We ended the season of Advent last night with candles blazing and a Christmas Eve service at church. Gabriel brought the tambourine along to celebrate and got permission to play during “Joy to the World”. Due to the arrival of a new trampoline from grandparents and an hour or more of jumping, three of the five children fell asleep in the service, including Gabriel. The advantage of being a small church was felt once he woke up. We sang the song again so he could play, which he did wholeheartedly. Isaac read the second reading and Stephen lit the Christ candle.
I have always heard stories of children waking their parents at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning to open presents. Somehow we have managed to escape this tradition. When they were little they just got up and played until we got up. Now that they are older they have taken on the responsibility of fixing our Christmas breakfast–monkey bread. I set things out the night before and they cut and roll the biscuits. When I get up I melt the butter and brown sugar and stick it in the oven and then we open stockings while it bakes.
This year stockings took on more specific interests for the older children–tools for Jack, materials for science experiments for Isaac and Stephen, craft things for Gabriel, as well as the usual treats.
After breakfast we opened presents. Legos, books, puzzles, games, and art supplies for the children along with a tricycle for Sebastian, and books, movies, and music for the adults. An advantage to being back in Alabama is a Christmas afternoon visit from Mike and Kathy. The boys enjoyed giving a demonstration of their new things. The rest of the day has been spent reading, building, playing, and jumping on the trampoline.