On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, we got all cleaned up and loaded gifts into the car for the first two of five Christmas celebrations followed by midnight Mass. I think our crew cleans up pretty well, don’t you? And they’re all smiling, which was not the case during the 48 hours of Christmas celebrating.
Our first stop was at my mom and dad’s house. We had an awesome dinner before opening gifts. The kids loved their stompeeze slippers, and Sophie was beyond thrilled with her Disney castle. Personally, I was the most happy with my new sheets. We love a high thread count, and had been using the same set of sheets for years, just taking them off to wash and putting them right back on. Recently, they developed a few holes and I was tickled to receive an awesome new set for Christmas. I put them on my bed in before going to Mass that very night.
After we finished with my family, we went to Tony’s grandma’s house for Christmas with his extended family. I didn’t take a ton of pictures because it was pretty crowded, but the the kids enjoyed seeing their cousins. Andrew especially liked being with Hunter, knowing that he was moving to Georgia the day after Christmas.
After we left Memaw’s house, we ran back home to empty the car and bring our poor doggie into the house. Then it was off to midnight Mass. Our church doesn’t even offer Mass at midnight anymore, so this year we decided to go to St. Martin’s in Louisville where our friend Fr. Paul Beach is pastor. My parents, Tony’s mom, grandma, and his sister, her husband and our nephew all came. It was really special to celebrate Mass together – and the Mass was absolutely breathtaking. Before Mass started, Fr. Paul asked if Sophie would carry up baby Jesus in the procession for him. Knowing how little Sophie was, he said Andrew could help her. We didn’t want to start a sibling feud, so we sent Aidan and Hunter along as well. Thus, our four kiddos got to do something VERY special and it made their Christmas so memorable. Sophie was supposed to walk with Andrew and Baby Jesus, but she had cold feet at the last minute. She’s at the end of the group in the picture below because she wanted to walk with Fr. Paul (he’s behind her) and not with Andrew. I had to bribe her – luckily I had a half-eaten pack of M&Ms in my purse. When she came back, though, she was pretty thrilled with herself. She said, “We had to carry baby Jesus because he can’t walk yet. But his mommy is going to teach him.” Out of the mouths of babes. When I asked her if Andrew put the baby in the crib, she informed me, “There’s not a crib up there. Bubby put Jesus in the manger.”
When Mass ended, we headed home for the night (?). It was about 1:30 in the morning when we got home and the kids were so excited. They quickly put out their cookies for Santa and headed to bed. Tony and I put our feet up for a few minutes while the kids fell asleep and then we weren’t too far behind them!
Christmas morning came VERY early. We got the kids up around 7:30 to see what Santa brought – it’s still dark outside!
Santa filled the stockings and left a few small packages, but not nearly as much as usual. When the kids got to this box with all three of their names on it, they found out why.
In the big box with a letter from Santa were two android tablets and a Leap Pad for Sophie. All three kids had asked for nothing else but an ipad, and these fit the bill quite nicely.
When we finished opening Santa gifts, we headed to Tony’s mom’s house for brunch. Doesn’t Sophie look wide awake and thrilled to be leaving again?
After opening presents and stuffing ourselves with more food, we came home in time for naps. Tony had a pot of stew in the crockpot all day, and all our families came over for dinner to eat, drink, and visit. It was one of the nicest Christmases I can remember in a long time! We are so very blessed.