After dinner we put on our Christmas pajamas and cuddled on the couch reading Christmas stories. Eventually we made our way to the TV and watched "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"...the original animated version...before putting out a treat for Santa and then heading to bed.
Christmas morning came much earlier than usual this year. Strange as it may seem, our kids don't generally wake us at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought. We tend to see the whites of their eyes closer to 8:00 or 9:00 on a typical Christmas morning. But this year Christmas was on a Sunday and we had 9:00 church. It was all I could do to get Lilian up at 6:45. The poor little thing could hardly keep her eyes open, declarations of it being CHRISTMAS MORNING, notwithstanding. It took some time but the evidence of Santa's visit eventually penetrated her brain and gave her the jolt of adrenaline she needed to fully wake. "Look Mom! I must have been on the nice list because Santa brought me a Lalaloopsy doll!!" Santa, that smart, jolly elf, also left the kids new outfits to wear to church that morning.
Oh, why can't we have Christmas on Sunday every year?! Truly, in my opinion there is no better way to celebrate Christmas than by being in church, together with our families, neighbors and friends....praising God and the birth of His Son in scripture and song. It just brings the whole day into sharper focus. By the time we sang "Silent Night" as the closing congregational hymn, the emotion that had been threatening throughout the morning, overflowed and I wasn't able to get myself pulled back together until the end of the 2nd verse. It was a beautiful meeting.
After church we changed back into our pajamas and then made German pancakes with all sorts of various yummy toppings for brunch...testing 4-year old Lilian's levels of patience with all the waiting, waiting, waiting...and then FINALLY (with Lilian just short of self-combustion) sitting down in the living room to open the presents under the tree.