The children are nestled all snug in their wee little beds,
while visions of sugarplums dance in their wee little heads.
Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, have just settled down for a long winters nap...
Then again, maybe not.
Here at our house, Papa has settled down for the night (although not wearing any kerchief or cap that I am aware of) and mama is sitting at the table, blogging, while she waits for her pumpkin cheesecake to finish baking.
Yes, I really meant to get it done much much earlier during the day, like before we went over to my parents house for our Christmas Eve festivities, but instead I created our holiday cards ("happy new year", instead of Merry Christmas, since i am a bit behind this year), then went to pick them up and spent time wandering around in various stores looking at (and buying) more gifts (that we really don't need.) It was rather fun though...
We spent the evening at my moms, eating hawaiian haystacks for dinner, then re-enacting the nativity. (if you can call our comedy of events such a thing) We didn't even use costumes this year - I really wanted to just TELL (and discuss) the Christmas Story (without the comedy acting) but the kids seemed to think that was too grinch-like and I was out voted! I attempted to act as Narrator. Instead of reverent and humble wise men, Aaron declared that they were the 3 "wise-guys" (or in this case, 2 wise-guys (Aaron & Shawn) and one wise-gal (aunt Rachael). We had a couple of shepherds (Jinsuk & Caleb - Eric was recruited to be a shepherd, but then was re-delegated to be our "tech guy" and get "part two" of the nativity ready to roll), an angel, (uncle Mike) who, with his violin, doubled as the entire heavenly hosts whenever any "glory to God's," "away in a mangers" or any other music was called for (including donkey plodding music while our Donkey (Tim) carried Mary (Katrina), being led by Joseph (Bryan). Aaron also stood in for an innkeeper, as did grandpa. and Caleb also played the rolls of Ceasar Augustus "HEAR YE HEAR YE - everyone come pay your taxes" King Herod, and an innkeeper. (His least favorite roll was the innkeeper, when Joseph used his (caleb's) stomach as the door to "knock" on. (and he knocked a little too hard...)
As you can imagine, it was not a very reverent or spiritual re-enactment. Thank goodness for LDS.org. we pulled up the Luke 2 Nativity clip, Uncle Eric hooked it up to the TV and we got to see a re-enactment that was actually doctrinally correct AND invited the spirit! Halleluiah!! (This was more important for Shawn, who isn't really familiar with the story of the Nativity, and I'm pretty sure our re-enactment didn't do much in the way of clarification, but he sure seemed to get a kick out of watching Katrina shove a doll up her shirt and then ride around on Tim's back while Tim made donkey noises...)
Typically, after the re-enactment, we let the kids open their "Christmas Eve gift" - which miraculously turns out to be a pair of pajamas, and then Tim and I head for home while the kids stay to have a Christmas Eve Sleep over at Grandmas. (a spin off of MY childhood (all the way to adulthood) tradition of sleepign at my Grandma Allreds house on Christmas Eve)
This year is a little different for us, since my nephew Shawn just moved here from Japan (Got here last week) and is living with my parents for a while. Plus the fact that my kids just spend the past two weekends at my parent house, while Tim and I were in the Caribbean... Anyway, with everything going on we cancelled the sleep over and brought all the kids home with us tonight. They opened their jammies, such a ruckus they make - these wild and crazy kids of ours! (i will add the jammie pictures after Tim gets them off the camera for me.) Then we finally got everyone to bed (except Aaron who stayed up to help me with the last minute baking stuff, then volunteered to be "Santa's elf-helper." I'll tell you one thing - it is easier to get things ready with no kids around... :)
Aaron helped me put together the breakfast casserole for tomorrow morning, "Baked Apple French Toast," and it is ready to go in the oven while we open presents. (I'll just have to make the caramel sauce that we pour over the top. YUM YUM! The Cheesecake for tomorrow's dessert is now done baking, and I'm letting it cool before putting it in the fridge, then I will be off to bed! Hopefully the kids won't wake us up too early - but really - what are the odds of that???? I hope they enjoy the bounty under the tree... and even more that that - I hope they really do understand and appreciate the real reason we celebrate the season.
that's about it for my Christmas eve mid-night ramblings...
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL GOOD NIGHT!