Ho Ho Ho! Part 1

Christmas really starts off on Christmas Eve at our house. I probably love it more than the actual day itself. It was so long ago, however, I can't remember how we spent it. I know I tricked my parents into taking the kids to the movies while I "cleaned" up for our party that night. I think I finished cleaning in about 30 minutes, so I wrapped a few last minute presents, called my sister and took a nap. Sweet!
Apparently I don't know how to look at the camera.
We had 4 other families over for our traditional dinner and program. While all the adults ate and chatted I tried to lure the children into my room with a movie. Only 4 feel for it.
The others were enjoying the naughty or nice app I downloaded onto every device in the house. That things saved me the last 24 hours before Christmas.
 We always eat soup out of bread bowls (rolls for the kids) and the kids always eat outside. Christmas is usually pretty mild in Arizona and the kids never complain about being cold. This year we had a boys table, a girls table, a toddler table and the big girls ate at the bar. There were people everywhere. When we move I am definitely getting a house that can handle a lot of tables.
 I came up with nativity costumes for 19 kids. When we first started doing this program adults had to play 75% percent of the parts and now I've got 3 narrators, 2 angels, a star, an odd assortment of animals (can you see them playing the "stable" back there). . . we did have to have a girl Joseph because none of the boys would play the part.
Sadie was a very sad star. She was climbing to the top of her closet to grab some toys I had specifically put away for the night (because I knew I didn't want to be cleaning them up) and fell and landed on her back. I will be using this story as an object lesson for the rest of my life!!

After the Nativity it's time for some cookie decorating. I have learned my lesson over the years and this is ALWAYS an outdoor activity.
Do you like my orange table cloth? I couldn't find all the red and green ones I had bought for the occasion.
 Once all the kids had decorated cookies we came back inside and Jared told all the kids a Christmas story.
 In the middle of which, SANTA came! Or at least his elf did.
 He brought pajamas for all of the kids.
 And some of the adults too.
 We managed to get the kids to bed (they thought they'd try sleeping together again this year) and all the presents out by 10. I even fell asleep pretty early, which was great because starting at about 12 pm the kids were up.
Around 1:30 I heard all of them in the living room as Luke exclaimed, "SANTA CAME!!!" Everyone ended up being put in their own beds and around 3 am I threatened them all (with what I can't remember, probably death). It must have worked because Christmas morning we had to wake them up.

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