Our actual Christmas Eve and Day were spent at our own home, with my family coming to celebrate with us. Lucas participated in his first Christmas eve program and did a great job. He knew most of the words to the songs he was supposed to sing. They had to learn 17 verses of various songs (way too much for preschoolers if you ask me). He stood up front very nicely with his hands in his pockets and was just cute as a button! Lucas also participated in a program with his preschool class (the one on Christmas eve was part of Sunday School). The preschool program was done in the church basement, was very short, but was also very cute. I'll post a picture below.
After church on Christmas Eve, we had one of Lucas' friends over to exchange gifts. It got a little chaotic with the little girls' parents, her grandparents, plus all 14 of my family members in our living room, but the kids had a lot of fun. After the friend's family left, all of the children were put to bed, and the adults attended the candlelight service (minus grandpa, who stayed home with the sleeping kiddos). The service was beautiful and relaxing. We all retired to bed quickly after it was over. One huge benefit to being attached to the church is that there is no travel time involved, and we don't have to bundle up to brave the frigid conditions!
Speaking of frigid conditions, this winter has thus far been brutally cold and snowy. We had a very white Christmas, and last week's temps were well below zero. Brrrrr...
On to Christmas Day....we started the day with letting the kids open some of their gifts, to tide them over until we had time to open more. Then it was time to get ready for church. Grace had such a pretty dress that I had found for her. When I tried to get it on her Christmas morning, she started crying and saying, "Jammies....jammies" (her word for pajamas). She had not been feeling well, and daddy couldn't bare to force her out of her "jammies". We relented, and Grace wore fuzzy pajamas to worship our newborn King. Choir sang, Lucas behaved, and all was well. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, eating, and opening more gifts. Pete's Aunt Mary joined us later in the afternoon. Dad, Mom, and Kelly's family went home that evening, and Mary stayed a few extra days. We had a lot of fun playing games (especially Lucas who was spoiled by Aunt Mer's willingness to play all day long).
Pete and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on the 27th with a very nice dinner out. Aunt Mary babysat...and even got to change a diaper! Thank you! We left for Michigan on Sunday afternoon to visit Pete's brother's family. They have three teenagers and had just purchased a Wii for Christmas. Lucas spent the entire trip playing games with his cousins who were very gracious. Pete, Grace, and I got to do a lot of relaxing, and I got to do some shopping (that's just about a perfect vacation for everyone). We stayed until Wednesday morning, then drove back in time for New Year's Eve worship.
All in all, a wonderful holiday season! Back to school tomorrow!