Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Kind of stinks having to miss all the traditions at home for this day! Growing up I think Christmas Eve became an absolute favorite of ours. My momma makes every hoursderve in the book and a million Christmas candies and we have feast. Usually my parents bought us a new movie and we’d all enjoy cramming into the family room to watch a movie. And, if you have never watched a movie with ALL my family you have totally missed out! Let’s just say it can be quite eventful and very funny. Then we play games forever, eating all the time, of course. Mom would usually be scurrying around stuffing all the stockings with gifts and candy! Our stockings were always the favorite and were full of our prized items. We always got our favorite makeup, jewelry, perfume, and sometimes gift cards. Since I was little my Momma wrapped all the stocking stuffers in white tissue paper with red ribbons. It’s a tradition and something I have loved to do for our little family too. As we got older we helped her sort out everyone’s tissue wrapped gifts and stuff the stockings together.
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Christmas morning was always a joyful morning in our home. It was full of hubbub and utter excitement. Imagine 9 siblings plus several spouses and add our little ones and it became a day of absolute memories. Even growing up the rule was that we had to wait for Dad to be done taking a shower, devotions, etc. I remember even as a teen wandering by the bathroom door wishing he would just hurry it up. My older sister was the worst---she is like a little kid when it comes to presents (giving is her love language though, so I think that contributes to it). Staying in our pjs was a favorite of mine and we didn’t have to wait for everyone to be dressed, showered, and makeup on.  Once dad was finally downstairs my mom would have really yummy quiches, fruit salad, and danishes out for breakfast. These were things we didn’t get throughout the year due to cost, so this was a special breakfast. Dad would begin by reading the story in Luke 2 and it was always fun to go around the room thanking our Savior for at least one thing from the year/day. We would always sing “Joy to the World” and a few other carols before beginning the gift marathon.
My Grandmother made all our stockings and they are extra special to us, but when momma filled them and handed them out Christmas morning that was the biggest treat. After our stockings we would hit the gifts one at a time. I never understood these people who would just have a pile for each kid and they could just unwrap all at the same time. That takes the fun out of enjoying each gift for each person. Nonetheless we would all watch each person open one and then dad would find another for each and we would do it that way. It takes FOREVER! But, it is so much fun! Usually we would take a break around 10 and eat leftover hourderves from the Christmas Eve celebration, pick up our pile of loot and run to our rooms, and tidy up a bit. Then, we would hit the pile again. Since we were little we have always chosen names as kids. This has helped throughout the years as incomes have been tight and such. It also eliminated feeling awful if one couldn’t buy something for everyone. So, all us kids still pick names and we LOVE it. I am excited to see Paul open his gifts from me via skype tomorrow. Brian picked Sarah and we got a little creative with her gift too!
Cannot wait to have our own Christmas celebration when we get home! Plus, I cannot wait to give my hubby his gifts!!!
It’s the little things I miss the most! Guess I just miss my family, and holidays make the missing hurt so much more. I am thankful we got to come be with Brian’s family for the holiday though and we are having fun together.
This Christmas season has been a time that I have had to just look at all that my gracious, loving God has given to me. My sweet Savior came to earth for me and seems like tears flood my eyes when I even begin to think about that in itself. What an overwhelming sacrifice He endured for me. Makes for missing family and Christmas traditions to be so minimal and pathetic to complain about missing when I think of the Birth of our Savior.
So, as you go through the next few days forget about the presents and busy hubbub of holiday shopping, sales, and worthless parts, and focus on the true reason and hope we have daily in the friendship of a KING!
Merry Christmas to your family from ours!
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