There's only one more sleep 'til Christmas.
I was remembering how excited the girls used to be on Christmas Eve. They would always have to sleep together that night, which meant no one got much sleep.
To be honest, I don't remember a lot about the gifts that Santa left.
There was the year of the d@#! Barbie Dream House. (I'm sorry. I think that is the only way the Mr. ever referred to it.) We finally got the thing assembled at about 4:00 in the morning, only to have K and L wake us at 5:00.
There was the year that K got a karaoke machine, and L got an American Girl Doll. And the year of the Nintendo, when we hustled them off to bed at about 9:00 and played Super Mario until 1:00 in the morning. (Yeah, we were those parents.)
These days it is less about the gifts and more about the family traditions: rum slush, breakfast on china, poinsettias (champagne and cranberry juice), card games, Christmas Eve service at church, and movies. Some years we've foregone gifts and taken a trip together. Last year we got snowed out of a trip and still managed to have a great time.
This year, the new son-in-law isn't fortunate enough to have the educator vacation, so there is no time for a trip. We have drawn names, so there was a bit of shopping to do and we have a few things under the tree. Our celebration is still about the traditions. K is even insisting that she and CT spend the night. (They live about 10 blocks away now.) She wants to keep alive the tradition of waking up at our house on Christmas morning. In a few years, there is a good chance that she will be making sure her own little one is at home on Christmas morning. Until then, it is still fun to be together.
I miss the little girls at Christmas, but I like the big ones, too. I especially like the fact that I can't remember the gifts, but I do remember the time we've spent together. And that's one lesson learned that I never want to forget.
Tonight? The Mr., L, and I will attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service. There will be communion and passing the light. There will be candles forming a ring all the way around our beautiful new church. K and CT will be coming in later in the evening after spending a couple of days with his family.
Tomorrow? An early morning run with K, breakfast casserole served on china, presents, and games. We'll light the Advent candles. We'll cook and eat and try to beat CT at cards. The dogs will need walked, and I'm pretty sure there will be naps in there somewhere.
So from our house to yours: May you have a very Merry Christmas, full of all of the things that you love!