(Once again, this is Teresa - Mary Kate is busy writing a paper on Plato's "Republic", starting to read Aristotle, cramming for an Algebra test, translating long Spanish and Latin sentences, and I don't know what else. If we waited for her to post, it would be Easter. :)
Christmas Eve arrives at last, and we decorate our house and put up our trees (we had two this year!)
Mary and Joseph finally get to Bethlehem (along with all our saints.) It's been a long Advent journey for them from Nazareth - across 2 mantels, down some steps, and across a bookcase. And it was a treacherous trip - St. Joseph and St. Maximilian lost their heads along the way (St. Joseph's was later reglued, St. Maximilian's is still MIA, thanks to Benny), Mary and St. Cecilia each lost a hand) - Yikes!
Christmas Eve dinner by candlelight. Somewhere along the way we developed a somewhat odd tradition of eating Chinese on Christmas Eve - on china, with wine and sparkling cider in wine glasses. What can I say?
All the York Anthony's and Grammy at the 9pm Christmas Eve mass. Despite how awake he looks in this picture, Max had been snoring in the pew during the pre-mass music prelude, much to the amusement of the couple in front of us.
Christmas Morning. Gosh, even now I can remember my own excitement as a kid, that I think all my siblings share, of coming down in the early morning hours and seeing the pile of presents under the tree. Is there any better childhood memory??!
Grandad and Gail sent cold hard cash to the older ones. Can you tell if it was well received? :)
Grammy's favorite gift? Pure Hershey's chocolate!!
Trixie let us know when she wanted back in on the action.
Ben is dreaming of future snow and sledding adventures.
Rosie's favorite gift - Cinderella's Castle.
The boys get an Egyptian Pyramid. I was quickly informed later that afternoon, they wanted the accessories - have to wait until next Christmas, boys.
The kids all love getting each other gifts as well. The fun whispering, secrets passed back and forth, the wrapping all Advent - all leading up to the thrill on Christmas morning of giving their gifts to each other - it's one of my favorite parts as a Mom of Christmas.
Max opened this up and declared "diapers?!" (Actually it was Rescue Heroes.)
Among Ben's favorite gifts - a foam sword. All gift opening paused for a bit while he practiced wielding it.
The post opening hush...
Cecilia contemplates which movie to watch first - Barbie and the Three Musketeers or Spiderman I. It was a tough choice, but have no fear, she has since watched both multiple times.
The boys immediately got on Club Penguin with their new membership cards.
Rosie and her castle.
Ben gets a battery powered Thomas (that I've already changed the battery on three times.)
Christmas breakfast - another Anthony tradition, Eggs Benedict and pear halves with a red and green cherry in their middles.
We added a new tradition to our breakfast - English crackers, hence all of our paper crowns, and cute little British jokes we told each other over breakfast (some of which made no sense to those of us who live on this side of the Pond.)
The afternoon brought Grandma, Papa and Beth, and more presents and laughter. The evening added Brian and Jackie and kids, a turkey dinner, and fun Christmas games. It was a beautiful beginning to our Christmas season.