Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve

For most of my growing up years, we did not live by any relatives. For Christmas Eve, it was always our tradition to get together with friends. This year we invited the same group of friends that we had last year. We had Cassaundra and her two kids, Ellis and Troy, GG and Ronnie, whom we have adopted as grandparents and the Lipseys (Brenda, Luvinia and Joe---Brenda's husband Tyrone was supposed to join us, but due to mechanical problems with his truck, he got stuck in Arkansas and didn't make it---poor guy!). Jayson's brother, Joel, who lives about an hour and a half away also came with his family. Joel is in the Army and they recently found out they are going to be transferred to Colorado, so this will be their last year with us.

We started the evening with a nice dinner. Now that I am "the mom" I can truly appreciate this tradition---we always have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, which means no cooking on Christmas Day!

Ryder, Kaydence, Kassidy, Kyndall and Rustin watch Rudolph while I frantically get things ready.

The "Adult" table. Last year we had to nix the tablecloth, charger plates, candles, etc and go with paper products (for the safety of the dishes and the babies). This year, thanks in part to Rudolph, we were able to have a beautiful table :-)

The "Kid" Table

The "Kid" table with kids at it: Alec, Riley, Joe, Troy, Luvinia, Cora, Kaiya and Ellis

The quints: Kassidy, Kyndall, Ryder, Kaydence and Rustin. No charger plates or Christmas dishes for them, but they did get a Christmas Tree place card holder with their name on it. (At the end of the evening when everything was gathered up, there were exactly five broken trees---coincidence??---I think not.)

The "Adult" table with adults at it: Rachelle, Tobi, Cassaundra, GG, Ronnie, Brenda and Joel

Ronnie and Kaydence

Following dinner we did our annual reenactment of the Christmas Story from the bible and sang Christmas Carols. Everyone had a great time getting dressed up, but the nativity itself was a bit chaotic. Mary got bored of sitting in the manger after about one minute. The angels ditched their robes and the shepherds were more interested in using their canes as weapons than they were in visiting the "baby Jesus". The wise men were confused and weren't sure where to lay their gifts (cell phones as we were fresh out of gold, frankincense and myrrh) for the baby. But despite the chaos, I think everyone enjoyed it.

Alec, one of the three wise men.

Kyndall gets her halo

Angels Kaiya and Kaydence

Ryder dresses in his shepherd costume

Rustin practices Kung Fu with his shepherds crook.

Riley, trying to look wise and cool at the same time.

Angel Kassidy

Cora playing Mary

Attempting to sing "Christmas Bells are Ringing" with hand bells. First I let the older kids use the bells, but the babies were screaming so loud that nobody could hear them. Then we let the babies have a turn at the bells, and it didn't sound much better! Maybe the bells will go over better next year :-)

Group Shot of everyone on Christmas Eve

Just the girls: Brenda, Luvinia, Cassaundra, Ellis, GG, Tobi and Rachelle

Another one of our Christmas Eve traditions is that the kids all get to open one present. The present is always new pajamas. This year the boys got dinosaur jammies and the girls got ballerina jammies.

Alex, Cora, Kaydence, Rustin, Ryder, and Kassidy get ready to open their present

Rustin was so excited by the new PJ's

After the jammies are opened and put on, we take more and more and more pictures! At my house, the boys always complained about taking pictures (in fact I think the complaining has become part of the tradition) and the girls retaliated by coming up with more poses and people combinations.

The kids: Kyndall, Kaiya, Rustin, Ryder, Kaydence, Kassidy, and Riley

The kids again---getting seven kids to look good all in the same picture is nearly impossible!

My kids plus their cousins: Kyndall, Kaiya, Cora, Kassidy, Alec, Rustin, Riley, and Kaydence

The Boys: Rustin, Riley and Ryder (they are "roaring" like a dinosaur)

The Girls: Kassidy, Kaydence, Kaiya, and Kyndall

Ballerinas: Kassidy, Kaydence, Kaiya and Kyndall

Cassaundra, Ellis and Troy

Alec and Cora

Tobi and Joel

Rachelle and Jayson

Rachelle and Jayson---I don't know how, but this pose has somehow become a tradition too.

The whole family: Kaiya, Kyndall, Rachelle, Kaydence, Kassidy, Rustin, Jayson, Riley and Ryder

Another tradition: the Christmas photo-shoot always ends with a "pile" picture. With so many kids, in a few years, this one will be really painful :-)



Allison said...

Just a stranger here who reads your blog. Wanted to say I love that second to last picture of all 9 of you. Your hands and hearts are so full! Beautiful family.

Spence Ohana said...

What great Christmas traditions your family has. Beautiful photos, lovely family.

Stephanie said...

You guys are rockstars!! I dont know how you can put on such a beautiful party with so many kiddos!
I love ALL the pictures!!! The big group and the family pie up are my favorites though!!
Merry Christmas and happy New Year!!!!

Maaike van Oosterom said...

Happy New Year, Wilkinsons!

Like the others who have commented before me, I love ALL the pictures. The Wilkinson Brothers picture (roaring like dinosaurs) is great, as is the shot of the Wilkinson Ballerinas! Those little dancers certainly put some effort in their act!

I love Kyndall's expression in both pics of all 7 kids in front of the Tree. The family picture is awesome, there's one to decorate your living room with, for sure! My favourite, once again, is the Pile Picture. It's great that the quints were able to join in this year - and boy do they look like they're having fun!

I just wanted to acknowledge you, Rachelle, for your year round effort to put all these lovely pictures online. It's quite a job, so thank you!!

Best wishes,
Maaike (the Netherlands)

Laura said...

Love this post! I know I am not the only one wondering... where did you get those adorable ballerina jammies. I love how even with chaos and work you make holidays special :) It looks wonderful!

Crazy Granny said...

I wish I could have been there.

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Liza said...

Now that was seriously impressive. Putting on a part like that with 5 two-year-olds? You forever have my respect! Thanks for commenting on my blog (this is Liz Horton's niece-in-law). I went directly to your blog and was incredibly inspired. You are a wonderful (and wonderfully put together) mom--thanks for sharing!

Three Little Brown Kids said...

Love the photo traditions!

Kristen said...

I love it. Way to include other on your Christmas tradition, too. Love the ballet jammies.