On Christmas Eve, we had an amazing dinner of mashed potatoes and gravey, ham and green bean cassarole with Sparkling Cider on the side! It was followed with the singing of hymns and a teaching from Scott on the meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all, the Savior, Jesus Christ and how because of him we can all be saved (We had a big golden wrapped present, the biggest of all, to represent that gift and reuse it every year). We also read the nativity from the Bible.
Aftarward, we each opened a present (that was set out before-hand on our big teddy bear. All other presents hidden in our room!!!) and then set out our shoes, pointing them to a picture of Christ and said that by following him comes wonderful blessings and how the treats in the morning represent them (we put little games and toys in the shoes, with some candy each). We closed the evening with a family movie upstairs with the big projector. Once the kids were out and put to bed, all three of us (mom, hubby and I) filled the shoes pointed to Christ with toys and treats, and set out all the presents under the empty tree! It was pretty fun and exciting doing all this, especially me setting up Emilie's little tent and Scott setting up the race track!
Christmas morning, George and Emilie were so excited to see the little presents, toys and games in their shoes, and gifts from the Wisemen / Mommy and Daddy set all out. Instead of the shoes pointed to a picture of Christ though, I put out my computer in front of them with a picture of the nativity and with Christmas music playing. We let them play with the toys/games in their shoes, had breakfast, and then had present opening. Reading the Berenstain Bears book about Christmas and present giving really helped George with focusing some of the time present time with giving and getting joy from it. It was really heartwarming to see how sweet he was to Emilie, and also how he helped her during present opening. At first, present opening was pretty relaxing. The kids would open one and play with it and ignore the rest, then gradually move on to another one handed to them, or hand one to someone else at request. Eventually it did get crazy once Emilie learned about how cool present opening was, but the whole present opening experience was still awesome and we all had a lot of fun!
Scott's in the process of having family calls and videos now so we can connect with his side around the country (video calls are awesome!), and then we'll eventually have our second Christmas dinner (amazing leftovers) and probably one more family movie this evening (we've figured out classic and other Disney movies are our pick for movies on Christmas). Anyway, I'm more writing all this for posterity and to remember all what we did for next Christmas! We've had such a fun time all together with lighting the tree (aka, the tree of life), singing and playing together. Scott and I had an awesome time playing the Oregan trail card game too while George was playing with his new Tinker Toys and Emilie napping. It's been so nice and happy and pretty relaxing this Sunday (yesterday was the stressful day with trying to get the house decently clean and cooking). We wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope it's been a peaceful and happy time! Love, Mary and Family