In our family on Christmas morning the parents always go downstairs first and set the stage. I know this takes away some of the charm of the kids sneaking downstairs checking out what they got but Mom and I always loved to be down there first and take pictures of the kids running into the room and seeing the expressions on their faces as they saw what Santa brought them. Having said that, I'm quite sure that our kids have snuck down and checked out the tree long before they woke us up.
This year I happened to see a computer video of a fireplace so I had a nice and cozy fire going above the fireplace to welcome everyone downstairs.
Another tradition of ours is to first open our gift to Jesus. The weeks leading up to Christmas we have a gift box out with slips of paper in it. We are all supposed to look for good things that we see others doing and write it down and put it in the box. On Christmas morning the first gift we open is our gifts to Jesus. I go through and read the pieces of paper and we always are praying that there is at least one good thing mentioned about each person. Mom is usually pretty good about making sure that everyone is covered.
Another tradition is breakfast. Mom always makes a batch of her "monkey bread". I have no idea why she calls it Monkey bread but it is really good. We usually make a few rounds with opening presents first and then we take a break and eat some monkey bread. Hot out of the oven.
The procedure we use is for the kids to open their presents one at a time. We always wanted to see the expression on their faces so we didn't let two kids open presents at the same time. We start with the youngest and go to the oldest. It takes a looooooonnnnng time but it is very fun.
Nana crocheted all of the girls scarves. They looked pretty comfy.
When the kids were very young we bought them rockets and went to the park
on Christmas day to shoot them off.
It was so much fun it kind of became a tradition. I knew the boys would be into it but I was a bit surprised to find that even the girls were excited and wanted to launch a few themselves.
I'm think my girls are all very beautiful but I'm having a tough time getting used to Sarah with her blonde hair. She's gorgeous but it just doesn't seem right.
Evan had to hold Great Grandma's hand to make sure she got back to the car alright.
While we were at the park shooting rockets we had the turkey roasting in the oven. That way we came home to the wonderful aroma of roasting turkey.
When I was a kid my mom baked many wonderful things for us to eat but for some reason she rarely baked pies. She was more of a cake and cookie person. That was all fine but I really love pie so one time when I was bugging her she just told me to bake my own pie. So I did. I think perhaps my absolute favorite food in the world is hot apple pie with ice cream. It just doesn't get any better than that. A close second is lemon pie and third place would be donuts.
When we were just newly wed's Lisa knew how much I loved pie so she baked me an apple pie. Like an idiot I told her that my pie was better. That was the last apple pie she ever made. I used to feel sorry for myself but truth be told, mine really is better. Lisa does make the pumpkin pies but I only eat the apple.
After dinner we decided to walk through Christmas card lane to work off some of the thousands of calories we had just consumed.
When she was little one of Alycia's favorite Disney movies was Beauty and the Beast. She was obviously the beauty so I ended up being the beast. We had to pose in front of this Christmas display for old times sake.
The decorations are simply amazing but one of everyone's favorites are the model trains. There are now two houses that have model trains. The detail of this one is incredible.
A few years ago we discovered this secluded street in Park Village that strings lights across the street from house to house. I love driving down the street. It is far more beautiful than this picture portrays.
The wise men did not visit Jesus in the manger. Jesus may have been as old as two
and they were living in a house at the time.