Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve - Part 3: The Family Celebration!

We had such a Fun Christmas Eve! I'm not sure I can capture it all here on my blog -- but it is worth a try!

We spent the day in a flurry of last minute preparations. Ashlyn arrived from SC just in time for our delicious dinner buffet. (See previous post!) It was such a Joy to have her Home!

After enjoying our festive spread of food, we gathered in the family room to spend some serious moments contemplating why we celebrate Christmas. First, Alan read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2, which has been a family tradition for many years.

The girls worked on their needlework while they listened to the reading.

Then, Alan opened up Bartholomew's Passge and attempted to finish reading the last few sections of our Advent story for this year. However, whenever he would start to read, someone would start laughing over something. I'm not sure how it got started, but there was a serious outbreak of the giggles! Every time the room would grow silent and Alan would attempt to read, someone would start giggling again! Once the dam broke, there was no containing the water, and soon the entire room was drowning with giggles!!!

It was becoming obvious that Alan was getting a bit frustrated with his unruly children! So, everyone tried to quiet themselves. Finally, a tentative quietness settled over the room, and it appeared that the giggles were under control. So once again, Alan began to read, saying, "The Rabbi paused . . . " and then, you won't believe this, but he dissolved into fits of hysterical laughter!!

Once Alan was delirious with laughter, the disease spread like wildfire around the room! Soon we were ALL wildly out of control, laughing until tears ran down our faces and our sides ached! Have you ever seen an entire family GIGGLING together???

Alan's Mom looked on in Amazement -- not quite sure what had happened to her once dignified son! :)

I don't think she is used to seeing her son giggle uncontrollably! :)

Finally, our laughter subsided, but it was just too risky to try reading again, so Alan postponed the conclusion of our Advent readings until Christmas morning! :)

Instead, we all piled into the van to go look at Christmas lights. It has been awhile since every single seat of our twelve-passengar van has been filled! It was a good feeling! (But that may have been because I was in the front seat, not squished into one of the back seats!!!) We drove through the dark, rainy night, looking for twinkling displays of light, and spreading Christmas cheer (by singing loud for all to hear!).

Then, we gathered in the family room again for the annual sibling gift exchange! Take a deep breath . . . .there is more fun to come!!! ;)

Every year the children draw names among themselves on Thanksgiving and then try to keep the names a secret, as they stealthily shop and wrap and disguise their gifts for one another! It is a Lot of Fun!

Christmas Eve is the time when all of the scheming comes to a head and the secrets are revealed! We start with the youngest child, and whoever drew her name gives her her gift. Then, we work our way up to the oldest of the kids. Here are some pictures of the sibling exchange:

Bethany received a loud, obnoxious toy guitar from Taylor! (Thanks a lot, man!)

Matt opened up a Star Wars action figure from Hannah.

Joshua gave Luke a set of Hogan's Heroes DVDs.

Tiffany gave Hannah a jewelery box, which was purchased right under her nose!

Chris received a Halo Wars building set from Luke!

Matt gave Joe a football!

Josh received a Life is Good T-shirt from Bethany (with a little help from Ashlyn!)

Ashlyn gave Taylor some X box games.

Chris gave Ashlyn a Bath and Body Works gift set.

And Joe gave Tiffany some Bath and Body Works shower gel -- wrapped in his own creative style! :)

After the official sibling gift exchange, any other random gifts were exhanged. And believe me, some of these were pretty random!!!

The highlight of the evening was Joshua opening this gag gift from Taylor and Joe!

An Elf Suit!!! Oh My~!

What a hoot!!!!!!

A few more gifts for each other . . .

And some for Mom and Dad . . .

And then it was time to put on our snuggly jammies and find comfy spots around the family room to watch "White Christmas" -- which is our annual Christmas Eve movie!

And thus ended a Delightful Christmas Eve!


mommyx12 said...

All the photos are wonderful. I especially love the look on grandmas face. A kodak moment for sure.

tlmalcolm said...

A family that giggles together....stays together!!

Rebecca's Refining said...

What a great evening you had! I loved the pics, and the great "gag" gifts...what fun! I have never thought of such a crazy thing for Christmas!

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