A few days before Christmas, we headed out to see Santa. I'm pretty sure it was the first time all three girls went willingly and no tears were shed. I guess that means they're growing up. (Sigh.)
Ella asked for an American Girl doll (Molly). Lucy asked for a "piggie" (gotta love the random three-year-old curve ball request). And Claire? All she wanted for Christmas was a snow globe.
On Christmas Eve we drove to New Jersey for the annual Christmas Eve program at Matt's brother's house.
It's funny the things that turn into traditions for your family that you would never have imagined, but since 2004 - before Ella was even born! - we have only missed two Christmas Eve programs with Thomas and Melissa's family (2007 & 2008), and that's only because we were living on opposite sides of the country during those two years.
Of course, Ella and Claire played their violins. Ella and I played together this year, and Claire almost refused to play at all (just like last year), but with a little coaxing from me she made it through her performance. I love the look of sheer determination/terror on her face.
It was so fun to have Matt's sister and her family participate in the program for the second year in a row since they always have the most creative performances. My favorite this year was Anthony & Matthew hula-hooping to Christmas Don't be Late by Alvin and the Chipmunks.
After the program, the cousins exchanged gifts.
And then we all headed to our separate homes to get ready for Santa!
I honestly can't imagine a Christmas without the Christmas Eve program, and neither can my girls! In fact, on Christmas night, after the present opening and all the other festivities, Matt asked Lucy what her favorite part of Christmas was. Her response? "The recital... the one where Ella and Claire played the violin at our cousin's house."