In a weekend full of family and celebration, the happiest moments were right in our own living room, surrounded by our kids. Christmas Eve morning I was awake at 6:30, puttering around drinking coffee, and setting out coffee and cocoa fixings for our kids. They would soon be waking up and wandering into the living room, either via sleepy feet or in the case of our married daughters, in cars with their husbands.
John and I had done the hurry-scurrying the evening before, setting out gifts and filling stockings, and now we were ready to sit and enjoy. The little girls were awake in their beds for a good half-hour before we finally went in and told them it was okay to get up. Older kids came out a little slower, but just about everyone wore sleepy smiles of anticipation. Kids’ eyes tended to be on gifts. We parents were watching our kids, savoring their enjoyment of the day.
As always we began with the reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2. Then it was time for the singing. This year we had help from this Christmas carol collection
which was a nice addition to our tradition. Everyone got to pick a song for us to sing a verse of, and we had a really nice sing-along. We tortured the kids a little bit longer by asking everyone to share a favorite Christmas memory. We talked about Jesus, the real gift of the season. And then, finally, it was time for gifts. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)
After the gift opening, it was time for a leisurely breakfast, then games. The boys spent the majority of the day on Republic Commmando. Others of us played Dutch Blitz
and Wits And Wagers, both games that I’d requested for Christmas. Dutch Blitz is usually a 4-person game. But marking a second set of cards allowed us to play with eight people– a sure way for wild chaos to ensue.
Later in the day we all went over to my mom’s for clam chowder and more gifts and lots of visiting. (ALL my siblings were there– lovely!) And the next day we visited John’s family and had a lovely prime rib dinner there. Every bit of those two days was good. But none of it was better than sitting in our living room with our own kids, watching happy faces, savoring their happiness over the day, and celebrating the Greatest Gift, Jesus, who was the one to begin all this gift-giving in the first place.