At some point back in the days of fewer children and a more simple life, I *signed* up for the Pajama Fairy. (You know, those things we parents sign up for, tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa and for us, the Pajama Fairy. Thank heavens I never got sucked into signing up for the Leprechaun, Cupid or other such things.)
Each Christmas Eve morning my children wake up to new pajamas by their bedroom doors, courtesy of this once a year visit from the beloved Pajama Fairy. It's a highlight of their Christmas Eve evening to change from their (required) nice clothes for the Christmas Eve dinner, into their new pajamas. Of course there are always visitors to show them off to, which the children consider a plus.
After everyone leaves from the Christmas Eve dinner we continue with our Christmas Eve traditions. I must back up here.
A week or so before Christmas, a dear friend text me to ask what our Christmas Eve traditions were that helped us focus on Jesus. I shared them with her, and told her I was flattered she would ask (and assume we even did some!) to which she replied with a really nice compliment about my little family that really made my day.
I thought of her on Christmas Eve night after I stormed out of the family room (I believe picking something up in my path on the way to throw with added flair and drama) as I uttered aloud, "I can't believe this is Christmas Eve."
I couldn't help but think of my friend as I stormed up the stairs and felt mildly guilty that she had an unrealistic impression of our family's Christmas Eve-Christ-centered traditions.
It didn't take me too long to calm down, or the guilty children to become repentant (after all it was Christmas Eve), and we resumed our Christmas Eve traditions with no further incident. (Give or take.)
It's funny that less than a week later, I look back at these photos and see only goodness, love, joy, and harmony in my children's faces. So, I'm not just fooling everyone else, I'm fooling myself too. Don't we look like our family time together is nothing but bliss, joy, laughter and harmony?
Okay. Maybe not. Those smiles don't exactly look like the most genuine smiles around now do they?!
Back to the events of the evening.
After our more serious traditions, it was time for the beloved sibling gifts. This is one of the highlight of my children's Christmas, buying gifts for each other. This is the third year we have have drawn names, rather than buy something for everyone as we previously did.
Megan bought for Luke
Luke bought for Joshua (and also "paid Ellie back" the sunglasses of hers he lost a few months ago.)
Ellie bought for Megan
Joshua bought for Drew (and for Luke! I made a mistake about who is was supposed to buy for.)
Drew bought for Ellie (except he can't keep secrets so he wasn't really in on it this year.)
and Megan surprised everyone with a gift for all of them to share. (The game, Operation.)
Before we knew it, everyone was lying in bed with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.