We went to 4:30 mass this year, which was lovely and allowed us to get home to host this gathering. Last year we did the same thing with a couple families, but before the late evening mass. Now the two youngest kids have a hard time with masses at night, so this seemed to work well. For us, Christmas Eve is usually low key since our family gatherings are all on Christmas Day.
If we do continue to have a party on the 24th, I hope we can start some traditions like caroling, a small gift exchange, a little craft for the kids, or something like that. Eating together and visiting was wonderful, but I felt like something was missing. Maybe it was more that someBODY was missing with us in a physical sense. We know Beverly was having the best Christmas ever, but that doesn't keep us from wishing she was here celebrating with us and her precious family.
Some friends planned a lovely surprise though, and covered their yard in 134 poinsettia plants while they were at our house. So they went home to a beautiful Christmas surprise! Here are some photos of the evening.
I'll start with a few iPhone photos.
I'm adding this one in because I apparently have no shame. I told the girls to clean their rooms but forgot to tell the boys. Can you believe they left their room like this when we had over 30 people over? Unbelievable.
And now some shots with my good camera.
I've been missing my regular lens that zooms in and out, so I had a hard time taking photos with the portrait lens the past few weeks. I found it on Christmas morning!
The kids were not happy that I didn't get them NEW Christmas PJs, which is their usual Christmas Eve present. This year they got ornaments. But last year's PJs seemed to fit all of them, and I could never find a matching set even though I got close to ordering some around Thanksgiving. They fit everyone but Mary Clare who has grown a lot this past year! We found some similar PJs for Katie. We had to crank up the AC because weather was in the 80s during the week of Christmas this year! Fleece pajamas weren't the best choice!
So the children got nestled all snug in their beds sometime after midnight!
To be continued on Christmas morning...