Christmas Eve – such a magical day of anticipation. We have gotten into an accidental (and wonderful) tradition of spending Christmas Eve day with Jordan’s parents at their home. My father-in-law is a youth minister at a church, so he has to work the evening for the services. So instead of getting together in the evening, we get together during the day. Its nice to be able to spend all day at their home, playing with the babies and eating food and just relaxing together.
This year we enjoyed a wonderful crab and fish lunch cooked by Beth. We also happened to sit down to eat while BOTH babies were down for naps – a true aligning of the planets. The food just tasted all that sweeter because it was warm and enjoyed together, instead of in shifts.
We enjoy playing board games as a family, though there are lots of “pauses” and “timeouts” because of the rugrats. Typically, we play a mostly-friendly game of Monopoly. This year, I begrudgingly got second place, while my wonderful property-baron husband had the luckiest roll streak ever and came away with the win.
After the thrilling conclusion of our game, we were headed off to the Christmas Eve service at church. Jaylee, however, did not want to leave her Grams. So after a quick discussion, we decided to grant her a Christmas Eve wish and let her stay with her Grams all evening. She just loves being the center of attention and getting her every desire, which she definitely gets anytime she’s with Beth. I missed her during the rest of the evening, but I knew that she was so much happier staying there and bossing Beth around. So off to the Christmas Eve service we went, minus one 2-year-old.
While at service, Jax got hungry and needed to nurse. I’ve become pretty good at nursing in public places while remaining discreet. And while I was feeding my baby in the service, I realized that Mary spent that first “Silent Night” doing the exact same thing. After becoming a mom myself, I definitely look on that first Christmas night with completely different eyes, and I have a newfound respect for Mary and Joseph.
After the church service, we headed over to my sister’s mother-in-law’s home. Betsy and Joe are kind enough to host a Christmas Eve game-playing and kazoo-shenanigan at their home every year. Last year, we had to leave early due to Jaylee’s bedtime. But this year, we were able to put Jax down to bed in a pack-n-play and stay to enjoy games with the adults. Games with this crew are always a bit wild and unusual. We played a strange charades game, a round of “guess the Christmas song” with the music of recorders and kazoos, and a hilarious game of something like dictionary telephone. There were so many great, quotable moments. The only one I can remember at the moment is something about dipping your Rubik’s Cube in milk.
After we left Betsy and Joe’s, we came home and finished up last minute Christmas preparations. We didn’t have any big presents to set out since we did those in other ways this year, but we did get to stuff some stockings.
And I got to fall asleep looking at both my sweet sleeping babies on the video monitor, and reflecting on how very blessed we are. There have been a lot of difficult things this year, and we still have some major hurdles coming up. But overall, life is truly beautiful. We have been extremely blessed.