I. Love. Traditions. I love that every family group has them, whether they acknowledge them as traditions or not, as humans, we are creatures of habit. Habits make us feel safe, secure, and traditions usually derive out of. . well, we did it that way last year. So, each Christmas Eve we venture to our church's candlelight service, which always brings me to tears. The trouble with this year is that I was asked to sing with our church's new praise team group. "In Christ Alone" and "Silent night" about did me in. There was a moment in Silent Night that I literally could not get out the words because the room was lit with 500+ candles. . I was speechless. The candlelight tradition sung to Silent Night will always be one of my favorite traditions.
From there we travel across town to J's parents' house for an appetizer party. The kids dress in their finest and fanciest and dig in to a feast of finger foods. After that we take the "traditional" family photos in front of the fire. The kids then all receive one gift to open which is traditionally their Christmas PJ's.
We then head home all hyped on sugar and sheer excitement. . and the kids always check NORAD to see where Santa is on the radar. Luckily he was still in Canada so the kids had time to settle to bed.. . I tried to document as much as I could on camera.
Sweet baby girl! Now 18 months, her 2nd Christmas proved to be a delight. She really loved looking for our "elf" every morning. . when did she get so big?
This was taken "pre-pj's" and still dressed up from church. I appreciated every one's efforts to look nice for the occasion!
A quick photo with Nana and Papa. They have been so faithful to keep the tradition of hosting our annual party!
A fun moment once the some of the girls changed. . aren't they cute!
The kids are always such good sports. They know I love the tradition of getting a picture of ALL of them all ready for Santa!
M. E. and Daphne (sweet cousin) were doing handstands and flips they were so happy for Santa to come!
Sweet cousins. Poor boys, they can get lost in all those females!
It was finally time for our evening to come to an end. . Santa was coming very soon. . we rushed home and hit the sack. . and finally Not a Creature was stirring, not even a mouse! Or a Whitley!