We changed our Christmas Eve traditions this year. In the past, we have always gotten pizza. Since we have started eating vegan most of the time at home, we have noticed that every time we eat pizza (which is still at least once a month), we just don’t feel too great afterward. We always wanted to do something as a family to focus more on Christ. So we decided to have a bread feast and talk about how the bread represents Christ and his atonement for us. Chad picked up three loaves of yummy bread at Panera Bread yesterday morning right around the corner from his office. We had a couple of soups (from a mix, for maximum Mom-ease), and Chad talked about Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. Then I talked about Christ’s love for us, we sang Our Savior’s Love, and had a nice candlelit dinner.
After dinner we moved onto another new tradition. We have always opened up one present on Christmas Eve, but this year we made them “Secret Santa” presents. We all drew a name of someone in our immediate family at the beginning of the month, and we became that person’s Secret Santa. It was so much fun for Chad and me to see the kids thinking up the perfect gifts for their person. Yesterday I had everyone fill out a survey about their person and we took turns reading the answers and tried to guess who the person was before they got to open their gift. The survey had a lot of questions aimed at saying nice things about each other (I am a sneaky mommy), and there were smiles all around as each one was read. Here is Colin reading his about Chad – he said so many nice things about what a fun dad and good provider Chad is. His gift to Chad was a key chain he made with the names of everyone in the family, and some truffles. I am SO happy with this new tradition – it was the best part of Christmas for me. Seeing Gabe and Ollie hug sweetly after Gabe’s kind words and thoughtful presents to Ollie, and seeing Ollie think about his little sister when he chose her name…..I get a little teary when I think of it.
After the presents we drove around to look at lights and to deliver my parents’ presents. When we got home we opened up new pajamas and took the requisite pictures. Notice the pink necklace Carina has on? Oliver made that for her and she loves it.
Then it was the nativity story and bedtime!! All the kids were asleep by 8:30.