Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Chistmas Eve

It is Christmas eve morning at 4am, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a ......oh, my gosh! What in the world is that sound? It's like a dinosaur, or something hideous from the depths of a horror movie! Wait! I can almost pick out human words.....what's that?....."Mom.......I........need....a.....nebbie". Poor respiratory crisis, she was able to make it to my bedside to ask for help. And thus, our holiday began.

We (I should clarify by 'we', I mean "I") spent a leisurely morning wrapping presents in our already clean kitchen, then getting seven kids in and out of the tub so that they would be smelling pretty for all of the hugs they would be getting later. We then began our Christmas festivities with our newest favorite tradition....starting it all off by going to church. It is such a wonderful way to begin the holiday, and really places our perspective in the right place...putting our focus on the birth of Jesus, the best Christmas gift of all. Despite 6 Christmas Eve services, about 2000 chairs, and the taking of RSVPs for each, the place was PACKED. People were standing and sitting on the floor in the aisles when we finally made it there after dropping the kids off downstairs. I don't know how they did it(maybe with really big sticks), but Grandma & Lyle had somehow warded off hundreds of people to save us the last 6 seats in the building. Thank you! guys win the Christmas prize today!

Back at our house, we had a really great, relaxing time. Everything just seemed to come easily together. Great food, great family, great games, great conversation, and the most awesome Christmas lighting show outside our window. We were all so happy to see Grandpa Z arrive, who had conquered the icy Minnesota roads all the way from Duluth. The kids had taught Grandpa C how to play cribbage last weekend, so he and Auntie Erin were new additions to the tournament this year. My dad(Grandpa C) and I were paired up for the first round. After a brutal game, he beat me by one point (OR did I let him win????), and went on to play Uncle Alan, the Great Cribbage Master(GCM). Michael ended up winning the tournament, as he finally kept the lead against the GCM after playing a full 3 rounds. Congrats, Michael!

By the glow of the advent wreathe, we enjoyed a beautiful reading of the Christmas story read by Michael, Jonny, and Melissa. It was followed by a round of Christmas carols sung at the piano, and many good-bye hugs as our loved ones ventured out into the cold (and the crowd of onlookers parked in the cul-de-sac with their lights off watching the show). With the Grandparents still with us, we completed the evening with the always popular Dice Game.....though the kids really like it, it is somewhat controversial as the game ends with a "stealing round". This always leaves the potential for things to get ugly, and seems to be the opposite of what Christmas is about. Oh well.....we made it through with smiles on everyone's faces, and I think we are all still friends.

Laura made it fairly well throughout the day, needing nebs only every 3 or 4 hours. She was not quite as rambunctious as normal, but she seemed to enjoy herself with all of the relatives, and her twin cousins. She finally curled up on the couch at about 9pm, with her new Max & Ruby dolls clutched tightly to her chest. Thomas did great, keeping smiley and happy all night long(all the extra attention probably helped)...he even kept that adorable Santa hat on the entire time! At 10:30pm, all the kids headed off to bed, and it was back to ending the day the way it had started.....wrapping presents....this time til 3am!!!

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