Our Christmas Eve is always such a treat!! The kids are SO excited, and we even have some traditions! (I am somewhat of an anti-traditionalist, so that is big for me!) We LOVED our tree that we chopped down, and it has stayed fresh and pretty. It always looks so pretty, with the wrapped gifts ready and waiting.
We actually found a Christmas bargain - another thing that I don't do very often. I suppose it is because I don't shop much, and don't enjoy shopping. You have to look for bargains or shop often to find the good deals. They don't just fall from the sky into the kitchen - to bad for me! ANYWAY, Nate and I were at the mall (side note - my 10 year old informed me, when we went to the mall the day after Christmas to exchange something, that it was the 2nd time she had ever been to the mall...any mall! You know, I actually feel ok about that - again, I am not a shopper!) Back to the story, Nate and I were shopping for jammies - I had a GAP gift card, hence, the mall - and we decided to walk down to Macey's. There were some stocking holders that sit on the mantle, and they were 60% off the price. Price rang on the sign was $15 - $600 for everything on the rack. I have been wanting to get stocking holders, but they are ridiculously expensive. SO, big sale. Problem - no price tag. 60% off what? We asked a passing worker. She told us that the person setting up the display had thrown away the boxes, and the boxes had the barcode for the price. 45 minutes later, a different cashier had called two different stores trying to find out how much the holders cost, but the other stores didn't know. Finally a manager made an executive decision - she said they are $15. Then we got 60% off that. THEN there was a 20% off coupon for any transaction over $20. SO, we got the holders for $4.80 each. We bought 7 instead of just 2 or 3, which I had originally planned. I thought we might just buy a few a year, and build up. It was a fun deal to find!
We have the tradition (non-original tradition - everyone does this!) of opening jammies on Christmas eve. Even though the kids know it's coming, they still get excited! (Actually found a great deal on jammies this year too - The Children's Place had jammies on sale for $8 the day after Thanksgiving, and then everything in the store was an additional 20% off that day. Cool!) The stripes look very "Who from Whoville" look. Pretty cute! We also open a Christmas book and read it, read the nativity story from the Bible, and open a family game to play. This year we got a CD "Deal or No Deal" game. It was hilarious! We played boys against girls, and the boys won both times. What's up with that?
On Christmas morning the kids woke up about 8 am. Jas had brought his cello upstairs the night before, and played Christmas songs. The other kids sang along - what a fun thing to wake up too!
Cameron's favorite spot was on the pillow - it's always his preferred spot. He assured us that he would roll out of bed when Grandpa got here - he hoped it would take a while.
Opening gifts is so much fun with the kids! They get SO excited for each gift, and even MORE excited for what everyone else opens! The last gift this year was from grandpa. A ping pong table. We have already had a blast playing around with it - Derek and Andi are even getting the hang of it, and I played and beat both Cameron and Jason. Nate has assured me that he will skunk me when we have our own personal tournament ...Dream on dude! (Notice that I haven't made the time for the all important game yet...)
The best thing about this time of year is that we have time together! Nate worked two days last week and three this week. We have played games, relaxed, gone sledding, and finished off some projects. Oh, and we have sat around and watched some movies together. I love that we can just take some time doing nothing much! It is truly relaxing!