We spent the eve of Christmas Eve at Heartland Church for its candlelight service. Lorelei always wants to join us for the candlelight singing of Silent Night at the end of the service, so Mark snuck her out of Baby Jesus' birthday party. Gryffy might join us next year--not sure about that boy and fire!
Here's the light box inside our church (but from another snowy day--it didn't stick on Christmas Eve). The kids rush to this after their classes let out--they always look for the "My Little Ponies" and "Sponge Bobs" and various plastic toys that hide out inside it and move around each week. Gryffy ran for it--arms back, chest out, legs scrambling--directly after Jesus' birthday party.
Christmas Eve morning was spent as a family, snuggling in our pj's with a bunny rabbit, watching family videos on our movie screen (heart-melting!), enjoying lunch in pj's with fine china, and watching Christmas concerts on PBS as the kids doze off on the couch. We even got some fluffy snow, but it didn't stick.
Mid-morning, some sneaky little elves rang the bell and left Christmas pj's and letters from Santa Claus on the door step.
Lorelei loved her Minnie Mouse pj's, and Gryffy was wild about his Toy Story 3 pj's.
Lorelei's spelling and reading some words already, but got a bit of help from Mommy on her Christmas letter this year. She embellished with hearts, of course, and dictated the note!
Lorelei's letter was returned with Santa's reply to both kids.
One last book was left in our Christmas story basket.
We joined Grammy, Bpop, and Meg for presents and turkey dinner with the fixins. I think they got more presents there than from their stockings, Santa, and Mom and Dad combined!
And before bed, we baked our family's favorite No-Bake Cookies (a.k.a. Reindeer Poo) and left some for Santa (with carrots for the reindeer).
No-Bake Recipe (made famous by the kids' Great-Great Grandma, Aletha Luksa):
1 stick butter
2 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
(combine above ingredients and boil, then add...)
1 c peanut butter
2 1/4 c oatmeal (or until goopy consistency)
Spoon onto wax paper and allow to cool slightly--enjoy!
And Mommy made tomorrow's breakfast the night before. Our Christmas Strata is a tradition, and this year we've added another--Peanut Butter French Toast Casserole.
We listen to the Classical Kids' Christmas CD (our favorite--it tells a story with music of the mysteries and traditions of Christmas) and nod off, dreaming of sugar plums and Santa...
Tossing and turning in our sleep, waiting for the sound of sleigh bells ringing in Baby Jesus' Birthday.