Last year we started a tradition that I totally stole from one of my dear friends. The night before the night before. It is perfect. It is one night that belongs to our little family to unwind and have fun together.
The night before the night before was on a Sunday this year so we added another "the night before" so we could celebrate on Saturday. Since we hadn't made it up to Candlelight Christmas yet, we decided that we would ditch the regular plan of dinner and a movie and spend the evening up at This is the Place.
We will definitely be doing dinner and a movie next year.
I was in need of a quiet, spiritual evening. An evening free of crowds and chaos. I had been pretending, going through the motions, masking my true emotions this month just trying to make it enjoyable for the boys and for everyone around me. I wanted my cup to be filled and to know that my Heavenly Father loved me during this time that my heart was breaking.
I don't know if it was because it was the Saturday before Christmas or if everyone knows how wonderful this place is but it was insanely overcrowded. I am hoping it is the former because we are planning to go next year but earlier in the season on a weeknight to hopefully avoid the mobs of people.
We did have fun. Well, the boys did. I was being negative and begrudgingly participating. In my mind everything was too loud and I was annoyed that we had to navigate through swarms of people to get anywhere and I was even more annoyed that the swarms of people were enjoying themselves.
Once we decided to go see Father Christmas, that is when I lost it. There was a line a mile long and it was noisy and obnoxious and commercial. I could stand in line to see Santa at the mall. We waited for less than five minutes and I decided that it wasn't worth it. I was so disappointed. In my mind, the evening was a complete waste. A joke. I hate to admit it, but I was a spoiled little brat and I started crying and stomped out of the building.
Luckily the only ones who noticed the tears were Justin and Nick. Nick just ignored me but Justin came over to me and said: "Hey. I know it's busy and I know that it is different that what we are used to but don't let the moment make you. It is how you make the moment."
He was right. I was immediately contrite and decided that we would make the most of the rest of the evening.
I don't know what Luke was writing here but apparently it was super private.
We wanted to get a treat and waited for a while for some homemade donuts. To pass the time I tried to get a picture without one of the boys making a crazy face right before I snapped the photo.
This one came pretty close.
By this time, I had stopped being such a selfish baby and was enjoying myself. I did, however, still want to take some little moment of peace and love home with me. My last chance was the nativity and I was hoping that it would be just as reverent and peaceful as I remembered. I also had to remember to take it all in stride and not let it get to me if it wasn't perfect.
Well, it was. It was beautiful and stinky and as sacred as it ever had been. And just as if on cue, the carolers arrived and sang Silent Night in that tight, smelly little stable.
And then a sheep farted right by Nick and before peals of laughter broke the silence, we ushered out our boys and went home.
The next night we celebrated Christmas with my family at my parent's home. We had a great time enjoying on another's company.
A wonderful night before the night before.