I love Christmas Eve at our house! It is such a fun, relaxing time with just our little family filled with so many traditions. We start out the morning allowing the kids to open one gift. We save the rest of the gifts for Christmas morning.
Here they are opening their gifts this morning:
After the gift opening, I always have breakfast prepared. This year it's homemade cinnamon rolls.
We always have an appetizer/snack party for dinner. I'll be busy today getting the food ready for this evening. Here is this year's menu:
*Artichoke Spinach Bites
*Lil Smokies in BBQ sauce
*Chips & Dips
*Cheese, Summer Sausages, & Crackers
Of course we have Christmas music blasting in the background. We also make "Magic Reindeer Dust". This will help illuminate the path for Santa's reindeer to land! ;) There are tons of different recipes online for this, but here is the one we use.
Magic Reindeer Dust
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sugar
Red & Green sprinkles or edible glitter
Mix together and sprinkle on your lawn before going to bed on Christmas Eve!
(Note: Some recipes call for actual craft glitter, but since it can be harmful to animals, I stick with edible glitter or sprinkles.)
We made our cookies for Santa yesterday. We switch up which kind we make each year and this year we made this recipe (it is an adaptation of a recipe from Bakerella. I made a few of these jars for small gifts this year, so I thought it only made sense to make one for us to use as well.
I think Santa will like these!
After the kids have their bath, they get into their Christmas pajamas and we read "The Night Before Christmas" in front of the tree. I have a feeling Wyatt will be running around like a maniac instead of sitting quietly and listening to the story, but I'll still read it anyway. :)
We try and have family Bible studies often (my goal for 2011 is every evening), and we will have one this evening as well. At Christmas, we explain to our children that the Bible does not tell us when Jesus was born, and in fact, is silent about instruction in observing the birth of Christ. However, this is the time when most people reflect on His birth, and we pray that a seed will be planted in the hearts of those whom are seeking. More importantly, we talk to them about how it was His death on the cross that saves us. Hallelujah! We celebrate Jesus EVERYDAY in this house. God is good everyday of the year!
Finally, before going to bed, we have to track Santa! Our local news stations track him during the weather segment. We also visit this website for a more detailed, global view of Santa's journey. It's amazing how fast the kids (well, Abby) go to sleep after seeing this!
Wonderful times and precious memories! I'm going to be a little sad when my kids stop believing. I have a feeling Abby will be catching on soon. Until then, we try and make it magical!
Wishing each one of you a peaceful, joyous Christmas with your families and a healthy, prosperous new year!
See you in a few days!