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Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas Eve Remembered
I'm going to be a day behind with the holiday recaps as I'm far too tired to cover both days at once.

We had a great day on Christmas Eve staying close to home. When Sera went down for her nap, I mixed up some cookie dough for sugar cookies. After her nap, we got all gussied up and headed out for dinner. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant.

I mentioned before that this was a tradition Jim and I have had for years. His grandmother's birthday was Christmas Eve. They shared a December birthday and knew how often they got combined gifts. This was one of the bonds they had between them. Jim was very close to his grandmother. She loved Chinese food and introduced him to it when he was a young boy. This was another bond they shared as the other members of their family did not like it at all. When Jim and I flew out to Arizona in 1999 to introduce me to his family, we made a point of taking his grandmother out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Jim's dad had moved to Arizona years before and brought his mother to live there. She lived in an assisted living home, so was always thrilled to get out to dinner. She was a lovely woman and very sweet to me. Jim proposed on that trip, and it was, unfortunately, the last time he saw his grandmother.

Since her death, we've gone to eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve/her birthday in her honor. She would have adored being a great-grandmother to Sera. She was the light in Jim's very difficult childhood.

Sera posing in front of the fireplace at the restaurant

Daddy & Sera (I love this picture!)

Sera asked me to take a picture of her eating soup

Sera & Mommy making cookies for Santa

Sera sneaking her 900th bite of cookie dough.
A timeout followed shortly because she didn't stop after being told to do so.
Life is hard when you're 2.
Sera and this crazy woman with wild hair adding sprinkles to the cookies
Sera and I baked one batch. We then ate one cookie and put the rest out for Santa with a glass of milk. She went to bed easily after a reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

On the other hand, Jim and I were up to about 1:00 am. Major construction took place, lots of presents wrapped, the rest of the cookies rolled out, cut out, sprinkled, and baked, and an overnight coffee cake put together.

This was our first Christmas at home and our second Christmas with Sera. This was really the first where she got the idea of Santa, and he came to visit her. We didn't bother last year as she didn't get it, and she received tons of presents without him. For the first time, I think we did okay. We definitely need to make some changes though. I'm going to need to do a better job of separating types of wrapping paper, tags, etc... so that there is no overlap with Santa. I also need to be a little more organized leading up to the big day. All in all, though, it was great!



Blogger Two Pearls said...

Oh yes, the wrapping paper ordeal. We have multiple wraps under the tree - Santa's gifts to EJ, Santa's gifts to Sophie, Santa's gifts to us or anyone else who may be visiting (EJ insists that Santa must bring all adults at least ONE gift each year!). And then the gifts for each other. Ugh. And then what to do with the leftovers that shouldn't be seen? I always thought that moms should swap their leftover paper. EJ remembers what paper Santa used on her from year to year!

Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Day! I'm so glad. I love the pictures you shared. Sera is so beautiful! :)

This is the first year that our son seemed to be really interested in Santa Clause (he turned 4 just a few days ago).

My husband and I were up wrapping presents on Christmas Eve night until like 1:30 AM! We need to be better organized next year.

Blogger Tammie said...

Your tradition of going for Chinese food to honor Jim's grandma is beautiful. I know that as she looks down on her grandson & his family, she is smiling.

Wrapping paper? Believe it or not, that's no fun for Chanukah either! For each of the families, we give gifts to, I use different paper. That way when it's time to load the car or ship the presents off, I can just grab the right ones. Then there's the paper for the gifts from both sets of grandparents. Oy! I'm getting dizzy here!

Blogger Jim McClain said...

One thing Magi forgot to mention is that my grandmother and her sister worked at a Chinese restaurant during the Greap Depression. That's where she learned to appreciate the food and culture. She took me to my first Chinese restaurant when I was 14! We were doing laundry in a nearby town (more washers available at once) and went there for lunch. Since neither my father nor grandfather would ever eat...I'm not even going to quote the word here...Chinese food, this was a rare opportunity for her to share something she loved with someone who didn't have preconceived notions about what good food was.

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