|Graci was Mary, Xander was Joseph, and Lex was baby Jesus|
|Taylor was the donkey?!?|
|Jessica was the angel|
|Dad was the narrator|
|Parker was a wise man (giving a gift to baby Jesus)|
|And Sophi was just cute!|
After acting out the nativity and singing several Christmas Carols along with it, we moved along to "grand bags." Originally, these were "grab bags" started by my dad. He got a few presents for each of us one Christmas many years ago, but didn't have time to wrap them. He got a paper grocery bag for each child, and put the gifts in these. Then we went around, with each person pulling out one thing from their grab bag each time it was their turn. This became a tradition that has lasted well over 20 years. The first few years we had kids, we went to my parents house for Christmas, and my dad put together one his grab bags for each of his grandkids. But Taylor and Parker, knowing they were from GRANDpa, thought they were called GRAND bags. And so they have been "grand bags" ever since:) Grand bags contain mostly food items that you wouldn't normally get throughout the year. Favorite cereals, different types of cookies, crackers, chips, and juice. Nuts, pudding, whatever. The kids love them. I went a little overboard this year-four of the kids had to have and extra bag to hold all of the loot I got them! Fun stuff:)
|Jesi gets her very own Pumpkin Hot Cocoa!|
Then, just as we were getting the kids tucked in altogether downstairs...
...we heard a knock at our front door! Christi and I had an idea what might be waiting for us on our front porch. A couple of weeks beforehand, we received a phone call from Santa Claus! He told us he would be calling back in 24 hours and wanted us to put together a Christmas Wish List for our eight children! True to his word he called back, and we listed a few things that each child had asked for. We figured he would be able to have some flexibility that way. Instead, Santa brought everything the kids had asked for, plus stockings full of treats, plus a Christmas Dinner complete with a delicious ham, plus several presents for mom and dad!!! Wow, were we spoiled. Thanks, Santa Claus:)!
We each opened a present from Santa on Christmas Eve. Boy did our kids feel special that Santa made a special, early visit to our family:) The next morning, we opened another Santa present, then we got our sweet, beautiful kids all ready for church. When we got home, we finished Santa presents and presents from each other: