Here is our annual "coming down the stairs" video of Christmas morning. Before the kids can go downstairs, we have them stop to pray by the baby Jesus in the manger; we read the Magnificat, and the littler kids sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. Then they head downstairs.
The most charming thing about this year's Christmas morning was the way the littlest kids (Alleluia Boy and The Music Man) don't rip though their presents, but kind of get stuck on the first thing they see. They are pretty happy with whatever, you know? They don't have preconceived expectations about Christmas...for now!
My favorite moment of the day, though, was the forty minutes or so that I spent with Jubilee Girl and Alleluia Boy out on the sledding hill. It was very cold and still, and being late Christmas afternoon, very quiet. (Actually, twenty-five years ago, that sledding hill would have been crowded with kids sledding with new sleds.) The sun was setting, the moon was rising, and the air was heavy with ice crystals, so that the last rays of the sun sluiced through a kind of crystalline haze that diffused the light in the sky above us...all pinks and oranges and blues and purples. And the kids just went up and down the hill together over and over, just like this, and no one even ended up crying. Beautiful.