" family.
Then it was on to our house for the main course, and Harmony and Had Abogi's for dessert and more gifts. No pictures. I guess I just got too caught up in the excitement and forgot to snap any!!
After all that fun, we head home, have a little (I mean like 2 minute, we're ready for BED!!) devotional or Christmas story, set up a plate of white-fudge Oreo cookies, and send the kids up to bed. I would tell you what happens after that, but it has to stay a mystery: Kids sleeping, magic happening…. it's the good stuff :)
Christmas morning, Mike and I come get the kids; NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, we like our sleep around here. This year, Mike woke us all up at 6:30!! We must have been worn out. Then, keeping with my Christmas morning tradition, the kids line up from youngest to oldest, and they sing a Christmas song as they descend the stairs. They sang The Nativity.
Santa doesn't wrap presents around here, so once this kids round the corner, they see their haul. Elliott got a basketball standard and some board games, and Archie got a scooter and a Leap Pad (like a toddler's iPad),
And Lucy got a longboard and karaoke machine.
After we've all gone through our Santa stuff and stockings, the kids have to put all their goodies away in their room (another inherited tradition from me). We then, one at a time, take turns giving our presents to each other. Here are all the gift piles waiting to be given.
I love doing this because it focuses on giving (thanks Papa and Gramma), and it lets us see each person open and get excited about giving and getting a thoughtful present.
These are some of the kids' favorites this year:
Elliott: to get, basketball hoop; to give, Mom's S&P shaker
Archie: to get, candy canes
Lucy: to get, longboard; to give, Mom's penguin cookie jar
Bonnie: to get, kitchen knives; seeing the kids see their Santa stuff
We have had such a Winter Wonderland this December, and Christmas morning didn't disappoint either. In rolls the fog. But, it burned off in time for the kids to get out there and play with their new stuff.
After Christmas morning, we have a brunch with my side of the family and open MORE PRESENTS!!! Again, no pictures, it was just too much fun to tear myself away and take a few :)
Christmas has been so beautiful this year. We all agreed that the Spirit of Christ was so strong the whole season. There was so much joy, service and love. We watched beautiful, touching videos on the Mormon Channel throughout the season, listened to Christmas songs constantly, and gave and received so much love. I have to say, I am sad to see it go.