Most of my family (my parents and five of seven siblings and family ) celebrated a German Christmas together for the first time in twenty-three years. Steve's parents and a nephew also joined us for the festivities. First, we lit a white candle to honor loved ones who have died and spent one minute in silence, followed by lighting a red candle to remember those serving in our military. Then, we took turns picking Christmas carols from the very same song sheets we used as children--well, copies of them. We alternated songs with Gospel readings from the Time-Life Book of Christmas published and purchased the year I was born. Finally, each child stood next to the Christmas tree with a gift for the Christ child. Pamela signed Silent Night while I sang it, and David read A Nativity by Rudyard Kipling.
When it comes to Christmas, the Germans are smart. We always opened our presents on Christmas Eve so that children and adults could get a good night's sleep. Because we had some pretty lean years, someone played Santa by passing out presents, one by one, allowing time for all to see. We did not think it necessary for each adult to buy the other adult a Christmas present, so we held a white elephant gift exchange, minus the white elephants. I was sneaky enough to slip in gag gifts with mine: (1) I re-gifted a can of creamed possum with a nice gift card plus and pretty Amazing Grace go-cup and (2) I hid the movie Amazing Grace in a box of microwave popcorn. The gift exchange generated many laughs, especially the You Might Be a Redneck If game.
Because Pamela left me no doubt about what she wanted for Christmas, she was excited about all of her presents. My parents gave her a huge stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh, and Steve's parents gave her a cute Panda Face puzzle--Pamela loves animals! One aunt gave her Barbie Jumping Tawny, while her cousins gave her a Moustrap game (which I suggested because I think it will be fun to play a la RDI). She also received Moon Sand Pet Shop, a dolphin puzzle, a red plush robe with red slippers, a journal, an ergonomic pen with a refill pack, a Fancy Horse suncatcher, a Christmasy sweatshirt. However, the piece de la resistance was the gift from Santa--Baby Alive and a Sweet Slumbers Bedtime Set.
The first thing Pamela did this morning was pull her baby out of the box. She gave her some juice and changed her diaper. I would have filmed her but was busy chopping up pecans for my cranberry conserve for Christmas dinner. I did snap these photos of her putting on her baby's slippers. At noon, Pamela dashed across the street with her baby to watch television at my parents' house.
I am too tired to edit much video and will post clips tomorrow!