Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Eve

We spent the morning cleaning the house and chilling in our pyjamas. I know this because that's what my friend Crystal did and when she sent me a photo of her kids doing just that I wrote back, "That's what we're doing, too!" 

I also know that when the Rogersons stopped by with cookies Andrew and I were still in pyjamas (but the kids had all changed at that point). 

But soon Andrew's whereabouts escapes my memory of the day. Neither of us can remember where he was. I honestly think it's possible he went to campus to work (because he's been making an index for his professor's book, which was more time-consuming than either of them thought it would be, and that was due to the publisher on Friday so I really think he spent part of Saturday at campus doing his own work...but I can't remember), but he went in on Friday (and took both their girls because accompanying Daddy to campus and sitting in a corner of his office reading quietly is their idea of a good time—party hardy). He could also have been out grocery shopping but I think he did that earlier because we dug into the veggie tray on Christmas Eve and I distinctly remember deciding to leave it on the counter overnight (minus the dip) because there was no room for it in the inn fridge. 

He could have been out last-minute Christmas shopping, but he wasn't. We didn't set foot in a store this holiday season: no Target, no Wal-Mart, no anywhere. The only reason we went to the mall was so that Rachel could sing with her choir (I first typed that out as "quire, "which I thought was an interesting typo because...what?). We did a bit of online shopping—Amazon and Craigslist—but mostly I'd collected things at Trading Tables and other hand-me-down sources (like, Rachel's friend Elijah's mom gave us a cute set of Dr. Seuss books and a Thomas the Train blanket last month, so I set them aside for Benjamin). 

So I don't know where Andrew disappeared to. But he was not home. I know this because the kids and I made some Christmas ornaments out of polymer clay in the afternoon, along with some spare pieces for Settlers of Catan—as a gift for Andrew (it was pretty funny when he opened that present because it took a few minutes for him to recognize their significance; knowing they were homemade but unsure of what they were he decided to tread carefully and was like, "Wow. They'! Settlers pieces! Awesome!").

Here's a nativity ornament that I made:

A Santa that Rachel made:

And some milk and cookies that Miriam made:

Benjamin made a little cat (that Rachel thought was just a blob of mixed-colour clay so she smashed it up and used it as the back of a yoda ornament she made, but then felt bad about that and refashioned a cat out of it) but I didn't take a picture of that, apparently.

Andrew came home from wherever he'd been (I'm leaning toward grocery shopping again now because I think that he only picked up a veggie tray on Friday and did the rest of the shopping on Saturday) shortly after we took our ornaments out to cool.

I'm fairly sure we played some games together, I'm sure (this is what I get for writing about things a week after they happen), and then we had the kids open some new pyjamas (from Grandma and Grandpa) before having them all take their traditional Saturday-night baths. Here they are all jammed up:

After reading a chapter from The Book of Mormon (to keep us on track to finish by the end of the year—which we did!! We read the very last chapter last night!) we acted out the nativity. Zoë was Mary, Benjamin was Joseph, Miriam was the angel, Rachel was King Herod and the donkey and helped me act out the shepherds and wisemen. Andrew was the narrator.

Jesus was played by two baby dolls because Zoë couldn't make up her mind.

Here's our lovely angel—she knew most of her lines by heart somehow (it's like she rehearsed):

Here's Rachel the donkey giving Zoë/Mary a ride on her back:

Here are the shepherds with their little sheep (and Mary because she couldn't ever remember where she was supposed to stand):

Here's Rachel on the floor being sore afraid:

And here's Joseph and Mary swinging by the pyramids:

I don't know where other families stop when they reenact the nativity, but we like to deposit the Holy Family safe and sound in Egypt.

After the nativity we sang carols around the tree, accompanied by Andrew at the piano. The girls also took turns playing the pieces they learned this month. Miriam played Deck the Halls and Rachel played Jingle Bells. Then we settled in to watch It's a Wonderful Life together, as any good Heiss would on Christmas Eve.

Oh, and I took a picture of Miriam with a LEGO Christmas scene she'd created (and which Zoë was intent on destroying):

I also took a picture of our nativity because when I saw it in the background of Miriam's picture it made me laugh:

George Washington was added by Benjamin several weeks ago. The abominable snow monster was put up high (as a punishment) after Benjamin threw him at one of his sisters. It made for a rather eclectic nativity scene, I think, but I suppose that since we believe that we have a duty to "preach the gospel to every creature" so that "every knee [may] bow and every tongue confess...that he is God," it is fitting to have them up there.

When I went in to sing a bedtime song for Benjamin he wanted me to sing Could I Hold the Baby? for him, but unfortunately I don't know that song very well so he ended up singing it for me, which was really quite a treat. The primary sang it a couple of weeks ago during sacrament meeting. In the past Benjamin has refused to sing with the kids (once he wouldn't go up at all and the second time he went up but wouldn't sing) but this time I caught him by the arm and whispered fiercely, "I expect you to sing up there—got it?" he nodded and went up and sang his little heart out. I don't know if it was because I used my mom-voice or if it was because he loved the song, but I was happy that he sang with the primary.

I was even more happy to have him sing a bedtime song to me for once.


  1. Our primary children also love "Could I hold the baby?" It is a great little song.