our Christmas festivities began last night with the Christmas Eve service at church. it was a lovely time with much singing and scriptures, as well as some aerobic activity. there was no nursery provided, so Caleb was up in church with us for the first time in a while. so to him, it was a new place that needed much exploring, even though grandma and grandpa and mama were doing their best to keep him relatively calm. somehow I ended up with the easy part, as I held Alice the most of the time, who was sleeping. but of course Caleb wasnt the only antsy kid in the house, and if you’re at our church you’re pretty much used to at least low-level kid noise during a service.
but it was an eye-opener for us, and it made us thankful for nursery during church. he was up and down on the pew, making faces at the Greens behind us, and doing all kinds of funny stuff that toddlers generally do. someday we’ll teach him to sit quietly, but that may be a little while from now.
anyway, the service was quite nice, and we got to participate a little. I helped with some music (and apparently Caleb said a hearty “Hi!” when he saw me up there), and Caleb was a sheep for the kids’ manger scene at the end. super cute. and my parents took part in the Hallelujah chorus sing-a-long at the end, which was quite good.
when we got home, we caught our breath, lit the candles, brought out the yummy appetizers and drinks, and had a nice time together. we were planning on making the Christmas church service in the morning, so we opened the presents for the grown-ups, to save time for the next day. it turned out that we realized afterward there would be no nursery again, so we decided to skip church in the morning. I scored some good worship CDs (thanks KatieK for suggesting Robin Mark: I’m loving it) and a music stand too.
Alice gave us a gift of going 4 hours between feedings at night, so we woke up relatively chipper. we brought Caleb into our bed in the morning and got his stocking to open together. he’s pretty good at opening presents and gets very excited, so he dug right into his little cars and new box of crayons.
we had a leisurely morning, and since Michelle got a waffle iron for Christmas, we all had yummy waffles for breakfast. then came time for Caleb to open his presents (and his sister’s too). he loved to tear at the bows, and once I started the wrapping for him, he’d tear off the paper with gusto. thanks to all for the cool stuff! we requested (almost) no toys (we’ve got plenty), so they got lots of nice books, videos and clothes, and the few toys Caleb did get were great (almost any wooden and/or building toy is good in our book).
then came the feast. we had a whole thanksgiving-style meal, which my mom headed up, getting help from all of us as needed. and of course it was super yummy (cant go wrong with turkey in the oven bag). and no holiday is complete without some utter exhaustion, so we got some naps in, and time to hang out and recover from the hustle and bustle.
so there’s our “Tender Tennessee Christmas.” we’re so thankful that we could have a nice holiday here at home with our little family.