Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve and Morning

 Friday night I sang with the Sally Bytheway Chorale at the Assembly Hall....which meant an evening viewing the incomparable and awe inspiring light display on Temple Square! Throw in a huge, standing-room only audience for the concert and tons of aunts, uncles and cousins in attendance along with all that Christmas ambiance...and you've got yourself one heck of a magical evening.

Christmas Eve was a completely relaxing day with no one to entertain and nowhere to go.  It was heavenly!  Despite the fact that it was just our little family, we still went all out for Christmas Eve dinner.  Julianne created a beautiful, festive "tablescape" and all the kids pitched in to help with the cooking.  On the menu: Roasted Salmon with Macadamia Cilantro Crust, Grilled Butter Herb Shrimp, Grilled Veggies, and Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole.  It was the most fattening dinner you can imagine but boy, was it Y-U-M-M-Y!!

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.

 When I asked Brandon if he had any Christmas ideas for Julianne, he surprised me by saying that he actually did!  He knows that his older sister is a little bit obsessed with any and all things french right now and thought it would be fun to get her a "chocolate Eiffel Tower."  I squashed his excitement a bit by telling him that a chocolate Eiffel Tower might be hard to come by.  All the same, I typed "Chocolate Eiffel Tower" into a google search and to my surprise, found Eiffel Tower candy molds on Amazon.  I ordered them and Bryan helped Brandon make 6 Eiffel Tower chocolate suckers while Julianne was away one evening.  She was completely surprised and touched when she opened Brandon's gift Christmas morning.

1 comment:

Jewels said...

I loved going to church, too. A couple of my kids weren't too thrilled, but it turned out so nice. I thought that taking the sacrament was especially meaningful on Christmas day. Glad you had such a lovely day. (The tablescape was gorgeous, my compliments to your daughter.)