Saturday, December 26, 2009

the night before christmas

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days. It is full of traditions. And of course, there is nothing that compares to the magic and excitement of children on Christmas Eve.

In the afternoon, we took the girls to see Princess & The Frog, and then went to Grandma and Grandpa Croney's for our traditional Christmas Eve party.

Each year we enjoy soup for dinner, after which the kids go in one room to play games and exchange small gifts (organized by the oldest cousins), while the adults exchange white elephants in another room in a heated game of "spoons". It gets pretty funny!

Shawn was really loving his new hat, and was especially happy with Kelsey's gift. . . but the best part of the night was definitely Matt and Kerri's gift. Earlier that evening, Courtney, AJ, and Shawn had sneaked outside and removed the tire off from their van, and then had placed it into a box and wrapped it up as one of the white elephants.
In what may have been a bit of a set-up, Matt ended up with the tire. We all laughed and laughed when they realized it was off their van.

After all of the raucous of the gift exchange, everyone settles down to act out the nativity. This year, Carson was Joseph and Ryenne was Mary. Keeping with tradition, Bop played the donkey.

The Stosich boys sang a rousing rendition of "When Joseph Went To Bethlehem".

(Oh! And we can't forget. . .Emmy lost her very first tooth on Christmas Eve! Boy, was she so excited when Uncle AJ pulled it out!)

During the nativity, I captured Ryenne deep in thought. I loved watching her face, and something about the way she was sitting there made me think of how she looked when she was a bit younger. I had to sneak a few pictures. . .

Following the nativity, we passed out the Christmas pj's (another favorite Christmas Eve tradition). Although I didn't get any pictures of the pj's, it is always pretty fun to see the excitement in the kids eyes as they show off their new attire and realize that the time is finally here! Pretty soon we will head home so they can set out the cookies and milk, make sure the chimney is clear, toss food out for the reindeer, and snuggle into bed. . .
It's almost Christmas!

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