Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve.  I love the anticipation of Christmas, I love our traditions for Christmas Eve, and I love having that time to spend as a family.

During the day, we clean and get ready and just spend the day together.  This year friends came to spend a few hours visiting with us and playing with the girls.  Then in the evening, the girls open one gift each...a pair of pajamas.  This year they talked for weeks about how excited they were for that.  I'm happy to know that even small traditions are turning into things they love and look forward to.  We usually read Luke 2, but this year we decided to watch a Life of Jesus Christ Bible video each day during December and read the verses that go along with that.  So we had read Luke 2 in its entirety a couple of times earlier in the month and watched about 6 videos about different aspects of the nativity as well as a number of videos about Christ's ministry.  So we just continued on with where we had left off and will continue to do so until we have viewed all of the New Testament videos.  It's been a meaningful way to prepare for Christmas and to bring the scriptures to life.

Then we do our annual luminaries.  We cut different holiday shapes (or other shapes) out of paper bags and add candles.  This year, we got smart since Christmas Eve is often cold and snowy here...I bought LED candles so we could just turn them on and quickly put the bags outside and not need to be in the cold for as long.  It isn't as easy to do luminaries here as it was growing up in the mild winters of Arizona, but I really love the tradition.  I love the way the house is lit up and the reminder that Christ is the light of the world.  "Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, 'I am the light of the world:  he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall  have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Michelle made a BYU luminary.  Go Cougars!
Michelle made two that said, "Feliz Navidad."
Ella showing off one of her luminaries.
I just love the light shining inside and out of my home.  I hope we live in such a way that we can have that light with us always.

The girls got cute new outfits from our friends Thomas and Liz.  They also got matching doll outfits.
Then we head to Alfredo's aunt and uncle's house.  We visit with cousins and family.  We celebrated Darla's 2nd birthday.  She is so cute and it's fun to have her birthday be part of our Christmas Eve tradition now.

At midnight, we eat our dinner.  This year, Ana made delicious chiles rellenos.  Then after we eat dinner, everyone opens gifts.  It is a gift opening bonanza.  This year my girls got lots and lots of clothes.  It's wonderful to spend this time with Alfredo's aunts, uncles and cousins.  

This year, we got home about 2 A.M. and headed to bed so Santa could come.  It was a wonderful day.  We are so very, very blessed.  I love everything about Christmas.  And this year felt especially wonderful and special somehow.