So it's not technically our first Christmas eve because really it's BB's fourth and LB's third, but it is the first year that both of our sweet, smart, strong boys have been able to grasp what Christmas is. All season we've talked about Jesus's birth, how Mary is Jesus's mommy, he was born in a manger/stable/barn. We have talked about how Joseph was Jesus's earthly father and how God was his heavenly father. I've used the words adoptive father to describe Joseph, but it's hard to continue that metaphor since BB has a birthdad, an earthly father, and a heavenly father. I wouldn't exactly describe God as a birthfather, though, would you? But that's not really my point.
We have also talked a little bit about Santa Claus. I don't see any harm in entertaining a Santa Claus, as long as the main focus of Christmas is on Jesus. Maybe someday I'll be convicted otherwise, but as of today we are going with both. This is really my point.
So tonight was the first time we really "played Santa" for the boys. We set out the stockings for Santa to fill, put out cookies, coaxed the kids to actually fall asleep, which wasn't easy, and then fill the tree with some presents for them and for us and Granny. It made me so happy! I'm thinking this is probably the last Christmas we will actually get to sleep without having to corral BB back into his room at different points during the night. In fact, this might even be an issue tonight.
Last night at 2:30 a.m. (yep, I realize night is not a.m., just go with me on this one), Granny found BB curled up in a chair in the living room sleeping. We have no idea how long he was there, but she put him back into his bed and he slept until 7. So there was some discussion this evening about when to put the gifts out - before going to bed or before the boys waking up. As of 10:pm the gifts are out, so we'll see.
We had the boys each choose a cookie to leave for Santa. BB carefully selected a gingerbread man and placed it, well, gingerly on the plate. Then it was LB's turn. "LB, would you like to pick a cookie for Santa Claus?" He sure did. He grabbed a gingerbread cookie from the tin and promptly bit its head off. As the grown ups tee-hee'd at LB's exuberance, BB began to tear up. He was sad because his little brother had eaten part of Santa's cookie. I was so sorry not to have gotten that exchange on video!
After the boys were in bed, one of whom was asleep, the other unknown, we were getting ready to go to bed when I realized the cookie plate was gone. "Where are the cookies," I asked? Randy had put them away. I looked at him like he was from outer space and said, "Are you kidding? How will they know Santa got the cookies?" From there we had to stage the cookie ingestion. I took a gingerbread out and bit off its head just like my son. Then Randy ate the arm. Then, aw what the heck, ate the whole thing and left out some crumbs. Now that's the way to make sure Santa ate his cookies! (What are we going to do if he really comes and we've eaten his snack?)
So it remains to be seen what happens tomorrow. One of the great things about Granny's house is that Randy and I get to sleep in in the mornings while Granny tends to the little ones. But we don't want to miss their little faces tomorrow! I told Granny to hold them off as long as she could and then come get us. I will have the video camera out this time!