Christmas Eve is one of my favorite nights of the year!!! We spend it at home, usually wearing matching pajama pants I've sewn up for all of us (this year they were monkeys!) and enjoy a candle-lit dinner of ham and cheesy potatoes. Simple, but yummy. Love the way my centerpiece turned out this year! I wanted to do something different, so we cut some branches off our pine tree and stuck them in a wooden box with these giant candy canes I found at Costco. Also love our very eclectic and colorful set of Christmas dishes. Makes it easy to add a few new plates to mix and match when you don't have a full set.
While I'm making the final dinner preparations, Buddy the Elf comes to visit and leaves the kids a little present on the door step. Very exciting! We enjoy our dinner together and the kids exchange their gifts to each other. This year they bought them with their own money and it was sweet to see how thoughtful they were.
We always read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. As we get to the part about the wise men, I present each child with a red, green and a gold gift. Myrrh was a cleaning agent and so the corresponding green gift represents something that is needful, which, means my kiddos usually get new underwear or socks. The red gift represents frankincense, which, like a fragrant oil, is something good for their spirit, or soul, and is usually art supplies, music or a good book. The gold gift is something that's just frivolous and fun, such as a little blingy jewelry, perfume, a treat or a fun toy. The kids get so excited about these little gifts, but it also leads to some great discussions about the meaning of Christmas.
When I was a child, my Dad always read us"Twas the Night Before Christmas" before bed, so we always finish our evening with a darling pop-up version he gave us several years ago. The kids leave a note and some cookies for Santa, along with carrots for each of the reindeer, and hopefully settle down for a good night's sleep.....