Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Eve

I woke up early on Christmas Eve, the list of tasks for the day running through my mind. I love the holiday traditions we have established in our family, and I love that my children depend on them, but it is a lot of work to make holidays happen! I had to run to the grocery store to get last-minute additions to our day. We had waited for Lyndsay to be home to do our graham cracker houses, and with my work schedule, that tradition got pushed to Christmas Eve. Also, Lyns requested a turkey dinner, since she missed my food so much at Thanksgiving, and since I was scheduled to work Christmas Day, we plugged our holiday meal into this day as well.

While we worked on food in the kitchen, and carols played in the background, the kids and I got to work on our graham cracker village.

I did a cheater thing this year, and I'm blaming it on Pinterest. I saw someone had posted that they assemble their houses with hot glue since they never eat the crackers anyway, and then decorate with royal icing. This was a year I could definitely use a time saver, so I went with it. One less (at least!) batch of royal icing to make, plus the cost savings involved.

Several hours later, our finished houses!

Aiden's really took the cake this year. It was quite a masterpiece!

Lyns went for a log cabin this year.

Despite the confusion and turmoil in our marriage, I don't want anyone to be lonely for Christmas. I invited Adam to come and spend the holiday with us. His children, Caitilin (home from college) and Sean, came by for a little while to exchange gifts, and we got our traditional family photos in front of the tree. Man, we have so much fun together. Christmas has a way of blurring bad memories, and everything just felt so happy. We sure were missing Dylan though, who wasn't able to be with us.

Love a good laugh fest. And I love these two girls.

We reminisced about when they were little girls sharing a bedroom. Now they are college girls!

Three of our handsome boys.

Lyndsay made the rolls for me, and they were amazing!

Caitlin and Sean had dinner with their mom, so they didn't join us. The work involved in preparation was so worth it! The food was delicious! I'm not sure why Conor looks so glum here, except that he probably just wanted to get down to eating!

I really wanted to drive out to the temple to see the lights and hear the Christmas concert, but the traffic was horrendous, and truth be told, I really was exhausted. Instead, we read our nightly Christmas story together, sang several carols, and Lyndsay read the account of the Savior's birth in Luke 2. We had a family prayer together too, focusing on our gratitude and our wishes for members of our family who were not with us, and struggling.

My friend and visiting teacher, Angela, stopped by to drop off a gift.  We chatted for a bit. She's getting ready to move out of the ward, and a good distance away right after the holidays and I am so sad about that. She has been so good to me and I will really miss her.

Then it was time for yet another tradition: Christmas jammies! Each of the kids opened their gift.


Merry Christmas!