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All is Calm, All is Bright #Christmas17

My favorite parts of Christmas are two-fold. It all begins on Christmas Eve, when the entire family gathers to worship together at our church.The candlelight service is always so beautiful, and everyone in the family is able to offer a gift to Jesus through music. The service is always packed, and lasts nearly two hours from start to finish. I don't always get to sit through the entire service before I wind up having to take one of the kids out, but this year, I at least made it to the sermon.

Baby S, sleeps through part of the service on Christmas Eve.

Once the service is over, we once again gather with family. This year, the service was early- at 7 pm (with music beginning at 6:30), so we had time to hang out after the service. We snagged a spot in front of the Christmas tree in the church and took our family Christmas photo, and then headed over to Sacha's grandparents' house to enjoy food and merriment.

B with his Cousin Lucie on Christmas Eve.

When the family gets together, it just warms my heart. Is it chaotic with a bunch of people trying to eat and relax, while the kids are bouncing off the walls excited about Santa's impending visit? Oh, yes - indeed! We're all together, though, enjoying the spirit of the season and keeping family traditions alive.

Me with my pretty mom on Christmas Eve

So, this is Christmas...

Christmas Day 2017- our house

Being a parent on Christmas Eve is a lot of work. but I love it and look forward to it every year. I love bringing out all of the gifts, and stuffing the stockings. Making Christmas special for my family is something that I truly hold dear and love doing. In fact, year after year, I ask my husband not to get my any presents (he always does), because watching him and the kiddos open and enjoy their gifts is a gift to me- one that I cherish.

This is the look of excitement!

Not quite awake, but loving this special gift!

After we open gifts at our house early on Christmas morning, we head back to Sacha's grandparents' house, where we gather as a group of 17 to enjoy Christmas morning breakfast and open gifts. Pandemonium doesn't even begin to describe what it's usually like, with little ones running around and gifts everywhere! We're lucky if we get to see anything that anyone else opens. This year, everyone loved their gifts! B was gifted a 22 lb tub of slime from his cousins! Sacha and I were gifted a kid-free night out, complete with babysitting services, and gift cards for the movies and dinner out! My sis-in-law even gifted me a massage- Ooo, la, la!

Christmas Round 2 at the Beilfuss Home

Christmas Round 3 at the Durocher home

In the afternoon, we go over to my mom and dad's house, where we can breathe and relax a bit. The kids open their gifts first, and then the adults take turns opening gifts, as well. It's always a beautiful time with lots of yummy food- meatballs, spanakopita, baklava, pimento cheese crostini, casseroles, ham sliders, and of course- a little bubbly!

Sweet S in her new play dress with her Moana doll.

Christmas with my parents is always amazing. They're beyond generous and we love spending time with them. We laughed and ate and drank, and even got to see our buddy, D, who we hadn't seen in a very long time. Our day was simply amazing, and we hope that yours was filled with tons of love, peace, and joy!

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

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