In our family, we have our big dinner on Christmas Eve.
Everyone dresses up,
and there are usually luminarias, paper sacks filled with a bit of sand and a tea light, lit just before the sun goes down.
These are the good men [and Pearl] who braved the cold to light each one.
The table was stamped by Olivia [and Pearl] with etched glass stars as place cards done by the patriarch of the whole clan.
And did you notice we got friendly with the fire department the morning of, you know.....
.....just in case!
The adult table was fed pork and sauerkruat [a tradition, calling on some German heritage], twice baked potatoes, rolls from Gugglehupf, sparkly beverage, green salad with bacon [which we consumed rather consistently and abundantly while here--several pounds worth!]
Following dinner, the grandkids graced us with the Nativity, although one of the wisemen was scared off by the donkey and as I was sending out the shepherds I had a straggler who wanted to participate suddenly, so I whipped off two pillowcases from the bed and put them on her arms as wings and we had ourselves an angel. Baby Jesus was barely a week old.
Then came the talent portion of the evening.
There was lots of singing
and lots of dancing,
but only one nose-blowing recordist,
and one act who watched the rest of us sing wheels on the bus, and kept us laughing with his funny faces,
one family growth chart prediction,
only one hand puppet singing a new version of "Noel" [that my kids promptly memorized and sang non-stop for the next day],
and one shadow puppet enactment of Little Red Riding Hood,
which caught the fascination of every single person.
We especially liked grandma's voice done by my gentle-giant-of-a-brother Jacob.
There was some ukulele playing and singing by this duo
that made us laugh
and finally the pajama photo,
with the two who made it all possible:
This boy was never put down.
Then there were kisses and off to bed for visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in our heads.