Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with my side of the family this year. My mom hosted the traditional Norwegian Christmas Eve party for over 70 people this year! Wowser. It was a complete madhouse, but so much fun.

Before the party began, we did our gift of the heart exchange with my siblings & parents. Chris got an awesome set of etched Utah glasses from Nate, and I got a neat photography book & gift card from Daniel. (The more I read it, the more my list of photography"needs" grows. Oy.) All of my siblings got together and transferred all of our old home movies onto DVD for Christmas. It truly was a gift of the heart, and a gift of time! But they loved it and we had such a good time getting to watch all of our old videos as we worked.

We started the evening by hanging out and chatting, and reading the Christmas Story from the bible, as always. This was the first year my sweet Grandpa was not there to read it to us, and he was missed.

Then we headed towards the good stuff -- the food. It's a meal we only get once a year, with fun Norwegian dishes and it was thoroughly enjoyed ( most everyone except the in-laws.) :)

Emme hung out with Stu for a little while. That little girl's got him wrapped around her finger! He just about melted when she grabbed his hand to walk down the hall to his room -- and I got his reaction on camera! Adorable. What a cute pair.

I love this little sequence of Emme, as she's peering around the corner in Stu's room, and then sees me. It's the reaction I get everytime she sees me -- she breaks into a smile and comes running towards me with her arms outspread -- and it makes me melt!

After dinner we had dessert. We have a fun tradition of passing bowls of rice pudding around the table while singing Christmas carols. When the song ends, you eat the dish in front of you and if you find the hidden almond in your dessert, you get a prize! It's very competitive -- especially with the older grandchildren -- and very fun.

After dessert it was time for Santa (who brings presents on Christmas Eve in Norway) to drop presents for the children on the porch. Here is the proof of the mad-house-ish-ness. I'm not kidding.

All the little kids gathered around and waited for their present to be announced, one by one. Look at those intense faces!

Jamers & Miyo really got into the presents this year. It was so fun to watch everyone open their gifts.

While we opened gifts, Emme kept making her way from Chris and I clear across the room to Grandma, because she knows Grandma is a sucker for her and will pick her up. She went back and forth two or three times, it was very cute.

Finally it was Emme's turn! Emme's got the whole unwrapping thing down pat. She loves opening gifts, and she LOVED the books she got from Santa. (One had a ducky on the front and she went completely nuts pointing at it and saying "ducky" over and over again!)

After presents we had dessert again (those Norwegians sure know how to eat!) and visited some more. We put Emme down to sleep in her pack & play for a while and were able to help clean up & visit with my parents after everyone left. It was a wonderful Christmas Eve!


Seth and Sarah said...

What is with the Christmas sweaters your family is rockin' out?! Awesome!!

Val said...

Stu is so handsome! (I think you should frame that picture somewhere--his tender love towards Emme is so sweet.)

What a fun Christmas Eve! Three cheers for Aunt Anne Marie! Your parents are very good at throwing parties and I love how proud you and your family are of your amazing Norwegian heritage. (PS Did your mom put any of the recipes in Aunt Barbara's cookbook? I'd love to try Norweigan dishes.)