This is the night we work so hard for, wait for, and wish for! Christmas is my very favorite!
We started our evening off with a classic church service in a small country church with my parents, grandma, and brother. Singing Christmas hymns on Christmas Eve is one of my oldest and most loved holiday memories.
After church, we headed home for Christmas Eve dinner with family.
We all could hardly wait to cozy up at home and start our festivities!
Titus had the sweet idea to stand on our porch and play Christmas carols as family arrived. It was truly heart-warming to watch and listen to him play while guests arrived.
All the girls on this 2014 Christmas Eve night!
Three generations together for the holidays.
My mom and me
This year, we scheduled our celebration different. Usually, we pack up and head to my parent's home sweet home for the entire holiday. This year, Chris and I hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our home. We also stayed home on Christmas morning, then went to my parent's for Christmas dinner in the afternoon.
Christmas Eve Dinner Table
Christmas Eve is more "snacky" and lighter.
Christmas Day is our FEAST!
Dinner was hot and cozy soups:
Italian Meatball and Creamy Chicken & Rice
Lots of homemade rolls...
This salad was incredible!
I want to eat it every day.
I made maple roasted walnuts and a maple mustard vinaigrette.
The greens were served with pomegranates and blue cheese.
Ohhhh emma geee this is good!!
I made fresh apple orchard punch
...and homemade wassail too.
We had a lineup of snacks and Christmas cookies
made especially for the most exciting night of the year!
...including the boys' rolo ritz treats.
I made cream cheese almond shortbread,
perfectly rich and delectable for the holidays.
I've been cutting shapes into cheeses for awhile.
So simple and so cute!
My favorite part of our dinner
was a homemade dark chocolate brownie I made
with the cuuuutest powdered sugar bow!
Thank you Martha Stewart for this adorable idea!
This is JUST the sort of thing that makes me giddy, friends.
I can't help it.
Traditions and Festivities
We don't put any gifts under the tree until the boys go to bed on December 24th.
That makes it more exciting on Christmas morning!
However, the boys do get to open one gift on Christmas Eve...
pajamas of course.
Waiting to open their PJ bags!
We started using these bags every year for pajama eve gifts.
I even got some cutie jammies this year!
Fresh clean pajamas on fresh clean boys! <3 font="">3>
My parents brought Basil, our new puppy, a wrapped present too!
It was absolutely adorable watching him open it.
A holiday highlight!
Every Christmas Eve we cozy up all together to read Luke 2,
The CHRISTMAS STORY.
Another tradition is singing Christmas carols.
Titus played violin while Kotah played the bells.
It was beautiful and made me smile big inside.
The night closed by reading TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Then the kids giggled and bounced off to bed
to attempt sleep on the longest night of the year.
After our guests left and the house was still,
Time to slumber before the best morning arrives! I get excited just writing about this. I am a lover of magic and wonder and anticipation.
I especially love the joy that overflows on December 25th:
the gleam in my boys' eyes,
the bounce in their steps,
and the lingering thump of my heart that returns
again and again
each year around this season.
It's who I am.
The joy of this holiday was captured in my spirit long ago
and it remains for always.
MOORE Christmases past:
2014 Cozy Christmas at Home
2013 Radiantly Grand Finale of the Year: Christmas Day
2012 Christmas Day, Abundant Joy
This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Nifty Thrifty, Made by You Monday, Met Monday, HOMEWORK: Be Inspired, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, Works for Me Wednesday, Organize and Decorate Everything, Transformation Thursday, Tablescape Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, 36th Ave, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Friday Flair, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday