Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

In keeping with tradition, we had dinner at our 'Christmas Eve Restaurant' again this evening. The bonus was that we had been given Chamber of Commerce gift certificates, so dinner was free! We got there 10 minutes before the kitchen closed (unknowingly, or we would have left MUCH earlier...poor people want to get home to family tonight!). They were very gracious and let us stay and order. We tried to be quick about quick as you can be with three kids who are distracted by Christmas Eve excitement!

When we got home, the kids had to do a quick clean-up of the living room & their bedrooms. I had told them earlier today that it had to be done before any gifts were opened...I really don't like having a messy house before all of the extra mess of Christmas morning starts! They did a good job - and pretty quickly, too! There was, however, some incentive!

Once everything was picked up, we did our second Christmas Eve tradition, which has carried over from my own childhood. We let them open one gift each. They were WAY excited about the prospect of gift opening! This year's gifts were from Grandma & Grandpa Walker. The boys each got a Nerf gun that shoots 6 bullets. Meagan got a Polly Pockets winter clothes set. They all three LOVED what they got, and they are all still sitting here in the living room with me, playing with their new toys!

In about an hour, we have to get ready for Christmas Eve candlelight service at starts at 9:00. Pastor Mark reads a version of the Christmas story, we sing some Christmas songs, and just take some time to be together for about an hour. That will be the grand finale of our night...the cookies are already set out for all that's left is to actually fall asleep!

Sweet dreams! And have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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