Lia and I spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house with them and two of my brothers and their families. For a second year in a row, my dad opted to eat at the "kids' table" in the kitchen so that the rest of us could enjoy a quiet and calm dinner in the dining room. We feasted on our traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. As always, it was delicious!
During dinner, we were treated to a surprise visit by my friend, Sarah, and her family who came caroling--violins and all!
Sarah and I have been working on this match since these little ones were born. We basically betrothed Lia to Sarah's youngest child, Weston, after her birth. They are a little over a year apart and we think that they would just make the cutest couple; however, tonight was the first time that they met each other in person. We had to capture this moment on film. Weston even agreed to put his arm around Lia. :-)
After dinner, we dove into our Christmas Eve program which always includes playing a few Christmas carols with Natalee's bell set.
Lia and her two cousins, Callie and Vivi, with their bells.
Next item on the program was the reenacting of the nativity story. Once again, Lia was able to call dibs on the angel costume which just tickles her pink since she feels like a princess while wearing it.
Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus, and my little angel.
The entire line-up after completing the story.
We always finish off the evening's program by paying tribute to my father's German heritage by lighting the candles on the Christmas tree and singing "Silent Night." It is one of my favorite parts of the evening because it is so peaceful and reverent.
The Hartland fam minus our sick papa who was home alone. So sad.
Lia and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning at my parents' house complete with breakfast and some gift opening and a trip to church since Christmas fell on Sunday this year. Here is Lia wearing her "Hello Kitty" pajamas and combing her Rapunzel doll's hair which were both gifts from Santa.
Here is a 3-part shot of Lia ripping into one of her gifts from grandma and grandpa. Part #1.
Lia and I were happy to return to our own home after lunch to spend the rest of the Christmas day with Ron who was starting to feel a bit better. We saved a lot of our gifts to open with him so that he felt like he was able to participate in some of the day's festivities. Here is our little Lou getting ready to dive into a gift just from her father.
Assisting Lia with another present.
Father and daughter at the end of the evening.
Here's wishing for a healthier Christmas in 2012!