Christmas Eve day was quiet but the children all seemed to be feeling better and even played outside in the unusually warm weather. After a light supper they exchanged their Advent Angel gifts, giving a little gift to the person whose name they drew. We read the nativity story from the book of Luke and sang our Advent songs one more time. Then we joyously swung into Christmas carols.
Since they seemed to be on the mend we decided to try midnight Mass this year. Actually our parish has midnight Mass at 11:00 making it a little easier. There is something absolutely beautiful and holy about going into Mass on Christmas eve and coming out into the frosty, cold darkness in the early moments of Christmas morning. The children all did well and no one even fell asleep. (Though it turns out one of the children wasn't as recovered as we had thought.)
Christmas morning began when the younger children woke us up at 8:30. There were gifts in their stockings to open first. Those were their individual gifts. Some of the children surprised mom and dad with our own homemade stockings filled with homemade gifts. So very sweet.
Under the tree were group gifts. There was something for everyone to open. Toys and games for older, younger, boy and girl, but all the gifts were for all the kids. This is the first year we did this and it went really well.