We had a pretty busy Christmas Eve. I had Jonathan go do some last minute shopping while I took the girls to my Grandparents' where many family members were gathering for a pre-Christmas visit. There were tons of people and tons of food. And, as with every family gathering, there was lots of laughter and talking. After Jonathan finished shopping he met up with us and visited for a bit.
After visiting we quickly went home for dinner, got the girls dressed up, and then headed to church for our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Abigail was excited because (1) it was a candlelight service and (2) she got to wear her Christmas dress.
The girls were hard to occupy during the service. They were very focused, however, when it came to lighting our candle. Normally our Pastor would light his candle up front and then the flame would be "passed around" until everyone's candle was lit. This year though, each family was invited to come up and light their candles.
We decided to go up with all three girls and two candles. I explained to Abigail as we walked up that I would light our candle. Jonathan had Sarah and Lily and a candle he would light. Abigail gave me no problems, but as soon as Sarah saw the second candle lit she yelled "my candle, my candle!" So Jonathan did what any parent would do, he handed her the candle! I couldn't believe it! So I'm freaking out as we walk back to our seats. I managed to keep the girls still as they each held a candle, making sure to keep the flame far away from their hair or the seats in front of us. Then Sarah thought it would be fun to blow her candle out. Then she proceeded to light it back up using Abigail's flame. After this both girls would giggle and Sarah would blow the candle out and do it all over again. All this happened as the congregation sang SILENT night (and at this point it was voices only, no instruments). At this point I decided the best thing to do was blow Abigail's candle out so the disruption would stop.
We got the girls settled in bed and then got ready for Christmas morning. I was always excited anticipating Christmas morning as a little girl, but I was even more excited as a Mom looking forward to the girls experiencing Christmas morning.
Our big "Santa" gift was an easel from IKEA. It is huge and only cost us $15. The girls have already made a number of works of art, so I think it was a good purchase.
Oh, and this isn't from Christmas Eve, but it is our family photo we used for Christmas cards this year. The girls were really good about waiting for the timer to go off before snapping our picture: