On the twenty-fourth day, we celebrated Christmas Eve. How it is almost the big day is beyond me! Christmas Eve is a special day of reflection and tradition for us.
But these traditions could wait, for it was much more meaningful and special to just watch our little love sleep in.
Once Marshall woke up, we did some quick errands and had our nod to ‘feast of seven fishes’. This year we had Mads’ favorite seafood dish: butterfly shrimp.
Mads also received a special transmission from Mrs. Claus herself on the North Pole communicator. She said that Marshall is one of her all time favorite people- which got quite the smile out of him- and that Santa is already in the sky in the eastern hemisphere.
We skipped making and decorating cookie this year as grandpa V has been baking cookies nonstop to spoil Marsh with. So let’s just skip right to our Christmas Eve mass.
Marshall dressed up in his button up and sweater with cute little bow-tie to set it all off.
Before we left we did a quick search on our Santa GPS app. He was still a ways out and we were all set for mass.
Christmas Eve mass was very special, Father talked about family, the intense love God has for us, and how it all comes together during Christmas. It was a lovely homily. Marshall was, overall, pretty good. He kept cracking grandpa V up into quiet giggles with making faces and trying to wink at gramps. Next time we will have to separate them.
It was truly special, also, because this is my ‘home’ church. The church I have gone to from third grade to college. It was so fun to see families that grew up with us in church tonight, and new young families. I guess I kind of fit into both categories now.
Grandpa V made a point to bring Marshall out to the nativity scene and talk to him about the meaning of Christmas. It was a very nice moment between grandfather and grandson.
We headed home and Marshall found that the elves found where he was just fine. They delivered his special Christmas Eve box! Every year Mads gets a Christmas Eve delivery from the elves while we are at mass. This tradition stems from a combination of Brad and me. In Brad’s family, they were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. In my family, Christmas presents were for Christmas only. So this is the happy medium- Marshall gets something to open on Christmas Eve but it isn’t taking away from the Christmas presents or the specialness of it all. Every year the elves bring the same thing: a bedtime snack, pajamas, a cup/ mug, and a book. It use to be Christmas themed pajamas and book. Santa must have decided to start giving Marshall pajamas and a book he can get use out of all year long and give the Christmas pajamas early, starting last year.
This year’s snack was very “Marshall”. Santa may like cookies & milk but Marshall’s favorite snack is chips and chocolate milk. It is a special snack and he virtually never gets Doritos, so he was especially excited. I didn’t even know he knew what Doritos were or that he liked them until Brad’s chief bought them for him- that was also the first/ last time he had them.
The book the elves included was especially fitting for Marsh’s time with Grandpa. He received “How To Babysit A Grandpa”! Grandpa V and Mads got a real kick out of the book.
The elves even included a very special treat. The chocolate milk they included was a bottle of Shatto milk, a uniquely Missouri dairy company and only available there (as far as we know). It was a welcome taste of Mads’ hometown, he was very excited. He also received a Mickey Christmas movie! Santa must have gotten it free with some saved up Disney points.
Marshall just about flew through the roof with excitement when he saw the ‘jammies! They are special police uniform pajamas- just like papa’s old blue uniform. He also was given a Santa straw cup to enjoy his milk in.
Before we let him get into the Dorito powder goodness we wanted to get some good pictures with grandpa’s two cairn terriers in their Christmas sweaters.
We changed Marshall into his Christmas pajamas he received back on the fifth day and he quickly made himself comfortable with his Doritos and Shatto milk.
After snacks he chose papa as the official book reader for the evening and they dug into our Christmas book collection.
It was too cute watching the boys in their pajamas read all about Christmas. From the nativity to Rudolph to the Cajun Christmas legend and more- we really enjoyed them all.
The twenty-fourth day was truly a day of just taking it easy and enjoying being together. No work for Brad, no having to video chat with grandpa V miles away. It was us celebrating our unique family traditions as well as old traditions. And a lot of reflection. Reflecting on all that has happened this past year, reflecting on what tomorrow means to us, and reflecting on just how blessed we are this Christmas. As we set out the milk and cookies for Santa, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you feel the warmth of being with those you truly adore and finding joy in what you have. ‘Til tomorrow, friends, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!“