Christmas eve started with lots of cooking for me, but I love to cook, so no chore there.
Before going on to my cousin's house we tried to get a quick picture of the girls.
They didn't exactly cooperate.
We eventually headed to my cousin's house for a quick visit. The girls had lots of fun!
Then we all headed to our Christmas Eve communion service. It's a come as you are, family by family ceremony. Your whole family comes to the kneeling rail to take communion and then the Reverend gives a special blessings for your family. No two blessings are the same.
It is very special and personal.
After the blessing one member of the family lights a candle on the altar representing that family. By the end if the night the church is ablaze in candlelight.
To me there is nothing as beautiful as being reminded not only of Christ's birth, but his sacrifice.
From there we headed to my parent's house for a quick tour of the neighborhood lights- they light bags as a reminder of the star guiding the wise men to Jesus- quickly followed by dinner, which was delicious!!
We then followed on of my favorite traditions, reading the story of Jesus' birth. When we were little my patents wanted us to listen and not focus on presents, so after reading we were asked a question from the story. If you got it right you could open one gift. If not, you had to answer a second question to open your gift, which became the default question- who was the baby?
Over the years, our competitive nature has had us as harder and harder questions of each other, so now we all have it memorized. :)
Elizabeth got her question right.
Evie was too focused on the pretty paper to noticed, but loved her gift too.
Elizabeth also decided she should help everyone open gifts.
After presents, we headed home where we did our next to last advent reading ,
And sat out cookies for Santa.
Did he come?
Ummm, maybe he went a little overboard with his deal shopping...though it was the least he's ever spent in a long time.
|Mommy and Daddy got some gifts too.|
So much fun!!!
From there, we packed up again to NC to visit with my dad's family and open more gifts.
|Evie with my Uncle and Aunt.|
In the end, we made it where we opened more gifts.
|Elizabeth opening gifts with her Ma.|
|Mark's Dad opening a gift|
So that was our whirlwind holidays, as much fun as we had, I'm glad we are home for awhile.