In our family, Christmas actually starts on the 23rd with our Christmas Eve Eve celebration. Growing up, we always celebrated Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family. In recent years, we have changed the date to the 23rd so that more people can come. I love it that we can make it every year (we switch off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our families) and because it stretches the celebration into three days.
A lot of the married grand kids came home this year which brought our total to something like 41 people! We had our traditional chili dinner and everybody pitched in with the food. My super organized grandmother sent out an email a couple of weeks before hand giving everybody their assignments. My favorite part of the email was where she totaled up the people and then said, "So, Darrel (my uncle hosting) that will be thirty five people needing chairs. Let us know if you need anybody to bring some." 35 chairs, like it's no big deal. Who has thirty five chairs laying around? It's like hosting a church party.
Of those 41 people, 21 were children 10 and under. Darrel and Holly are such accommodating hosts and we were all grateful to them for inviting us into their home. They have six kids of their own, so it's very kid friendly and my kids love going there. We ate dinner, had a program where each family had a chance to sing a song, share a thought, or perform something. We then played games and ended the evening with the big Seahawks game playing that Darrel had recorded and visiting. It was a really nice night.
Mallory and I's kids were going to sing a song, but Little Man had a hard time holding it together and kept on bursting out laughing which got his sister started (poor Annablle was trying so hard to sing). He used to love performing, but is starting to get to the age where he feels self conscious about things. Mallory and I did not plan Josh and Mason's outfits (baby Issac was also matching). Completely on our own without ever talking about it, we had went to Fred Meyer and picked out the exact same Christmas outfits for our boys!
Uncle Doug cheering and representing his team as a tree at the same time.
Sweet Paula is such a good sport.
All the trees lined up.
One of my many unsuccessful attempts to get an almost impossible shot of all the little kids on the couch.
When we left at nearly 9:30 it was snowing a little bit outside which only added to the excitement and magic of our first day of Christmas. As we drove home down the same highway my parents used to drive us home on when I was a kid from Christmas Eve I had one of those full circle moments. I remember how excited my siblings and I would be on that drive home listening to Christmas music, cozy and wam in our van and as I glanced back at my three children, I felt so grateful that they will hopefully have some of the same memories.