Rainman was actually off work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Almost unheard of in our 17 years together. The kids and I sort of didn't know what to do with him around all the time. We have kind of developed our own traditions and flow to our holidays....without him around. That sounds bad, I know. We just had to figure out what we could all do together and still be happy.
We went to Christmas Eve services, where 5 of my 6 children were in the live Nativity. I would show you a picture, but apparently a less stressful Christmas makes me lose my mind a little and forget things like bringing my camera to church with me! It was cute. There was even a live Baby Jesus who cried almost the whole time the congregation sang "Silent Night". The baby could see her mother in the front row....and stared her down with every cry.
You could almost read her little baby thoughts....
"Why aren't you coming to get me, mom?"
"Why are you letting these strangely costumed teenagers hold me?"
"Why are all these little kids dressed up like animals just sitting around me....staring?"
"Get up here, woman!"
Here they are before the service in their Christmas finery.
We came home and had frozen pizza for dinner and watched some Christmas movies. One of the most interesting ones was The Nativity. Yes, all the Bible characters had British accents. Yes, Joseph was portrayed as a blue-eyed blond. Yes, Mary was a giggly teenage girl who didn't really believe the Angel Gabriel. Yes, some of the dialogue was given to different people than the Bible said.
But, it was really a good movie. It really humanized Mary and Joseph and made them out to be....sort of....just like us....with a tremendous calling from God.
To contrast that one, on Christmas morning, we watched The Nativity Story. This one looked much more realistic in terms of the casting (no blue-eyed blonds) and portrayed Mary and Joseph as poor people, not middle class people like the blue-eyed Nativity from the night before. This Mary hardly spoke a word. She just sort of looked off into space with a furrowed brow through much of the film.
Honestly, as unrealistic as it was in so many ways, I enjoyed the Nativity better.
I tried a new crockpot recipe from Pinterest. I tweaked it a bit and I forgot to put in the dry mustard. But it was really good and it was ready when we got up! This will definitely become a new tradition.
We opened gifts. Rainman went to mass. I made a turkey dinner. We watched movies and played with new toys and games.
It was a good day. A very good day.
I am blessed beyond measure.