Christmas Eve is the best night ever when you are at Granny's and Grandpa Paul's. They know how to do it right and everyone has a fantastic time. The evening starts with a delicious Christmas dinner.
If you can't read the apron it says . . . Granny's the next best thing to Santa Claus - and we all agree.
A few of the crowd members await in anticipation. It was starting to look and smell really good.
Austin showing off an old tradition of the Doig family. Crackers to start off the meal. They have little surprises inside. The four boys all sat at a table all to themselves.
The girls and Paul, trying to sneak in the picture, at the single table. Val and I had to be the chaperones for this group - including Grandma Berry.
See what we had to keep under control!
Keston wouldn't take a picture with me . . . I'm not sure why . . . I'm a fun mom.
Keston in his crown from the crackers . . . we all thought he looked like Jughead from the Archie comics.
After dinner was all cleaned up in was on to the Nativity.
Chad was the donkey, the very brave Sarah was Mary, and Brian was Joseph. Sarah is Becky's sister and we were so lucky to have them join our party. Becky's parents also came from Eastern Canada to enjoy Christmas with them.
Mary and Joseph asking Nathan the Inn Keeper if there was room in the Inn. Sadly there is never room in the Inn and they move to the stables where Jesus is born.
The angel Keston, tells the glad tidings of Jesus' birth to the shepherds Tylissa and Kaylene while they are watching their sheep, Maggie. They go and worship baby Jesus in the stable.
The Wisemen come from the East as they follow the star. I love that Preston is standing on Austin's robe. Paul was the 3rd of the great men. Preston was so enthusiastic as he sang, he was very excited to find baby Jesus.
The whole cast with Alyssa as the narrator.
Grandpa always adds his special touch to the evening with a story or something special to help remind us what the season is all about. He wrapped wood etchings of special words that the go along with the season, testimony, son, service, faith, and sacrifice.
We waited a few minutes for Ken and Tracy to arrive before we started the pinata. They went to Calgary to pick up Tracy's mom so she could enjoy the holidays with them. The elders also joined in the festivities but they didn't break the pinata and couldn't stay long.
When the costumes are all put away the kids - small and not-so-small - gather round to see who will be the lucky one to break the pinata and what did Granny put inside this year. Unfortunately Maggie went berserk when the kids were hitting it and since Val was 1/2 of the brave souls to hold it, I didn't get very many pictures but here is Chad ready to give it a go.
Keston takes a turn.
Tylissa put all her muscle into it.
The champion of the night was Preston - he broke the pinata (not in this picture but it was great). The pinata was full of yummy treats and Wasa towels imported all the way from Hawaii. We won't be looking for extra towels when we hit the beach next summer.
The evening still wasn't over - next up is the cousin exchange. The cousins all draw names and are very excited to present their cousin with the gift they picked out for them. Everyone sits in a circle and it starts out youngest to oldest. Even the too-cool-for-school teenagers get into the spirit of the gift exchange.
Chad opening his gift from Kaylene.
Mark even likes the gift exchange.
More of the cousin gifts.
Alyssa opening her gift from Tylissa (and great input from Aunt Sherylee).
It looks like everyone is spoiled rotten. Keston got the game Quelf, Tylissa got Mike n Ikes and fun socks, and Chad got a basketball hoop.
This winds down the evening and soon everyone ventures to their own homes to wait for the magical night. We missed Aunt Sherylee and Uncle Monte this year. They did come up after Christmas but we didn't get to see them - we really need to coordinate the visits together because we really miss them.