late early morning of Christmas Eve preparations it was a later start to the excitement of this most looked forward to event.
The manger scenes are set and ready for the obvious fact that today is the birthday of Jesus and so we celebrate this as much if not more than our own birthdays, which if you know us are usually celebrated with great ceremony.
I admit that with the excitement of getting to those long awaited presents that we forgot to sing "Happy birthday to Jesus" like we planned, but we did have the doors closed and children lined up to enter the room as we played the little music box to walk in at a sedate pace. No.... not really they all rushed in and over to where they had placed their Christmas bags, as they heard the sounds of Silent Night from the music box.
The opening of the bags is a VERY long drawn out affair as we all take turns opening the bags as everyone watches to see what the gifts are.
I think this allows each person to enjoy their own gifts as well as the others to appreciate the gifts given and be part of the excitement of the gift giving.
This can take quite a bit of time and so after we have finished with the bags we tend to have a bit of a break and start to prepare the late lunch, practically dinner of our traditional roast, chicken, pork and turkey breast with baked veges with gravy and apple sauce.
All morning we were snacking on left overs from the feast on Christmas Eve!
Usually this is done before Christmas Day but we had been not very well and so the time to do this was not able to be used in this way.
Really it was fine as Stephen started with the little ones and worked his way up.
These are gifts from the children to each other and us and are usually hand made with some of the older children buying gifts.
Again this took a long time and I was checking the cooking of the dinner as we were going through in a similar way as the bags but this time we just randomly pull out a present and hand it out, while still watching and sharing the joy of both the giver and receiver of the gift.
As usual everyone was too full to eat the sweets of boiled pudding and home made Christmas Ice Cream and so we have that later in the evening as everyone is starting to be a little peckish.
As we retire for the night our wise men begin their journey from this point around the room to reach the infant Jesus on Epiphany and our celebrations of the 12 Days of Christmas will start as well.
Again I am thankful for the memories we build in the times of celebration within our family circle.
Thankful especially on this day for the birth of our Saviour and thus the cornerstone of my Faith and life.
Blessings to you and your homes,