I'm back after a short Christmas break! There's so much to tell and so many photos to share that I thought I'd break it up into a few journal entries. So tonight...it's Christmas Eve all over again!!
We started the afternoon at Granny's house. Growing up, my Mom always made a big fuss over Christmas Eve. That was the one night that the five of us would eat in the dining room and she would even bring out her Waterford crystal and her good china! We were expected to dress up - and we all went to midnight mass together. My sister, Bean, and I decided to try to re-create the old Christmas Eve. Although we'll never be able to do "Mom's Christmas Eve" justice, I think we all knew it was just the thought that mattered.
Brian got into the prep work and helped his cousins roll out the crescent rolls. I taught him everything he knows in the kitchen if anyone is wondering. (Hey - it's my blog. I can say...and believe...what I want.)
We all had a nice dinner together before Ed and I brought the boys home to get ready for Santa Claus. We were so happy to spend Christmas Eve with my Mom. And we all had Pop on our mind, for sure.
We got home and put the boys in their Christmas pajamas and immediately set out their letters to Santa to leave with his cookies and milk (and carrots for the reindeer too, of course!) Gavin was first and all I could think was - what a difference a year makes. Last year he had to be strapped to the chair so he didn't fall right off!!
Brian was so excited about everything. The cookies, the letter, the reindeer food, the anticipation. He was bouncing everywhere and hard to wrangle for a photo!! But his "blurry photos" are going to serve as a great memory. I'll never forget - ever - the magical expressions in his wide eyes this Christmas. Ever.
We settled into Brian's bed to read...for the last time until NEXT Christmas...the Elf on the Shelf. Gavin and Brian's elf, which we named "Scout", would be flying home to the North Pole on Christmas Day. He stays to watch the boys enjoy Santa's toys - and then goes back for a year of preparation for next Christmas. The boys can't wait to see Scout again next year.
After finishing the book, you won't believe what happened. We were about to give goodnight kisses when all of a sudden we heard BELLS! Right outside Brian's window!!!! We knew it had to be SANTA CLAUS!!! It was just luck that I had my video camera going - and although I was so excited I kept covering the microphone on the camera and going in and out of focus - I was so happy to capture this moment!! (It was also hard to keep from crying. This was totally something my Dad would have done.)
Brian's reaction was priceless. Here's the follow up interview...
The boys instinctively put their head on the pillows when I told them that Santa couldn't leave the toys until they were asleep.
And when I told them to close their eyes - this is what they did:
I would have loved to have left Gavin in Brian's bed for a sleepover, but they both got a great night's sleep in their own beds.
What happened next you won't believe. I saw Santa. I'm not kidding. I was busy baking cookies. Okay, I wasn't. But that sounds so "home-makey," doesn't it? Anyway, I was wasting time on Facebook (that's more like it) when I heard some Ho, Ho, Ho-ing. I went to investigate, and this is what I found.
He was so incredibly generous with the boys' presents! I'm not trying to brag, but Santa told me that my boys have been very, very good this year.
Tune in tomorrow to hear about our breakfast picnic, a giggle fest and the biggest snow globe you've ever seen. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.