Monday, December 26, 2022

Christmas Eve 2022

We set up our tree in early December, but left it undecorated until Christmas Eve in order to (1) get Phoebe acclimated to the idea of having a tree in the middle of the living room, and (2) to prevent her from mucking with a decorated tree. It worked pretty well! The kids got to enjoy having the tree—and lights—up all month and I did't spend the whole month stressing out about the tree.


We had a wonderful time decorating the tree yesterday. Everyone always seems to have fun going through the ornaments, sifting through for their favourite (usually a trigger for a memory). Here's Phoebe admiring her cute, little baby self:

Here's Miriam laughing at Phoebe, probably for kissing the picture of herself:

Phoebe loves kissing everything these days—books, stuffed animals, the cat, her family. 

Here's Zoë looking for an empty branch:

And here's Rachel putting a star (such as it is) on the top of the tree:

Here's Benjamin putting up a star (though he spent most of his time hunting down a little scorpion ornament):

Here are these sweet girls, Miriam and Phoebe):

"Which one should I put on the tree first? This or this?"

This little Christmas elf was the sweetest little tree decorator:

Here's Phoebe working on some top branches with Daddy:

And here's everyone humouring me by posing next to the tree:

In the evening, after a lovely dinner of latkes and beef stew (made by Andrew, who has been a busy chef the past few days), we convened in the music room to read and reenact the story of the nativity.

Rachel played the role of a shepherd and King Herod:

Miriam, our angel for the past several years, gave up that role in order to play a shepherd and a wiseman:

Benjamin played the part of the angel instead:

The kids suggested that Phoebe could play the role of Mary (since she loves holding and kissing baby dolls), but Zoë was not a fan of that idea, so she reprised as Mary. Alexander played the part of Joseph:

Zoë insisted on a complete delivery inside the stable:

Alexander was a very reverent Joseph:

Here's Phoebe, who was a less-than-reverent scene-crasher at every opportunity, plowing into the shepherds:

Here's Miriam and Alexander again:

Benjamin made an excellent angel, cutting off Andrew's narration to speak his lines, "Don't be afraid, guys! For I have some really great news!" 

So Andrew continued reading, "Ahem. And the angel said unto them, Don't be afraid, guys! For I have some really great news!" replacing the KJV with little paraphrases whenever Benjamin (or any of the other children) offered one.

Here are Rachel and Miriam acting sore afraid:

Here's the holy family waiting for the wisemen to visit:

Here are the kids smelling the frankincense and myrrh:

Here's the whole crew:

Phoebe decided that Grandpa can be her friend now (this is a very new development). It could be because he let her flip through a library book (when everyone else just takes them away), or it could be that he had a few opportunities to pass her some bites of food, or it could be that she's finally decided to expand her bubble.

Speaking of food, here's Zoë and Alexander getting into the cookies and fudge Rachel made:

And here's Phoebe, who went over to Grandpa and asked him to hold her (shocking, I know):

After dessert, we opened up some Christmas jammies, and then sent the five older kids over to Grandpa's house to spend the night.

Grandpa had been having terrible flashbacks to Christmas 2009, when Christmas fell on a Friday and Andrew let Rachel open presents before going to church...and then told her she had to leave behind her presents so we could go to church. She screamed the whole way to church!

In an effort to avoid such a situation, Grandpa invited the children to his house for a safe haven. They could spend the night, tune in to Zoom sacrament meeting, and then head back home where all their presents would be waiting for them. 

It was a great plan!

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