It's been a tradition in our house the past few years that if Neen was working Christmas Eve or Christmas day I'd wake up extra early with her and make her a special breakfast. It might not sound like much of a big deal but I am not an early bird at all, and Neen was due to be in work for about 7:30am.
So that's what I did, Christmas Eve I woke up early and while Neen was getting ready I made her breakfast. Nothing fancy, just what she wanted...corn flakes with chopped banana, orange juice, tea and potato farls. We then walked together as far as the end of our hill. Neen continued on to work and I returned home alone.
When I got in I set up the couch, turned on the TV and watched some Christmas cartoons and had a snooze. Later on I fed the cats and turtles, had some breakfast, wrapped a couple of last minute presents and as per another Christmas Eve tradition went outside and took some frosty photos. Sora joined me too and was truly in her element running around in the snow, skidding back and forth following me everywhere I went.
Neen came home at about 5pm. I made us a small bite to eat, we gathered our bags and headed out to her families house in Renmore, dropping into her Nanny Gills along the way.
Old Irish Christmas tradition....The Pile Up!
Neen started it...
Ant and I watching TV.
Neens mum and dad making preparations for the following days Christmas dinner.
Ben watching in eager anticipation!
Next up we exchanged gifts...
Ben insisted on getting involved with this tradition too!
Together as a family we then read 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C Moore, this particular version illustrated by the talented Christian Birmingham. We each read a page at a time and passed it around the room until the closing lines. You really can't have Christmas without rereading Moore's master work.
Next up Tuna read to us all, a second book. 'Another Night before Christmas' a modern retelling of the classic tale by Mark Boutavant and Carol Ann Duffy. This is a truly beautiful book, one of my favorites and Tuna did a simply wonderful job reading it aloud to us all.
Before Neen and I went home, one final festive treat. I brought up a Chinese paper lantern and as a family we each wrote messages of hope, love and peace on the lantern and together released it into the foggy night sky. Despite the fog we were able to watch it for miles as it rocketed into the darkness. I wonder if Santa saw it on his travels...
When Neen arrived home to a cold house we turned on the heating, fed the cats, cuddled up on the couch and watched 'A Muppet Christmas Carol' before going to bed in anticipation of Santa's arrival.