Everyone was so excited that this day finally arrived. There is always so much excitement on Christmas Eve day. Since we had been gone skiing over the last couple of days the kids had been pretty occupied. Today everyone unpacked and just rested from our trip. The only errand I had to do was to pick up the Ham and a few items at the grocery store. I was thrilled that all of my shopping for Christmas had been done before our ski trip. Our Christmas Eve dinner was simple yet delicious. We had ham, hash brown potato casserole, deviled eggs, honey roasted carrots, Rhodes rolls, and sparkling cider. For dessert we had our own jello creations that I made this year. It had initially been intended to go with dinner but I completely forgot to bring them out so we had them for dessert instead. It was layered jello with a creamy layer in between. It was good but I think I put too much gelatin in it. The kids were bouncing their spoons on the top because it was super stiff. It looked beautiful but I think I will have to revamp that recipe so it is softer like regular jello for next time.
After dinner we left all the dishes on the table and went into the living room to have our Nativity program that we do every year. The kids got all dressed up and acted out their parts while Mike read about the Nativity from Luke. This year Abby was Mary, Andrew was Joseph and the Shepherd, Peter was all three wise men, and Emma was the Angel. Grandpa Al sent us something fun for us to use this year in our reenactment. He sent us the gifts of Christmas--gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The 24 kt gold flakes were encased in a round clear ball and the frankincense and myrrh were authentic spices. The frankincense had been harvested from boswellia trees in Oman and Yemen and the myrrh had been selected from the highest grade Arabian myrrh available. Each one came with its own ancient looking box. It was neat for the kids to use them while they reenacted the Nativity. As always, Abby was the most serious in her role. Emma and Peter got a bit silly. Afterwards we all helped to clean up dinner, ate our jello dessert, and then opened up our Christmas PJs. Then the kids and I quickly baked and decorated the sugar cookies for Santa. This year we decided on adding a new tradition of watching, "It's a Wonderful Life," before bed. We got through most of it before Abby insisted on being put to bed. So, off we all went upstairs to brush our teeth, read, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and say family prayer. After the girls were in bed the rest of us went back downstairs to finish the movie. I had forgotten what a great movie that was. We will definitely be adding that to our list of things to do on Christmas Eve.