Christmas Eve Day

I want to share a peek into our very special Christmas celebration with my married brothers, their families, and Gigi.

Years ago, when Nathan and Melanie were first married, we settled on Christmas Eve as the day we would have with the extended family. Melanie’s family got together on Christmas Day, so this made it perfect. Then on Christmas Day, Dad, Mom, Anna, Mary, Jesse and I celebrate. Watch for that post soon. There are too many pictures to combine both! 🙂

This is our second year to try a new approach to the big Christmas celebration. Each niece or nephew gives to one aunt or uncle and vice versa, and then all the Maxwell grown kids give to one married sibling or spouse, and then all the nieces and nephews give to one cousin. My parents still give to everyone and vice versa. Anyway, I loved, loved, loved seeing the little kids’ delight as they often sidled up close to the aunt or uncle and watched them open the gift. Then, the same thing happened when they gave to a cousin.


It all started with a special breakfast.
Handing out Gigi’s Christmas gift cards at breakfast.
I found Arnold peeking at the gifts while we ate breakfast.
Mom and Dad gave clothes to the grandkids, and they were so excited!
Those pizza shirts are way too cute!
Calia gave to John, thus she’s eagerly watching.
Betsy sewed this adorable pillowcase for Anna. She even picked all the fabric out.
A leash for Ellie from Lydia (who loves Ellie).
A little dart board from one of the kiddos
Gigi loves to read to the little greats on Friday morning.
Trucks and little guys are a great mix.
Organizing tubs for Melanie
A cousin whispering session
Happy times
The weather was so nice, the girls took the kids out to run off energy.
Relay race group (notice Lydia with Ellie and leash)
Games in the afternoon
The crew for dinner
Then, onto the Christmas program! (see this link)

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Jude 1:21

19 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Day”

  1. Love seeing the pictures. I really love the Christmas Program. We have always read a large part of Luke 2 during our family Christmas but this would really be nice to do next Christmas. It would involve the little ones more.

    1. Yes, it does involve the little ones more, and they truly love taking the tissue wrapping off a nativity figurine and putting it in place. Andrew, Daniel, and Calia could hardly wait for their turns. The others were excited but not as visibly as those three.

  2. Thanks for sharing a sneak peek into your family Christmas celebration! I love how all your children make an effort to come and celebrate Christmas together, and that you spend all day together and not just a couple hours. It shows what a great job you have done in instilling the importance of parent and sibling relationships. I think it is neat how you do the Christmas program at the end of your celebration and include the little ones. Something I might try and incorporate into my family’s Christmas next year.

  3. Your family always makes my heart bubble up with joy. Thank you for blogging all these years. It is truly appreciated.

  4. What a lovely post!

    In my family, we have started a similar “gift-pairing” system. We thought we were really missing the focus of what Christmas is really about by giving one gift to each and every person in the family. Now presents are less in number, but so more thoughtful! Family members go to great lengths to find the perfect present 🙂

    Many blessings,


    1. Last year, I wondered how everyone would feel about the gift exchange changes, but like your family, it was all positive. Fewer gifts when there are so many of us is much better and the focus on the one or two particular people/gifts.

  5. I remember your great gift exchange structure from last year! I have a small family (one sister and only two cousins) and my guy is an only child, so I’ve always been curious about how larger families handle Christmas presents with so many people, and your plan is brilliant 🙂 When I was little, I LOVED buying gifts for my favorite aunt and older cousin. Wishing your whole family a belated Merry Christmas and a very happy 2019!

    1. Thank you. It took us quite a few years to come to this change in our family’s gift giving and someone who was willing to figure out the plan and implement it. That person was Jesse. He spearheaded the family discussions. Being a programmer, he even wrote a program to do the “picking” and keep things from happening like married couples picking each other or their own children or the siblings still at home getting each other or children in one family picking each other.

  6. What a lovely celebration of Christ’s birth! How do you deal with different “gift groups” having different numbers of people in them? Do some people give out 2 gifts or receive 2 gifts? Our family has a lot more grandchildren now than aunts and uncles so I’m wondering how that could work.

    1. Since I am not fully aware of the details, I needed to ask Jesse to answer your question. Here’s what he said: We do 3 groups: adults, adults and kids, and kids. It’s not 100% balanced, but close enough that we can adjust some people in/out to get it to work.

  7. Thank you for sharing! Such a beautiful family. I am learning so much from your blog post and getting excited for the family my husband and I will have on day. (Lord willing) praying he opens my womb soon. Your family is an inspiration.
    Thanks again, God bless you all.

  8. I love seeing the joy on everyone’s faces! We did the Christmas program too with Jubilee and while my mom was here with us. We truly enjoy it!

    1. So sweet that you did the Christmas program with Jubilee and your mom. That is very special for us to know, and it greatly blesses my mom’s heart to see what my dad worked so hard to put together years ago being used in other families besides ours.

  9. thanks for sharing pics of your christmas. we do not celebrate christmas except with my mother in law. is nice to see other people’s culture and custom… thanks for sharing

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