Tradition. I love it.
When holidays roll around I feel like Topol from Fiddler on the Rood dancing around and singing.
My family has a Christmas Eve/Christmas Day tradition that we've been doing since I was very young. It has evolved through the years, like when we moved away from Montana and family, and has been introduced to new traditions from Jeff's family since we've been married.
But there's nothing quite like being with your family and sharing again in your traditions, you know?
So Christmas Eve we always go to the children's mass. It is an earlier mass, the message is fun and light-hearted, and it is incredibly fun to see all the little kids dressed up and just barely (or not at all) holding it together with all the Christmas excitement around them.
My Dad and I usually try to pick out our favorite outfit (this year a newborn in a full on Santa outfit complete with pom pom booties and a hat won) and we sing loud and proud.
After church we have dinner. We used to go out for pizza, but that's now changed and we had a nice brisket dinner with homemade macaroni and cheese and lots of other goodies. Our good friends come over and we do a white elephant gift exchange that gets crazier each year.
Good times I tell ya.
After that the kids get in their jammies and we drive around looking at Christmas lights.
Then it is home, they get to open one present under the tree and then the kids are shooed off to bed so Santa can make his magical entrance.
I love this time of year.
All dressed up for church.
Gibby had started to come down with the ickies on Christmas Eve, so we let him stay at home and sleep. My mom gladly watched him so she could finish getting things for dinner ready.
My Dad aka parishioner of the entire mass. He's such a goof. He boasts about getting an award for singing so nicely during the mass. Caderyn's face says it all.
I'm not sure what happened to our tree in this picture but it looks awesome.
The first recipient of the robot slippers (and two gift cards to sweeten the deal).
Other gifts included: "donut seeds" and a Dunkin Donuts gift card, an incredibly annoying noise maker, a wallet ninja, coffee mugs and a Starbucks gift card, a garden decoration of Godzilla attacking garden gnomes, the fancy solo cup glasses, a dinosaur coffee mug, a picture of my brother and his friend in fancy shirts (long story, don't ask).
My dad received the "fancy" solo cups and a gift card. He wouldn't let anyone take them and started drinking from them right away.
I really liked this cranberry vodka drink my mom made...really liked it. As you can see.
Our wonderful friends.
And of course...one of these.
Quickly, quickly write a note and leave out treats!