Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018 is in the books and I thought I’d pop in and recap really quickly while it’s still fresh in my mind.  We woke up Christmas Eve morning to our elf, Cheek, putting together a puzzle in the living room.  The kids thought this was one of the coolest things he’s done yet.  And all day long when they weren’t looking, he would build a little more.  ;o)

We started the morning out with donuts for breakfast and then I was in the kitchen all morning chugging coffee in my Jolly AF Christmas mug and baking and cooking for Christmas Eve dinner while the kiddos and B watched more Christmas TV specials. 

We went to Christmas Eve mass at 4, as always, because that is the children’s mass.  We arrived really early as always since it gets so packed in there, and once we had our seats, we went back out to the commons area to snap a few family photos in front of the Christmas trees. 

While we were out there, Father Robert came out and asked Jacob and Olivia if they wanted to do the honor of carrying Baby Jesus down and placing him in the manger at the start of the mass.  My heart did a little flip-flop with nerves because – HUGE responsibility in front of a good 800-900 people – and it also swelled about ten times its normal size because I was just so honored that they had been chosen with such a special task.

The kids quickly agreed that they would love to do it, so Father Robert walked them through their steps and what they needed to know, and then we headed back to wait with the altar servers before it was time to go. 

I stayed with the kids the entire time until it was their turn to walk down the aisle, and then I hung back at the back of the church while they went in with the processional.  They both did so wonderfully… Olivia carried Baby Jesus all the way down the aisle, handed him over to Jacob, and then Jacob placed him gently in the manger at the front of the church.  Father Robert had asked both of them to kneel down and say a little prayer after Jesus was placed in the manger, and both of them did.  Olivia’s prayer lasted a loooong time and apparently she really touched (and cracked up) a lot of the people in the church.  They were both escorted back to their seats by one of the altar servers and then we proceeded with mass as usual.

After church, lots of people came up to us to tell us how touched they were and how well Jacob and Olivia did.  Several people said that they had tears in their eyes because it was just so precious and I had to agree as I cried like a baby the whole time I watched, too.  It will forever go down as my favorite mass of all time.  I thought my heart might just burst.  What an extra special Christmas gift!

After mass, we headed home, scooped up all of our gifts, drinks, dishes, pajamas, and everything else we needed, and then we headed to my parents house for my favorite four hours of the entire year!  We had a house full – my Momma, Daddy, two brothers, sis-in-law, niece and nephew, uncle, father-in-law, and then B, myself, and our two kiddos.  Whew. 

We had our usual spread of ham, dressing, mac n cheese, green beans, sweet potato soufflé, and all of the other fixings, and I mixed up some Winter White Cosmos for all of the ladies while the guys drank wine.  After dinner, Momma and I cleaned up and then we all opened presents.  The kids then put on their jammies and we fired up Home Alone as we always do.  There was coffee and dessert around 10 and then it was time to call it a very late night.

When we got home, we left cookies for Santa, said our goodbyes to Cheek (who had finished the puzzle!) and went straight up to bed.  Olivia was asleep by the time I had blinked, but Jacob took a little longer to fall asleep this year, his anticipation of Santa taking over his exhaustion from staying up so late.  Once they were asleep, B and I turned on a Christmas movie and got to work, but fortunately this year we were in bed by 12:30… a new record! 

Both kids were so exhausted the next morning that B and I were up before they were (we had set an alarm so we didn’t all sleep the day away) and as we were heading out to wake the kids, Olivia came bounding in our room on her own.  We let her wake Jacob, and then it was time to head downstairs to see what Santa brought!

The kids both loved their gifts.  They opened stockings, and then once all of the Santa gifts had been pored over, they opened their gifts from us – a scooter and a new car and track for Jacob, and a jewelry box with a real necklace (per her request) and real makeup (that she won’t be wearing in public) for Olivia.

B and I opened our gifts from each other and then it was time for Olivia's Hatchimal to start hatching.  We all gathered around and watched that thing peck its way out.  Lol.  The things these toy companies come up with these days!!

Afterward, it was time for me to start preparing for breakfast.  The same crowd from the night before came over for breakfast casserole, donuts, apple fritter bread, and pancakes, and then once breakfast was over they all headed back home.  We all sat around played for the rest of the day and assisted Olivia with her new makeup, and B and I both squeezed in little cat naps as well while the Christmas tunes played full force in the background all day. 

Around 4 it was time for me to bake my pineapple casserole for our gathering later in the day, and then it was time to get ready and head out to my aunt and uncle’s to get together with my mom’s entire side of the family.

We feasted and drank once again, and we all hung out all evening.  My cousins from Colorado and Cali were both in town with their babies, so all of the second cousins gathered down in the basement to play and burn all of their energy. 

My cousins and I are all spread out across the United StatesColorado, California, Texas, Georgia, etc. so Christmas Day is the only day each year that we’re all together.  Since we were all there, my mom and aunts snapped some pictures of all of us with our Mama Cass (grandmother).  So crazy that all twelve of us are here because of she and my grandfather! 

We also snapped a few pictures of my Mama Cass and all of her children (my mom and aunts and uncles).  One of my uncles was not there, though. 

We headed home around 9 and both kids were exhausted once again by the time we got home.  B and I got them in the bed and then watched the end of The Grinch before calling it a night ourselves. 

Another amazing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are over, but we are excited because we still have two more Christmas celebrations next weekend with Brian’s family!!!! 

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays!


  1. Oh my gosh it looks like you and your family had an awesome time!!!! Loved taking a peek into your holiday.

  2. I can't believe Christmas is already over! Love Olivia's dress on Christmas Eve--I love that style of dresses for little girls!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  3. Looks like you had a great holiday! I love that your kids carried the baby Jesus in church!

  4. Christmas just flew by! I am so glad you got to see so much of your extended family! What an honor that the kiddos got to carry up baby Jesus!

  5. What a fun Christmas celebration. I love that Olivia and Jacob carried Baby Jesus in the Christmas Eve mass...what an honor. You are really blessed to have such a big family!

  6. Love the dress you got for Christmas Eve...and the fact that the kids got to carry down baby Jesus. That has to be SO SWEET! So glad you all had another great Christmas. And I want to say that we ended up watching the last part of The Grinch that night, too, haha!

  7. Sounds like lots of fun. I can only imaging how touching it was to watch your kids carry baby Jesus down the aisle!

    1. It truly was! I had tears in my eyes watching them and didn't stop crying until probably halfway through mass!


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