Our children on Christmas Eve, before opening presents....
Oh how I love Christmas Eve! The anticipation, the excitement.... I know so well that the meaning of Christmas is not in getting or even giving gifts, but I have to say that as a parent, it is SO FUN to give them anyway!! I was very excited this year, as I thought we had nailed a major desire for each of the children. Years ago we switched nearly all of our gift opening to Christmas Eve, so that Christmas Day was less stressful and more focused on God's gift to us, the coming of Jesus. I have come to really love this arrangement, and we added a new tradition this year to our Christmas Day that I think we are all going to love. More on that later.
Here I am with one of the few things I had asked for.... a dvd of "The Help"! (read the book first, the book is fantastic!)
Daughter G asked for books, clothes, and boots. All of which she got!
Little man and son C both asked for a particular Hero Factory figure named the "witch doctor." It was the number one thing they both wanted. They both made a wish list this year, wrote "The witch doctor" on it, and then filled the rest of the page with stars to show how much they wanted it. :-)
I wasn't crazy about the name, but I have to admit he was a pretty cool looking figure when he was all put together! Very fierce and intimidating, with lots of cool weapons. What's not to love about that? My boys know how frugal I try to be, so they never in a million years expected to both receive one. A couple weeks before Christmas I heard them negotiating with each other how they were going to "share" it if we got one for the both of them together. I smiled to myself when I heard that.... two witch doctors were already hidden away for them! (buy one, get one half off, plus free shipping. Whoo-hoo!)
Son C also received his first leather bound Bible, complete with his name on the cover.
And a very cool lego set. It was the first Christmas that son G has not asked for legos, so hubby and I were very glad that son C asked for some. It will be a sad day for us when no-one is into legos anymore.
What son G did want, was a real football that was his size. He has small hands, so I had to hunt around but finally found one. We also gave him a jersey of his favorite wide receiver (Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, nicknamed "Megatron"). He was sooooo excited and hasn't taken it off since then!
He also wanted an mp3 player. Love that there are so many choices now! (ipod was not gonna happen, but we could make a polaroid version happen!)
Son L was very happy with his Lego Heroica game,
new fedora hat,
My husband got a new t-shirt from me (among other things). Can't read the fine print?
Is this better? We are huge fans of "The Princess Bride" so when I saw this t-shirt I could not resist getting it!
And at the very end of the evening, the piece de resistance, was.......
.......... a guitar for son G!
Oh my word, he was soooo happy! We have encouraged all our children to learn to play a musical instrument, but he was adament that he did not want his instrument to be the piano. We had a friend at church (guitarist on our worship team) research guitar deals for us, and he even stored this at his house so none of the children would find it before Christmas. Christmas Eve, shortly before gift opening, he and his wife dropped it off and we hid it in the front closet until just the right moment. Son G also got a certificate for guitar lessons from this same friend at church, starting in January!
Meanwhile our daughter had been closely guarding two wrapped gifts that she presented to my husband and I. They were original paintings that she had done: mine was a mountain scene because she knows how much I miss the mountains from my native state of Washington, and hubby's was of him swinging daughter G in the air when she was little. They are both beautifully done, and made us cry!
We dropped into bed close to midnight, happy and content and ready to worship Jesus the next day.