Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we went to dinner with my dad and sister. My dad took us all out to Chilis. We had a delicious dinner and a nice visit. It was wonderful to spend time together.

The girls opened their Christmas jammies.

We read Luke 2 and we did luminaries. It was very cold this year, so we only did for each of us, including my sister Suzy. I included photos of them in my post about our Christmas books.

Then we headed to Alfredo's aunt's house for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. We got there before most everyone else, so we watched a movie. I took a nap which was lovely. I haven't had enough sleep in weeks, so a nap was just what I needed. Then Alfredo's cousins arrived and we visited and the kids played and I napped a little bit more.

At midnight, we ate our annual Christmas Eve dinner. For Americans like me, this seems a little strange, but it is pretty customary in many hispanic countries to gather together on Christmas Eve, have dinner around midnight and open gifts after dinner. Most/all of the celebration is on Christmas Eve. And it has worked nicely for us, because we are able to spend Christmas Eve with Alfredo's family and Christmas Day together and then with my extended family.

Alfredo's cousin Irene has a darling little girl, Ileen. The girls loved holding her and playing with her.

After dinner, it was time to open gifts. By this time, it was one in the morning, but don't let that fool you. No one is tired when there are presents to open!

Look at this cute little guy, Elias. He kept falling over on top of presents and he liked the foam from one box as much as the gifts.

The girls got robes, pajamas, slippers and sweatshirts. They were thrilled. They had asked for slippers, and I'd only bought one of them slippers, so now they all have darling slippers.

Alfredo's family has always been so kind and welcoming. His cousin Patty has two girls that are the same ages as Michelle and Ella (in fact, Michelle and Daya were born two days apart.) She also has a 1 1/2 year old son, Elias. So the girls love seeing Patty and her family.

The women always kiss me on the cheek when we come and when we leave, and it is something that seemed very foreign to me at first, but that I have become accustomed to now. Usually I shake hands with Nelson, Miguel and Oswaldo, but this year I hugged each of them and felt such tenderness for each of them. They are not religious like I am, but they are good men and they have been kind to me and to my family. I felt truly grateful that we were able to spend the evening with both my dad and sister and with Alfredo's family.

We arrived home around 2:30 A.M. and the kids went straight to bed. I had a few things left to get ready, so it was nearly an hour before I made it to bed. Good thing Santa knows not to visit our house until the wee hours of the morning!