Mine was just the best. I feel like my family celebrates the best Christmas. (No, I'm not prejudiced. Not at all! ;-)
We had Midnight Mass at our house, and we (the girls) sang all the Propers of Mass XVI, which is the Iesu Redemptor Mass. It was really quite lovely and I think we did a pretty good job, though ONE sister (I shan't mention any names) sang a part of the Sanctus quite incorrectly and quite in my ear, so there was a faltering moment where the Sanctus was WRONG until we managed to get back on track. Other than that, all went well and we sang some lovely Christmas carols as well, like In The Bleak Midwinter and Angels We Have Heard on High.
Once Mass was over and all the parishioners that had come to it had gone home, we put the wee ones to bed. Then, the grownups - or grownuppish ones - put out all the pressies under the tree and laid out stockings for Santa to fill (which he did AFTER the grownups went to bed!) and left a little plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for him to snack on once he'd finished all his heavy lifting.
We went to bed around 3 a.m.
Around about 5:15 a.m. I was woken by the sounds of wee voices in the living room. I was determined to get more than 2.25 hours of sleep so I shut my eyes, but unfortunately I'm that Christmas kind of person that cannot get back to sleep once waking on Christmas Morning. So after a struggle of fifteen minutes I got up and joined the merry throng on the couches and we watched the Christmas tree flicker with its lights and commented on how many pressies Santa had left!
Once everyone in the house had wakened - about 6 a.m., I think it was - my dad and brother started cooking the Italian sausages, both hot and mild, and warming up sweet buns in the oven. We made coffee and drank bucketloads of coffee while waiting for the first sausages to become available, and made up orange juice so we could have orange juice for the littlies and mimosa for the adults. (I'd bought champagne a few days earlier.) We munched on our sausage rolls, went and lit the Christ Candle and sang Joy to the World and put the Baby in the Manger, then we opened stockings. THAT was fun. But then all the little ones got down and dirty with the pressies, and that was even MORE fun! (We made sure to pull out the ones to save for Epiphany first, before we got TOO crazy with the presents.)
For a couple hours it was mayhem, watching people open boxes, opening your own boxes, throwing out wrapping paper, etc. All was madness and merriment, while we ate sausage rolls and drank mimosa and coffee and ooooohed and aaaaaahhhed over everyone's gifties. It was jolly! Then, of course, we had a nice long day where we could read, catch up on sleep, get pretty, and then we had dinner of gnocchi and ham with a to-die-for meat sauce and all the trimmings of vegetables and salad. (Food is a BIG DEAL in our house!) It was really a lovely, lovely day.
Now, of course, it is New Year's Day. Last night we all stayed up - or at least, the grownuppish ones of us stayed up - and we watched Flashpoint to keep ourselves awake til midnight. At midnight, Amanda and Maria both opened their bottles of whiskey that they had gotten for Christmas and we toasted in the New Year with shots all 'round. (That's how we celebrate. We don't exactly go "hog wild" when we party.)
Now we have the Epiphany to look forward to. That is the official Twelfth Day of Christmas. Most people do it backwards, counting from the 13th of December to Christmas. Actually, the twelve days of Christmas START on Christmas Day and ends on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, the day the Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Child Jesus. I love that we celebrate the Epiphany in our family. It extends Christmas and makes the entire season that much better.
|The Three Wise Men|
We are going to be having a delicious roast and baked potatoes for dinner today. It's going to be epic! Then we are hopefully going to watch the second Librarian movie tonight. We watched the first one yesterday, and it was a bit cheesy, but quite good. (FYI, it's now a TV show, and the main character in the actual Librarian movies is the main character in the TV show, and Christian Kane [Eliot Spencer from Leverage, for the initiated] is in it as well!! I have not seen the TV show, but I wanna! :-)
So, that's all I have for now. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Epiphany!! Hope 2015 is an incredible year for all of you. God bless!