Whew! Christmas Eve was a busy but very fun day. Luckily, I had been smart enough to do a little bit of food prep all week long. And thank goodness for a second fridge to store prepared food in! I think we may have started a new tradition of going out to lunch that day. We went out to run last minute errands and to drop off secret Santa stuff for a family that some friends of ours' were helping out. While we were out, Cody had the idea to grab some lunch. We ate at Rumbie Island Grill (or Grumbies, as Lauren calls it). Cody and I had the most amazing Caribbean chicken salds, while Ethan had a yummy looking cheeseburger and the girls had macaronni and cheese. Devin had chicken dippers, which he mainly just played with because he wasn't feeling well. I am in love with and addicted to their sweet potato fries and I all but finished off our giant order by myself.
The late afternoon was spent finishing up our dinner and getting stuff for cookies ready. While I was busy in the kitchen, Lauren crashed on the couch. That made for a VERY fun and long night of her bouncing off the walls until close to midnight. Love those late afternoon naps! Dad, Ethan, and Hailey played game after game of Uno while I finished up food, and Devin kept me company in his highchair while snacking on fruit puffs and gold fish. Dinner was delicious and we had all the fixins. Ham, funeral potatoes, cranberry Jello salad which sadly didn't set up, broccoli crud, green bean casserole, cream corn casserole, rolls, sparkling grape juice, and pumpkin pie for dessert (but we were way to full to eat any of it that night).
Next it was time to read and act out the Nativity story. I'm glad we had spent so much time earlier in the week talking about the real Christmas story, because our reenactment that night was pretty funny and irreverent. On the way home from lunch, the kids brainstormed and planned out who would play what character. Lauren was Mary, Ethan was a wiseman, Dad was Joseph, Mom was the angel, Devin was a shepard (in theory, but he was pretty naughty the whole time) and out of everything, all Hailey wanted to be was the donkey. She loved having Lauren ride around on her back.
Then we hurried to make snowman cookies for Santa. The actual cookies had already been baked the day before, so all we lacked was the decorating part. I heard through the grapevine that Santa loves snowman cookies the most, and Mom loves that decorating them is very easy.
Devin was being so naughty and cranky so we put him to bed early. Then Hailey had the pleasure of opening our 2010 Christmas book, which was "Frosty the Snowman". It's a version that I had when I was a kid, and when I happened upon it at Barnes and Noble I about cried because it brought back to many childhood memories. The kids really liked it too and I'm happy that we now have it in our Christmas book collection.
Dad read "The Night Before Christmas" and Hailey had fun saying most of the poem before he got to those parts. Her class learned it at school this year and she has most of it memorized. Then it was off to bed for the kids so Mom and Dad could finish getting the house ready for Santa to come. As I said before, Lauren was super hyper and didn't fall asleep until close to midnight. The older kids weren't much earlier than she was!