Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Eve

I LOVE Christmas Eve. I love the traditions, the time spent with family, the feeling you get singing Christmas carols around the tree. I love the food, the preparations, the anticipation and the excitement in the kids faces. The Christmas spirit that has been building all month seems to reach it's climax on Christmas Eve.

Growing up we never lived by family, so our tradition on Christmas Eve was to invite other family-less families over. Jayson and I have continued this tradition in our own family. This year we invited GG & Ronnie, Cassaundra (with her friend Thad and her son Troy), The Lipseys (Tyrone, Brenda, Luvinia, and Joe) and The Raolinas (Yves, Sandy, Hannah, Richard, Rebekah, Marcy and Jennifer). It was the same as the group we had last year, with the addition of the Raolinas.

We started the evening with a nice dinner. Christmas is one of the few occasions where I have an excuse to pull out the candles and charger plates! I know most of my guests would be just as happy with paper products (and many had never heard of a “charger plate” before), but I love decorating and making the tables look fancy. Every year I make the same menu (the same menu that my parents still do), which consists of Swiss Chicken, rice, Festive Jello Salad, homemade rolls, some kind of vegetable and Death by Chocolate. Yum!

The "Big Kid" Table

The "Adult" Table

The "Big Kid" table with big kids eating at it

The "Little Kid" table with little kids doing everything but eating at it

The "Adult" table with adults eating at it

After dinner, we pull out bathrobes, towels, sheets and whatever else we can find to dress the kids up as shepherds, angels, wisemen, etc and we reenact the story of Christ’s birth. This year was the first year that the quints kind of understood what was going on…..which meant that all the girls fought over who got to be Mary and both the boys insisted they had to be Joseph (or “Jofus” as they pronounce it). In then end, Ryder was Joseph, Kyndall was Mary, Kassidy and Kaydence were shepherds, Kaiya was the head angel, and Riley was King Herod’s priest. We sang Christmas carols as the kids acted out the story from the bible. I don’t think we are taking our act on Broadway anytime soon, but we all enjoyed the performance!

The "Cast"

Group Shot---Everyone on Christmas Eve. I think it is amazing that we had 25 people there and everyone is looking at the camera! Something about that blinking light on those timer shots must be mesmerizing!

Kaydence, Kassidy, Kaiya, Rustin, Ryder, Riley and Kyndall

After all our guests leave, everyone gets to open one present, which is always new pj’s. Then we each choose a Christmas song to sing, starting with the youngest (Ryder) and ending with the oldest (Jayson). Next we take lots of pictures in front of the tree. Growing up, my brothers and my dad always complained about all the pictures we took, but my kids actually love it. We take pictures of just the girls, just the boys, Riley & Kaiya, timer shots of the family, and we always end with a “pile” picture. At one Christmas party I went to this season, we played a game and one of the questions was “What Christmas tradition could you not live without?” The Christmas Eve pictures in front of the tree were my answer!

The Girls

The Boys

The Quints

The Older Kids

Mom & Dad

Kaydence, Kaiya, Rustin, Ryder, Rachelle, Kassidy, Jayson, Kyndall and Riley

The Whole Family---this one was going to be a pyramid shot (as we used to do in my family growing up), but making a pyramid in 10 seconds (the length of the timer) with five three-year-olds who have no concept of what a pyramid is, turns out to be impossible!

The Pile! (Too bad Jayson didn't have the video camera running for this one, because making a pile in less than 10 seconds is pretty comical!)

Following pictures, we had our family prayer, set cookies out for Santa and headed to bed. The kids were so excited this year I thought they would NEVER fall asleep!

Stay tuned for pictures from Christmas day!



Anonymous said...

It would be nice if you would post the recipes for the Christmas Eve chicken and such. :)

Anonymous said...

Whoops!! I just realized it was link to a previous entry. I will try it this week. :) I automatically looked in your family recipe blog. :/

ktivadar said...

very cute! where did you get the santa salad plates? i love those! thanks.

Tobi said...

I'm sorry we missed Christmas Eve with you this year. It felt strange not to be at your house.

The Christmas pile picture is always my favorite.

Jeanie said...

You are incredible Rachelle!! I don't know where you get the energy!?! Everything looked beautiful. Your mom keeps that tradition going here in Arizona and her table, etc. looked beautiful too. Like mother like daughter =)