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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cassie's Journal - December 24, 2016



Happy Christmas Eve Day!

After wrapping up my update from last night; I’m happy to report that we had a wonderful rest of the night.  The Christmas movies, chat and play time with my family and our best friends, and the quality cuddle time with Michael was all wonderful; and our night ended with a group sleepover in the lounge when we collectively decided that staying there would be more comfortable than splitting up and going to our rooms for the night.  Michael and I got one side of the sectional sofa for that; Rowen and Tim had the other; and the two junior couples had nests of blankets and pillows on the floor.  Ehlana and Aiden weren’t exactly cuddled as a couple as they slept next to each other; but Naomi definitely was snuggled next to Ethan; and he had an arm around her as they slept – or at least they were like that when I woke up this morning.  There’s a good chance that I was one of the first to be sleeping last night; though I think that we all nodded off during the second movie, and while the sofa sleepover with Michael wasn’t hot; it was still really great to wake up with him – and then have some more fun with our friends as some of us got moving and ready for a busy day.

For two of us, that meant getting cleaned up and dressed before hurrying over to the Inn to help with the breakfast buffet rush that Miranda was hosting for the Christmas Eve Day shopping frenzy.  Mom and Dad brought the rest of our sleepover teens and kids to that buffet; and then they went on to some shopping with the four younger kids while Rowen and Tim went to work at the computer store and auto shop respectively.  While I’m thinking about Landry’s automotive, I’ll mention that they are actually quite busy around Christmas.  Part of that is the work that goes along with people getting their vehicles ready to travel or emergency repairs; but they also get a lot of business for gifts too – usually upgrades for cars and trucks; but some new vehicle gift sales too.  From what Tim’s told us; they’ll also be busy next week doing installations of other gifts – like new sound or multimedia systems or other toys for cars and trucks.

Moving along, I didn’t get to go with Mom and Dad when they went shopping, but I did join them for about half of that play time once the last major round of food went out to the buffet tables at nine-thirty.  I was able to catch the shopping at Abby’s store; helped with the Olde Bakery stop; and a visit with Rowen and her parents at the computer store.  We went home after that; uploaded the van; and then I went with Ethan and Ehlana to walk Aiden and Naomi home before helping Mom with making lunch for five.  We ate, cleaned up, and then puttered around the house doing some chores until Michael came over for his afternoon break.  We had a music practice to get ready for the church services tonight and tomorrow; had some outdoor play time with the twins; and then we headed back to the Inn to help out with the early dinner shift.

Miranda was doing that dinner rush early because of the Christmas Eve service at the church; and she had a big turnout for it that included many of the families that needed to be at the church early because they were participating in the service – or had come to town early to help with the service set-up.  Michael and I needed to be at the church early for warm-ups with the teen praise team; though we were only singing one song as a group and taking a turn for two of the pre-service caroling.  The Christmas Eve service was as wonderful as always; with one especially-noteworthy change this year.  Pastor John took over the Christmas Eve message from his mother; he’s putting his own touches on the Christmas story she’s been telling since getting her copy of the Magi Christmas story that Mom gave the Magi for our first Christmas here; and I’m really glad that this will continue to be a new Christmas Eve tradition at our church.  The duet that Michael and I sang was a close second for best moments of the service tonight, but everything was wonderful; and getting to share all of it with my family and our best friends and neighbors is what really makes the night so special!

It seems a bit too practical to go from the magic of the Christmas story and jump right back into normal life again, but that’s exactly what Michael and I needed to do after the service.  We headed for the Inn with his family and a small group of staff-volunteers; finished the clean-up from dinner; and got everything set up for the Boxing Day breakfast buffet so that nobody would need to go to the Inn on Christmas Day – except to deal with the handful of guests staying in the rooms.  That, by the way, is something that I don’t usually think about at all, but since all of Miranda’s guests at the Inn this weekend are here for family Christmases; it won’t be a problem for them to get food on Christmas Day while the stores are closed for the day.  Miranda also left a couple of boxes of bakery treats for her guests to have in the morning; though I’d expect all of them to be with their families for breakfast anyway – even if they hadn’t had room in their own houses for all of their weekend guests.

Then again, I doubt that anyone would have a problem with getting to stay in one of the rooms at the Inn instead of guest bedrooms in homes anyway; since they really are awesome rooms – especially the newly-renovated rooms!

Moving along again, that work took a while; Michael came home with me; and he stayed for the Christmas Eve fun with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana; and then helped to play Santa with me too after we took care of getting my brother and sister tucked in for the night.  That work was a lot of fun too; though we were all getting tired out by then.  Some of that work was Magi-powered, and I am so glad that was an option; since we might have been up all night if we’d had to do all of the toy building or assembly by hand the way that most ‘normal’ parents need to do on Christmas Eve.  That might sound strange when we’re talking about gifts for two junior Magi Masters, but they do need to keep up appearances with the other kids; and do still like to play with toys – even if they like to play with the grown-up toys at the lab and archive too.

Speaking of that, I should mention that Ethan and Ehlana will be moving on to their next-level of unofficial college education in the New Year.  Their Masters Degrees from the University of Mom can’t be used for anything in the real world; but they have completed those degrees; and will be moving on to their doctoral studies in January.

Getting back to the news from tonight; we filled stockings; hauled all of the gifts to the living room from where they’ve been in hiding; ate the Santa and reindeer approved treats; and left enough of those snacks for Ethan and Ehlana to munch on when they sneak downstairs to check out what Santa’s brought for them.  I expect they’ll do that sooner instead of later; so I should wrap this up and get a bit of sleep.

Michael went home after we finished the work in the living room; and I came up to my room and got ready for bed after seeing him out with a fairly-spectacular goodnight and Merry Christmas hugs and kisses bit of fun under the mistletoe in the front hall.  I was tempted to keep him, but he needed to get home to put the gifts for his family out under the tree; and then he’ll come back here whenever I send him the message that Ethan and Ehlana are up and ready for the Christmas morning fun here.  That really is likely to be soon; so let’s do the Christmas music video thing; and call it a night.

First up, this adorable version of Silent Night is new to YouTube this Christmas; and this little charmer has become quite the YouTube sensation with her music videos!



Song number two for tonight was one of my favorites from the Christmas Eve service tonight, and while there isn’t a music video to go along with the audio recording; I still want to preserve the song in the archives just in case it’s lost to time everywhere else in the distant future.  That idea might seem impossible with the technology today, but that has happened over and over again in the past; and will happen again for whatever reasons we can’t anticipate now.  That’s gotten off-track, though, so here’s the song; and I hope you love the message as much as I do!



Okay, it’s officially time for this Santa’s little helper to get to my short winter’s nap now; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!