Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve at Our House

Christmas Eve has become our family's favorite day of the year!  Why?  Because not only is it overflowing with all the anticipation and excitement of Christmas, and rich with many family traditions, but it also holds the most anticipated event of the year --  our Annual Sibling Gift Exchange!

This year, there was an extra measure of anticipation as we all waited for Taylor to arrive home from college, and for Ashlyn to arrive from SC with my niece, Amber, who will be living with us for a few months.

Much of the day we kept busy with last minute errands, cleaning, cooking, and delivering goody trays to neighbors.  At 6:00 pm, we went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and then hurried home to finish putting together our traditional party supper.  Ashlyn and Amber "rolled in" the same time we did and set right to work helping us get the food arranged!  (Is it just my imagination, or does Amber look a little bewildered by all of the hub bub??)

Here are pictures of our spread!  :)

Don't you like Tiffany's Pinwheel Christmas tree?  She found the inspiration for this on Pinterest, and she and Amber worked to make it happen.

Peppermint Punch!  A new holiday tradition!

The dessert table!

The "Bros" enjoying the food!!

Looks like Bethany was enjoying her food too!

Loved watching the older kids hang out!

The "formidable five" -- Ashlyn (24), Tiffany (26), Taylor (21), Joseph (18), and Joshua (19)

Gathering for the annual sibling gift exchange!

We go youngest to oldest, so Bethany opened her present first.  Her gift was from Matt -- who showed the most creativity and resourcefulness of the night!  He had pulled items from around the house to put together a "police uniform" for her!  ;)

Then it was Matt's turn.  He opened a little pocketknife from Joe, much to his father's chagrin!  (Don't worry, I think it's already missing!)  ;)

Luke went next, opening his gift from Bethany -- a Gamecock hat!

Then Hannah opened a CD from Luke, which he apparently bought when they went shopping together!  :)

Chris opened a cool T-shirt from Tiffany.

Then it was Joe's turn.  Chris gave him a book of 365 daily readings from the writings of C.S. Lewis. Perfect!

Josh and Kristi had their names put together this year, so they went next.  (What a good "flex" -- Tay gave them his and hers Gamecock T-shirts just in time for the big bowl game!)

Then it was Tay's turn . . . a Nike sweatshirt from Josh!  (Anyone else picking up on the fact that they both work at Hibbett's Sports Store??)  ;)

Amber is slightly older than Tay, so she opened her gift next.  (Once I realized she would be here for Christmas Eve, I figured out a way to weave her into the sibling gift exchange!)  It was a Dee Henderson book from Hannah.

Next was Ashlyn . . . but alas, I have no picture of Ashlyn opening her gift!  :(  Amber gave her some Paul Baloche CDs.

And last, but not least, here is Tiffany opening her gift . . . a sweater and some other cool stuff from Ashlyn, who branched out this year, after having drawn Josh's name for the last four years!  :)

A surprise visit from Rudolph!  :)

There are always some "unauthorized" gifts -- meaning lots of random giving of gifts to those whose name you didn't draw.  The highlight was this one from Tiffany to Tay and Joe, which was secured with duct tape and had a beautiful duct tape bow!  :)

As you can see, they are overcome with emotion after opening their unexpected gift!

It was the movie, "The Shunning!"  Not exactly what the guys had in mind as a macho gift!  ;)  Actually, it was a joke!  Tiffany bought that DVD for herself, wrapped it accidentally, and decided to turn it into a gag gift!  LOL!

Her real gift for the guys was this DVD -- "Everything in Between!"  -- A perfect gift for some hardcore Tebow fans!!!  

And if that weren't enough, Joe gave Tay this awesome Tebow shirt!!!  Yes, it's Tebow all the way!

It was an epic night  . . .  with Christmas Day still to come!  


Rebecca's Refining said...

Looks like y'all had a wonderful time!! I'm sure Amber was tired and overwhelmed, and maybe still recovering from being sick the day before! Thanks for including Amber in your festivities! The food looked awesome (as usual)! I will have to return to that tradition, as I have missed it! I look forward to reading about more "epic nights" to come!! :)

Renee@LivingLaughingLoving said...

Oooh what yummy and pretty looking food! Love that star!

Donna G. said...

I enjoyed sharing your Christmas Eve with you! I just wish I could have eaten some of that food instead of admiring it from afar. =) Happy New Year, sweet friend!

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