Christmas Eve

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Merry Christmas Eve from
Marshall & Violet!

The twenty-fourth day was comprised of our annual Christmas Eve traditions.  We combine parts of Brad’s family’s traditions as well as parts of mine to create a nice fusion that works beautifully for our family.

Just like many families do, we started with making sugar cookies to leave out for Santa.  We usually let Marshall pick out what kind we are going to leave out for Santa but this year is different.  This is Violet’s first Christmas!  So we will be doing the same that we did for Marshall’s first Christmas- leaving Santa a little sugar cookie family that matches our own family.

We were thrilled to be able to add a little sugar cookie girl to our Santa platter in representation of our darling Violet.  Marshall put a lot of love into making the cookie version of our family.

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It was like deja vu from Marshall’s first Christmas eve at 2 months old in 2011 and Violet’s at 4 months old now.

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Marshall was still able to pick out some other designs for the rest of the dough.  He picked out the batman sign, dinosaurs, ninjas, a moon, as well as an “M” for Marshall and “V” for Violet.

For Marshall’s decorating of the cookies, I flooded them with royal icing and allowed to set.  Then I gave Marshall some of our edible ink markers to go to town with decorating.  I can’t recommend these enough for kids.  Marshall has used them for decorating cookies and cupcakes- they are always a hit.

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Marshall loves the ease of use and drew cute little smiley faces and bow ties all around.  There were also some pretty fierce bats and dinosaurs.

These were some of Marshall’s favorite cookies.  A scrapped together batman, a fighting ninja, and a spooky bat.  Pretty much sums up our boy right now.

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With the cookies done and allowed to set, Brad played a prank on Marshall.  We had a bunch of bubble wrap and packing bubbles, from the packages that we wrapped last night.  Brad decided to save them and told Marshall he could have his “Christmas present” early.  Marshall excitedly found all the bubble wrap in a bag and, instead of being puzzled or disappointed, he was simply thrilled.  He shrieked with excitement and promptly started jumping on them.  Violet was equally entertained with watching he brother.  Obviously the prank ended up being on Brad because Marshall wasn’t at all disappointed but instead overjoyed.

After the excitement from the bubble wrap, we started getting dressed in our Christmas Eve best.  Christmas is always spent in our pajamas- or Brad in his uniform- so we use Christmas Eve to dress up for mass and our twist on the Italian tradition of the feast of seven fishes.

Feast of seven fishes is an Italian tradition where you serve seven different seafood dishes in vigil of midnight, the birth of Jesus.  We have a small and young family (ie Marshall won’t eat anything other than breaded butterfly shrimp as far as seafood goes and Violet, obviously, is limited to breastmilk), so for now we only do one seafood dish.  We will eventually expand to the bigger feast once we have more mouths at the table that are willing and able to participate.  This year, we made lobster with grilled root vegetable proceeded by breaded zucchini as an appetizer.  I was intimidated, never preparing or cleaning lobster before, but it really was a breeze!  Papa washed dishes while Violet hung out with him in the sling.

Seriously, breaded and baked zucchini is one of my favorite appetizers!

After dinner it was time to change into the Santa pajamas the kids received on St. Nicholas day and Marshall promptly went to work on his letter to Mr. Claus.  He wrote his name and made a picture of the big man in red, Mads worked so hard on it.

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As we were finishing up his letter to Santa, Marshall and Violet received a surprise visit!  The elves left a package from the North Pole at our door.  We really enjoy this tradition, on Brad’s side the kids were allowed to open one present each on Christmas Eve but on my side Christmas presents were strictly for Christmas.  The elf delivery is our happy medium.  Christmas presents still stay wrapped and ready for Christmas morning, but there’s still the treat of getting something to open on Christmas Eve.

Every year the delivery has the same thing, each child receives: one pair of pajamas, one book, a holiday cup of some kind, and home baked treats from Mrs. Clause with cocoa.  We originally did Christmas pajamas and themed books but stopped that after his second Christmas and started doing pajamas and books that he could use all year long.  This year it contained: (for Marshall) Paw Patrol pajamas, I am Albert Einstein by Brad Meltzer, and a snowman cup with floating snowflakes.  For Violet was a fox sippy with floating snowflakes, fawn pajamas, and I am Lucille Ball by Brad Meltzer- as well as homemade treats from Mrs. Claus and cocoa to share.

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We are obviously hooked on the Brad Meltzer “I am” series, but seriously- I cannot recommend them enough.  They are a perfect addition to any child’s library.  Marshall’s book about Albert Einstein explained how Einstein didn’t talk until he was three and when he did start talking he was very hard to understand- sound familiar?  Many people underestimated him, his nickname even translated to “the dopey one” but he pushed on past the laughter and teasing to become one of the greatest minds of this world!  Violet’s is also perfect for her- she loves to laugh and be silly to try to make others laugh.  Nothing makes her happier.  Lucy was raised by a very strict, puritanical, grandmother who didn’t believe women should tell jokes or be silly- they were to be seen and not heard.  Lucy busted down barrier on many fronts: be it women in comedy or being the first biracial couple on television.  She never gave up or backed down and showed the value in being a strong women.

After papa read their new books from the elves, despite Violet’s best efforts to derail with laughter, it was time for the tradition of reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and the story of the nativity.

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Bedtime drawing ever nearer, we set out Santa’s milk, cookies, and Marshall’s letter for Santa.

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Violet was pretty pleased with this whole being allowed near cookies business.  She loved trying to grab the plate.

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Marshall had to try to use the cookies & milk as Santa bait too, of course.

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Marshall grabbed our North Pole Communicator to call in and low and behold it was Mrs. Clause who answered!  She said Santa and the elves were delivering presents and asked Marshall to look out the window and see if he could find Santa in the night sky, when he couldn’t, she said that he must be getting close so Marshall should scoot to bed soon.  Marshall made sure to thank her for the yummy snacks and cocoa.

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The kids both going down for the night, it would be no time at all before Santa arrived- as well as mama & papa putting out the gifts we bought for them.

Ol’ St. Nick came and we had a jolly good visit.  We put all the presents around the tree and he filled the stockings with care.

Marshall ended up staying awake in his room until almost eleven o’clock- his bedtime is seven!  Brad finally went up to talk to him and remind him it was time for sleep, Marshall was truly a little kid on Christmas, he was just too excited.  He told his dad that “it’s almost morning time though!” and that he was watching for Santa (luckily Santa used the back door and was so quiet Marshall just missed him).  Brad read him one more book and before the story was even finished Mads was peacefully asleep.

Really though, who wouldn’t be excited?  We wish you all a good night!

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