There's one place I've been on Christmas Eve night growing up, and it's Nana and Papaw's house. I haven't known anything different. I've gone from being the only grandchild there, to being the oldest grandchild of 11 there, to being a mom there.
Some of the traditions we carry on there include eating appetizers while we visit and catch up, and then eatting chili for "dinner"---if our bellies are feeling up to it! Another tradition is decorating Nana's sugar cookies with homemade frosting. We have gone from using only the most basic colors, to using every color under the sun, which has been so much fun! I've never been one to eat sugar cookies or really getting into decorating them, but I'll decorate a few just for traditions sake! Ryder has gotten to partake in the event over the years as well which has been fun to watch! He would still much rather like the spoon than anything else! :P
Some people go ALL our with their decorating...but I am not one of them! =) But I love those that are!
Picture of us by the tree! Ryder was in a cute sweater and jeans, but to be honest, that's just not "him". He is much more "himself" when he is in a hoodie and sweats, so I switched him into those mid-evening and I'm so glad I did. As a parent, there are somethings you just have to "let go" on--whether it's letting go for your child's sake, or for your own expectation's sake. And this time...I had to let go for my own sake, and I'm perfectly okay with that.
Here we are in front of the tree in 2012!
After the sugar cookies are all decorated and we've eaten dinner...we all sit down and read The Christmas Story. Papaw used to read it straight out of the Bible until Naynee found this book and gifted it to him 22 years ago. I think it's neat that we've used this same book for 22 years!
At one time, there were a lot of little grand kids that would all pile up in Papaw's lap with him while he read it. We have since all gotten a little bit too big, and it's been up to Ryder to fulfill that role for the past 5 years!
...and 2013. I love looking back at old pictures of the same thing! It's crazy how things change in a year, but my how so many things can stay the same!
We are so thankful that we get to spend this special time with family every year...and that nothing comes in between it! We stayed there later this year than we ever have before, but we had a complete blast! Santa was just a lil tired from staying up so late! ;)