Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

Mom baked and cooked all throughout Christmas Eve. We put on some Christmas music and went to town. I'm not really sure what I did, except for finding her the ingredients and cooking utensils she needed. Plus, I got the neighbor gifts ready to deliver. And discovered the pipe problem. And did some cleaning up and set the table. But really, Mom did all the work.

Friends and neighbors were dropping by throughout the day, delivering treats and tiny gifts -- it was so festive!

Eva tasting the fruits of her labors -- or doing a little "poison control", as we call it in our family.

We had a lovely dinner by candlelight -- beef tenderloin with blue cheese which was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. (I opted not to post a photo, however, because in the picture it came off as being distastefully carnivorous.)

spinach/raspberry/macadamia nut salad -- delicious, and the colors are so Christmasy!

crab-stuffed potatoes (normally we do twice-baked, but Mom discovered a shortcut that tastes just as good and is twice as easy!)

butternut squash with fresh sage, blue cheese, and bread crumbs (I will definitely be making this one again)

After dinner, we moved to the family room and sat around the Christmas tree. Max played Christmas songs on the cello and we sang along.

Marc read the story of the Nativity from Luke, and then we watched a Church DVD about Mary and Joseph and Christ's birth.

Eva watching with rapt attention

After the DVD, we talked about how the Savior has given us everything. The earth, and everything therein, our families, our very lives. What can we give to him? A changed heart, a desire to help others, compassion, love, obedience.

We got out our little boxes and wrote down our gifts to the Savior for the coming year. I am so excited about this tradition! Ever since we started two years ago, it has really made a positive impact on my life. I was telling my family that I have thought of the things I wrote down and put inside my box literally hundreds of times. It influences my actions for the better when I remember a specific way in which I am trying to be more like him. I hope eventually the same will happen for my children.


We had chocolate cheesecake with ganache topping, and then the children went to bed and we started working on stockings, one of my favorite parts of Christmas! Stockings are so fun.

mine, courtesy of Mom

Max's

Lucas's

Eva's

I guess I forgot to take pictures of Marc's and Mom and Dad's. I feel a bit magical being up when everyone else is in bed, making the magic happen and snapping photos. I was a little reluctant to go to bed! It was a very festive Christmas Eve.

I'm always amazed at how full the tree is when everything is finally wrapped! (not to mention sent by Grandma and other loved ones far away...)

15 comments:

Jill said...

Oh my, I'm jealous of all your amazing holiday food and your wonderfully, plump stockings! The stuff in my stocking was always my favorite part of Christmas, but my mom doesn't do them anymore. Randy kind of does for me, but not like this.

I'm glad you had such a magical, family-filled Christmas!

shannon said...

Everything looks so festive! I must have the recipes for the crab stuffed mashed potatoes and macadamia nut salad. That was so pretty!
The awesome thing about having Susan for a mom is that you get fabulous stocking stuffers like Ribbon! So lucky!

Natasha said...

That feast looks downright heavenly!
I love the tradition you started 2 years ago too - I remember when I 1st read about it on your blog.

I'm with Shannon - we need the recipe for the salad and potatoes!!

April said...

Isn't the Church's DVD just wonderful?

I loved that you took a picture of the full stockings...my favorite part of Christmas...I will have to do that next year.

And I so wish I had remembered about the red boxes...I need to start that tradition next year for sure. I think it's absolutely inspired.

patsy said...

we did that tradtion growing up- love it!

what a gREAT Christmas - I am wondering if your mom would adopt me? I am really nice...

The dinner & all the festivities look truly magical-through the photos. I love the stockings- oh so much fun.

I don't know why, but I'm dying to know... what did Eva ask for/get for Christmas? she is the perfect age (every age is the perfect age) for Christmas!

lelly said...

your Christmas Eve dinner photos are magical!

i love stockings, too. a treasured memory of mine is the year we realized that my parents stockings were never filled. my sister and i saved up our babysitting pennies, walked to the Colonial Drug Store and stocked up on gum, mints, nail files, etc. i still remember sneaking down the stairs to fill the stockings. my parents were thrilled!!

rmt said...

Your posts are always so nice to read. Your photos are beautiful, and I'm glad that you had a joyous Christmas Eve!

Amy said...

Your food was GORGEOUS! I seriously want to make & eat with you some day. Seriously.

Barb said...

Your food was beautiful! Your whole Christmas was beautiful!

Hannah said...

Your house seems so magical this time of year. So festive and bright. I am so happy your parents were able to come out and add that much more to the Christmas spirit. Your menu sounds delightful!

Laurie said...

Delightful photos from your Christmas celebrations, including your beautiful neighbor gifts (beautiful to me who has not pulled off neighbor gifts for the second year in a row).

I thought this year was especially magical and festive as well. Ahh...the gift to Jesus - we have done this every year since I was a baby and I am still thinking about what my gift will be this year!

Laurie said...

Delightful photos from your Christmas celebrations, including your beautiful neighbor gifts (beautiful to me who has not pulled off neighbor gifts for the second year in a row).

I thought this year was especially magical and festive as well. Ahh...the gift to Jesus - we have done this every year since I was a baby and I am still thinking about what my gift will be this year!

Susan said...

I just love reviewing the whole thing again and feel sad that as Denise says, "last week at this time we were....."

Good memories to be saved. Thanks.

carlo said...

oh what great pics! the food at your gatherings. THE FOOD...oh to visit your house.

stockings are one of my favorite things to fill and to open. our little tradition is that everyone puts a little something in, as well as the usual parents filling/santa small gifties.

fun, fun.

carlo said...

ok, really. the red boxes? such a fantastic idea. i must do it next year.

my "next year" file is getting filled with wonderful, thoughtful ideas. i love that!

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