The softly glowing tree looked over our early morning gift sharing. Even after a late night of last-minute crafting the children were not about to sleep in! On Christmas Eve, all five children sleep in the girls room, Jill reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and they all try to sleep in spite of the excitement. I think they were all up by 5 a.m., but they know the rule is to let Mama and Daddy sleep until 7. They can look at thier gifts from Santa and peek at the stockings, but the rest must wait.
Tradition dictates that stockings aren't opened until the parents are up. Presents will be saved until after the Christmas Breakfast - Stollen, eggs, and hot chocolate. We were joined for our breakfast this year by Grandaddy and Gramie and Uncle Joe.
Once the present opening commences, it is done in an orderly fashion. One present at a time, taking turns youngest to oldest until everything has been opened. This year after the present opening, we were able to have a lovely, quiet and relaxing day reading new books, playing with new toys, napping, going for a walk with Grandaddy and Gramie and sighting bluebirds!
It was the first time in 15 years that we had Christmas Day all at home. It was so peaceful and beautiful. In the evening we gathered around the table by candlelight for our Christmas Dinner of ham, gratin potatoes, salad, and our jule log cake with marzipan mushrooms. The little ones were almost too tired to eat and drifted off to bed with dreams of a magical Christmas Day.
A note: The sweet little nativity in the pictures above was made over 30 years ago by my Oma. It was part of my childhood Christmas memories and I am so blessed to share it with my own children now. The sheep are even older - probably 40 or 50 years ago when Oma taught school she and her students made them of wood and wool. Somehow they ended up with the nativity set where they seem to fit right in!