Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

When I think about celebrating holidays one of the first things that comes to mind is what we will eat.  I start planning our menus way in advance and usually put a lot of thought into each meal.  Food is often associated with warm memories and I want my boys to grow up with fond memories of meals shared in our home.  I love doing food art for them and making them smile when they come to the table.   They might not remember the specific foods that we eat, but I hope they will remember the love and fun I tried to add to it.

For Christmas Eve breakfast I usually cook snowman shaped banana pancakes.  These are fun and the boys just love them. 

Christmas Eve breakfast

Another holiday tradition of mine is taking family photos.  Like our food I try to plan out in advance what we will wear.  I know many of you think we are super silly for dressing alike on holidays but I don't mind.  I think it's silly too but I love it.  I take all of our monthly family photos and have a calendar made for our families each year.  It is something they enjoy getting so it makes these picture taking times worth it.

Here we are on Christmas Eve morning all dressed in green.  I've learned that it is better to take our Christmas picture on Christmas Eve morning instead of waiting until Christmas Day.  It just makes things go a lot smoother. 

Christmas Eve 2016

me and my precious boys

David and the boys

For several years now we have been spending Christmas Eve morning at our local mall.  The boys get Christmas money from family and they like to use some of it at the local arcade.  


Another favorite special occasion activity they enjoy is getting to ride the battery operated animals at the mall.  They use Christmas money for this also. 

They had so much fun!

One last treat was getting Happy Meals at McDonald's for lunch.  

We returned home and I spent the afternoon finishing my prep cooking for our Christmas lunch.  I like to have a big meal on Christmas Day but I don't want to spend Christmas morning cooking it.  I try to prep as much as possible in the days leading up to Christmas.  When Ben woke up from his nap he offered to help.  My boys love helping me cook.

making carrot souffle

Cruz practiced his Christmas songs.  Here he is playing one of them although the sound is not very good.  He learned two this year- Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Before supper we had our annual birthday party for Jesus which means we decorate a cake and read the Christmas story.  The cake becomes our dessert on Christmas Eve night.

For God so loved the world...

Our "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake decorated with a heart, sprinkles, and "fire hair" (spikes). 

blowing out the candles

We finished up our month long reading of the Christmas story and added the wise men to our board.

That night for supper we had a picnic in the living room floor.  We ate hot dogs, popcorn, jello jigglers, and our cake while watching Charlie Brown Christmas.  Watching that movie is a tradition of ours.

Christmas Eve supper

Another tradition is opening a gift on Christmas Eve.  I try hard each year to get the boys matching Christmas pajamas.  They open them on Christmas Eve and then sleep in them that night.  This year I found some while home in the States back in the summer.  I actually bought them on clearance at the outlet mall while we were at the beach.  I was so excited to find them!

They love long pajamas and were very excited about these.

Here are a few photos I took of them before bedtime in their new pj's on Christmas Eve-

sweet brothers!

Once they were asleep I got busy setting out presents and decorating for Christmas morning.

the calm before the storm

And yet another tradition I have is taking a picture of the boys sleeping on Christmas Eve.  I also do this on their birthday eve.  This year they slept in their tent so it was a little harder to get individual photos.  I ended up just taking a few of them together.  I love watching my boys sleep!

sleeping on Christmas Eve

their bedroom door ready for Christmas morning

It was a late night for me and I was so ready to fall in the bed.  I knew they would be up bright and early so I needed to try to squeeze in all the rest I could.  In spite of being tired, don't you just love that feeling you have on Christmas Eve night?  It's just a magical time and I wish it didn't pass by so quickly.   I'm going to miss these days when my boys are grown and gone!!!

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