Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve and The Midnight Feast

Well Christmas Eve is always a very busy time in our home. There seems to be so much to  organise with the getting ready for Christmas Day, and going to Mass at Midnight and one of the favourite traditions for the Children is the Feast we have when we come home from Mass!
We like to prepare the meat and cut up the vegetables in readiness for our Christmas Lunch on Christmas Eve to allow more time for actual celebrations on this day.
One of the advantages of having a larger family is that the chance to spend time opening presents and enjoying the excitement of the day goes for longer.....well it does in our home.
This means though to get a meal ready (at a reasonable hour), we try for a Christmas Lunch but frankly, we usually eat around 3-4pm in the afternoon. This actually means dinner time is a pick and choose affair requiring little preparation or clean up! Love it!!
The children had been secretly placing the gifts they had made for each other under the tree, trying to ensure no one knew who the presents were for. Some even wrote in code on the tags to confuse others who are likely to poke and prod. I forgot to get a photo when everyone had done the secret  placing of presents but forgot in the excitement of the day.
This year we had Bernadette come over in the afternoon and she brought some lovely Christmas gifts for the children to enjoy.  We also just had a bit of a break before starting to work on the last minute getting ready items. Thank you Bernadette and Gary!
Rogan was keen all day to put the Gingerbread House together. In fact I don't think that a 1/2 hour passed all day with out him nagging me to start doing this.
These were the weapons of choice to decorate the Gingerbread house.
I did have big plans to help the younger ones make very elaborate Gingerbread Men, complete with gumdrop buttons (aka Shrek) for their siblings but by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I just couldn't face doing anymore cooking.
So we got paper bags like we use for Birthday bags and filled them with some marshmallows chocolate drops and  gingerbread cookies. Moran and Myffy decorated the outsides and we tied them up with sparkly pipe cleaners.
As Kynan only came home the day before from interstate, his contribution was to sleep in the afternoon, to conserve his strength obviously!
We sent the children outside to try to burn of some of the excess energy. Therefore hoping they would go to sleep early before Mass, so we could wake them up in time and not have them so sleepy to miss this special event.
Corbyn was very excited all day. Here he is making a C for Corbyn and for Christ and Christmas.
We put our Gingerbread house together with Melted White chocolate. Our gingerbread was a little wobbly on some sides (not cooked long enough for free standing). It was really  a team effort to get it to keep standing for a while and we had a few "home repairs" to make in patching up the walls so they stayed together.
Did I mention that Rogan kept nagging asking me all day 'can we decorate the Gingerbread house now?' Finally after we got the smaller children in bed Autumn and Rogan finalised the decorating. I think they ate a few of the decorations too.....well I know I did!
Here are the foods layed out for the Feast:
Shortbread, Home made Eggnog, peaches, apricots, strawberries, grapes, cherries, coffee balls, wafer sticks, fudge balls, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, speculas and lebukens. Amongst this is our Christ candle in the middle as well.
Up this end of the table we have Christmas Fruit cake, nectarines, plums cherries (a different variety) and yo-yo cookies and custard creams as well as the completed Gingerbread House.
Another view of the Feast table!
Trying to get a good family photo after Mass and before the Feast is difficult. Sleepy and excited children does not go well with a photo shoot I have decided.
However it is traditional for us to get a family photo both at Christmas and Easter.
The children demolishing the Ginger bread house, mainly picking the lollies of it at this stage......about 2:30 am.
The last thing we do is put the Christmas bags out in the Lounge room ready for Daddy and Mummy to fill up with the presents.
We only put the made presents to each other under the tree. The presents we give the children and each other go into the bags I have made for them.
We wait for the children to go off to sleep before putting presents out. this year I saved time for us by pre packaging each persons presents into large garbage bags that then had only to be transferred into the Christmas Bags.
I don't know why I have never thought of this before.....I was quite impressed with my brainwave and wondered why no one had ever suggested it to me.

After this we went off to bed hoping the children would sleep in and with strict instructions NOT  to wake us (Mummy and Daddy) before 9am.

Christmas Eve is always a magical time in our home and truly the children look upon it as the most wonderful part of Christmas.

Thank you for sharing our joy as we open our hearts and home to you.

Blessings to you and your homes,


Life In a Little House said...

Everything looks wonderful what a beautiful family you have!!~Congrats on the new baby on the way how exciting!! Hope you had a great Christmas and enjoy the rest of your Holidays ~Love Heather

Anonymous said...

I would expect Christmas is a very very special time in most families homes! is nice that you are a happy mom and that you are so proud of your children you want to show them off to the world but I am concerned why you need to be constantly parading your children and the mundane things of your private family life like this.
Have you ever considered you could be causing your children scandal by making them the 'lets see what the cherished hearts are up to today ' entertainment? I fear that one day you will regret this blog...I am sure your children will. I mean you no harm, just some advice from one who knows what it is to be hurt when we expose our private lives.

Gae said...

Dear Heather,
Thank you. We do love to celebrate together and it is always a special time for us
I hope your own Christmas was fille dwith much joy and peace

Gae said...

Dear Kate,
Thank you for your concern about our children.
I don't believe I will regret what I have posted and the children certainly are not scandalised by it either.
I also don't believe I have put anything on that would embarrass the children and they (and my Husband) regularly see what I am posting and quite enjoy sharing what we do.
I also tend to visit those blogs that share the 'often boring but beautiful' aspects of family life. It is a beautiful vocation and I enjoy what I do, this blog is about encouraging others and showing the beauty of ordinary family life.

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

Dear Gae, thanks for sharing your Christmas celebrations with us.
It is a joy to see your family having so much fun together :-)
Lollies at 2:30am - now what child-like soul could resist that treat?!!
Your photos remind me of my own childhood Christmases and staying up/getting up in the wee hours with my brothers and sisters.
What great memories!
God bless you dear lady. I know your heart is deeply centred in your God and family. May the Lord continue to bless and use you to encourage mothers and others in the coming new year!
I appreciate the effort you put into your blog and how you honour the Lord Jesus with this ministry. Thank you for being such a beautiful, godly example of christian womanhood.
Well done dear sister in Christ!

Vellvin said...

@Mummy Your Awesome!!

Gae said...

Dear Trish,
As always you fill me with gladness to have women like you in my life.
I have been blessed by the community of like minded souls who I visit and who visit here.
Thank you for the always inspirational and uplifting comments. I was sorely in need of this today. ♥
As always you are full of love and care for others .....and I treasure them.

Gae said...

Dearest Vellvin,
What a treasure you are always. How blessed I am to have you for a daughter ♥
Love Mummy


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