1. The table was set with my most festive dishes.
2. We feasted on clam chowder in sour dough bread bowls, clementines, apple slices, cheese cubes. I was too busy feasting to take a picture.
3. Braeden conducted our little program. (This was the first year I completely--and happily--turned over the entire program to our children.)
4. Emma read to us from Luke 2.
5. Mark sang his interpretation of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. "God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you declare..." He had his own words for the whole song. I told him the right ones and he said he liked his version better. Who am I to argue?
6. Mark got rewarded for his efforts.
7. Braeden played the piano.
8. During the program, Mark said, "Braeden, this is crazy. We're just sitting here and it's PIKKU JOULU!.
9. We asked Mark what he meant.
10. Mark said, "We're supposed to leave!"
11. We asked Mark where we were supposed to go.
12. He acted incredulous at our ignorance and said, "To the church!"
13. Mark doesn't particularly like going to church so I was further mystified.
14. We explained to Mark that this is what we do every Pikku Joulu.
15. For the grand finale the kids performed a play written and directed by Emma. It was very original in it's scope and execution. We'll just leave it at that.
Mark's in this picture too...you may not be able to see him in his camo shepherd garb. (Notice Braeden is holding his script--much to Emma's chagrin, her brothers didn't quite catch the vision of practicing the play as much as she wanted to proving that history doth repeat itself. No one would ever cooperate with Marianne and Olivia very well back in our days of The Christmas Eve program either.)
16. They took a dramatic bow for the enthusiastic crowd.
17. Treats were served.
18. We opened our gifts. We give our kids an ornament each Pikku Joulu. (Braeden and Emma got ornaments from the National Gallery in London and Mark got a Lego Anakin key ring that doubles as an ornament but he said he needs a chain saw to cut the chain off.) This year Grandma and Grandpa gave them each an ornament too. Mark was so excited to open his present, he spilled his Sprite. He tore into the package and pulled out this darling "M" which I loved:
19. Mark looked at it awhile with a look of mingled shock and horror.
20. He said, "It's an ornament?!"
21. We realized maybe we should have reviewed Pikku Joulu with Mark...prepared him a little for the rude awakening.
You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.