Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas concert and presents

Angela and kids dressed for Christmas

Our Christmas Eve concert was the usual untuneful success - it is a family tradition now to start Christmas by lighting all the candles including the central candle of the advent crown while someone (this year J) reads "and she brought forth her first born son and laid him in a manger as there was no room in the inn"
Then follows Christmas singing and acting that has followed more or less the same format since 1992 - the video we have of that year shows Joe Sam and Beth put their all into it, playing trumpet, violin and recorder respectively and not trying to drag out the singing as they do now.

Lily was allowed to cast and direct the nativity play. She cast Sam as the innkeeper again this year, but whereas last year he had to play it in the style of Lord Voldemort this year he had to be "the joker" from Batman! Joe had to be the donkey and carry J on his back to Bethlehem!

Our concert also included dances to "Nothing but a child" by Lily and Isaac (Isaac's role was to sit in the highchair and have Lily stand on one leg and touch his head each time the words "nothing but a child" appeared). We also had "Last year I gave you my heart" choreographed by J. this included Noah J and Lily leaping forward and shouting "you gave it away" and reduced the audience to tears of laughter.

After the concert we open presents from the brothers and sisters to each other. This tradition was started when they were younger and in all the presents of Christmas day the small ones they had bought each other could get overlooked. Now these are their main presents and Hannah works most years to arrange a secret Santa so they don't have to buy for everyone. One of the best things this year was Lily giving each of her older siblings movie vouchers - however she had divided them up totally unevenly!

Hannah had made a Wall-e costume for Noah as this is his current obsession. He also got 2 Wall-e books, some Wall-e colouring books, some Wall-e snap cards and the Wall-e DVD which Santa bought in San Francisco as its not yet out in NZ.

J did very well with her favourite character Hannah Montana, getting Hannah Montana pyjamas (again from a well-travelled Santa who'd bought American clothes!) a Hannah Montana hat and wig, 2 Hannah Montana towels and a Hannah Montana mug.

I've been trying to explain to J that sometimes the best presents aren't actually those wrapped in wrapping paper but things people do. She is finding this quite hard to understand but I told her that Isaac learning to walk is a Christmas present to us, and that J herself is a present as we had no idea this time last year that she'd be here.

It is a moment that I will count as a present although it is bitter-sweet to remember sitting by J who is such a confused and hurt child during our church carol service and hear the choir sing

"Street child, beat child, no place left to go;
hurt child, used child, no one wants to know.
This year, this year, let the day arrive;
when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive.

Grown child, old child, memory full of tears;
sad child, lost child, story told in years.
This year, this year, let the day arrive;
when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive. , "

ps. Our house is coming on well. It's now got the shutters outside the study window and one of the balconies (which we hope will look better when painted.)


Nan P. said...

Noah has great taste, I love Wall-E, my son even gave me the video for Christmas... goes to show there is no special age to enjoy great animation movies!

The concert sounds like great fun. Brilliant way to let imagination run wild.

As for J, please let her know that I often think of her, all the way from the other side of the world. She is a very special girl, and very fortunate to be in such a loving family. I pray that life keep improving for her.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,
Merry Christmas to you all. I just read about your Christmas morning, which sounded pretty stressful with poor little Isaac ending up in hospital.
The concert sounded like great fun though.
I hope that the rest of the holidays go well for you all.
Have fun,