Christmas Eve

My girlfriend Meredith took over hosting our annual Christmas Eve. At first I thought I would be really sad about handing over my traditional hostess duties, but honestly. . . it was awesome. I loved getting to be the guest! And Meredith did an amazing job.
Ellie spent the night before (Christmas Adam) at their house preparing while Dustin and I went with the other three kids to another Christmas dinner complete with ham and delicious rolls and potatoes. We counted that as Christmas dinner.

We had our usual menu of soup in bread bowls. Then the kids went off to play until we gathered them all up for the Nativity. This is my absolute favorite part of Christmas Eve.
 As we've added more families and children to our count, we've had to be a little more inventive with costumes, but there's always enough. Even if we throw some monkeys into the mix.

I love my girlfriends and I love spending this holiday with people who feel like family when my own family isn't around.
 I started this tradition with my friend Tasha back when we each only had 2 kids and before she moved to Utah. It's amazing to see what it has grown into. I don't know what I'll ever do if everyone finds something better to do on Christmas Eve.

To end the night we always decorate cookies for Santa. . .

And then doorbell rings and . . . SURPRISE! Pajamas for everyone.
This year I thought it would be so funny to get my entire family matching pjs. I thinking matching is the coolest thing ever.
My girlfriend, Maren, had the same thought.
 And after an obscene about of picture taking, we headed home for a night of anticipation and restless sleep.

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