christmas eve this year we invited friends over for munchies and drinks before heading to midnight Mass at the local Cathedral. my Catholic church is much more liberal and laid-back, so it was fun to experience Mass in such a formal setting. my hubs has always gone to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve since he was a teenager, and this was my first time. it was also my first time celebrating the entire Advent season the Catholic way and I have to say that I feel like this was the first year that I truly experienced Christmas. the waiting and anticipating of the birth of our Savior all month, and then, as the clock struck midnight, to celebrate that He is here, our Savior, our Light of the World--at last. oh the feeling was indescribable and beautiful. and it still lingers, since Advent lasts well into the New Year....i cannot wait to celebrate Advent for years to come with all my children, teaching them about the birth of Christ, and all that happened throughout Jewish history leading up to it.
and christmas morning was just magical this year as well. presents were not placed under the tree until the children were nestled all snug in their beds on Christmas Eve. and so, Christmas morning, 4 children awoke to find presents overflowing from the bottom of the tree, packed stockings, and special things already out from Santa. It was really all about the kids this year, and i remembered again the Christmases of my childhood and felt excited to create such special memories for my little man all of these upcoming years. it has never been so fun! especially since this was his first year really understanding (to a degree) what was going on. Santa filled his stocking with work trucks, and one of his big presents was a tricycle. He learned to peddle around the house in just a few quick minutes. he is also learning to (finally!) smile for the camera. he is such a big boy now!