Preparations began fairly early at my house for Christmas Eve. Jill and the kids were expected in the early afternoon and Jake was to arrive about 5:00.
We had to prepare the turkey for Christmas Day dinner to go into the brine, make stock out of the giblets, and pick and chop fresh herbs, all for the stuffing. Then I chopped more herbs for the Swedish meatballs that were for Christmas Eve dinner, and cleaned and sliced a mountain of mushrooms, for both stuffing and meatball gravy.
Jill and the kids arrives while I had everything ready for the stuffing ingredients to cook and combine and then Jill took over while Tom and I took the kids out for a walk/run in the nearby park. Jill said they needed it.
Cookies were arranged, whipped cream was added to the rice porridge to make it pudding, and Tom was a great help in getting our dinner prepared by 6:00.
Irene lit the candles.
We dined and shared laughs and stories.
After the clean up we settled into the family room. Irene really wanted to watch our traditional Sesame Street Christmas video, and so did I. Isaac wanted to play a game. Jake went upstairs to the gift wrapping station to wrap his gifts. Tom disappeared into the living room to read his phone.
Irene lit the Nativity Pyramid.
Jill had to keep pulling Isaac back into the game he so wanted to play and away from Oscar the Grouch.
Irene was enthralled. I don't know if you have ever watched "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street", but if you haven't and you have young children around, you really should. It is just so sweet and kind. It was published in 1987, but I know it is still around in Amazon Prime.
It has two songs that I really love, "True Blue Miracle" and "Keep Christmas with You All through the Year".
After the video and the game were finished we returned to the dining room for dessert.
I served the rice pudding. Irene loved it, Tom and Jake and I really liked it, Isaac had one bite, and Jill said it was OK. Jake found the lucky almond in his dish.
By 9:00 all the young'uns had gone home. I sat down to watch some of "It's a Wonderful Life" while Tom loaded the "sleigh" full of packages and stocking stuffers. At 10:30, Jill texted us that the kids were asleep and Santa Claus could come.
He did, abundantly.
It didn't take us long to fall asleep once we were back home and snuggled in our bed. There were only a few visions of sugar plums.