Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve... such a fun day filled with anticipation and celebration! 

We started our day with making cookies for Santa.  We used store bought dough, because it was easier.  And sometimes I just need to take the easy route.  :)

The boys didn't seem to mind.

I love Christmas Eve service!  It is always my favorite part of Christmas.  There is nothing better than reflecting on the incarnation of Christ!  Being still and letting the magnitude of that miracle really sink in fills my heart with such joy!  Without that sweet baby, there would be no perfect sacrifice for my sins - no cross, no tomb, no resurrection, no salvation.  If Christ hadn't put on flesh and walked this Earth, I wouldn't have the assurance that an eternity in Heaven with my Savior is my future.  That is what Christmas means to me - celebrating the birth that changed my life for all eternity.  There's something about that moment when the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, and every voice is singing Silent Night...  It takes my breath away every year!

We were so excited that some of our sweet friends were able to join us for Christmas Eve service this year.  Rob, Monica, Carlos, Katy, and Avery all came over for dinner and then we went to the 8:00 candlelight service.  Having our friends with us made the night even more special!  We are so grateful for our neighbors that have become dear friends!   

Katy, Me, & Monica -  Love these girls!
Thankfully, our friends were full of grace for our wiggly 2 year old.  My, oh my, Owen could not sit still for love nor money.  It wasn't exactly a Silent Night with that little Buddy on the pew.  Ha!  I learned that no matter how many activities you bring, getting a 2 year old to sit through an hour long service is asking a lot.  :) 

There was a really sweet moment, though, in the service where Owen reached over and held Mr. Rob's hand.  He sat perfectly still for several minutes (the only time that he sat still all night) and just held Rob's hand.  Rob & Monica lost their sweet, pre-teen son to MPS 3 years ago.  I could tell that, for a moment, Rob was remembering his son as a 2 year old, and he was smiling from ear-to-ear.  It moved me to see our kind, gentle friend that has experienced such tremendous heartbreak feel true joy because our little boy wanted to sit and hold his hand.  It was probably my favorite moment of Christmas.  :)

In December, I wrap all of our Christmas books in wrapping paper and the boys open one each night.  There are two books that I mark with "24th" to be opened on Christmas Eve.  The boys are always excited to open The Night Before Christmas and The First Christmas.  Our copy of The Night Before Christmas was a gift from Wade's Aunt Kim at our Christmas themed engagement party in December 1999.  Such a fun keepsake! 

Since Clayton and Owen got to open our last two books, Drew got to hang our last Jesse tree ornament.  Three jobs and three boys - the math worked out just right.  ;)

After reading our books and doing our devotional, the boys got to open their Christmas pjs.
The boys said goodbye to our jolly ole elf, Nick...
 Donned their Christmas jammies...
 Sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn...

Then, "the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their head."  :)