An angel figurine plays music on the flute on Christmas Eve – our family enjoys both the German and American traditions when opening our presents on Christmas.
Here’s our nativity set on the dining room window sill; we open presents from family and friends on Christmas Eve – as is traditionally done in Germany – after we’ve first had coffee and cake in the late afternoon.
The table is set for coffee and cake with my wife’s Christmas cookies and chocolates, while the nutcracker stands guard over the dining room and the Advent wreath beside him.
David talks to one of his German relatives on the phone under our staircase on Christmas Eve to wish them a Merry Christmas.
David displays a Lego pirate ship that will provide hours of enjoyment for him over the Christmas holidays.
I open a Paul McCartney CD while David shows his enthusiasm for opening and playing with his presents on Christmas Eve – wearing his, “Santa Snoopy” sweatshirt.
A Lego airport system is a welcome addition to David’s Lego collection, which were always his favorite toys to build and play with as a child – and today he’s studying Engineering in college.
I show off a new German language world atlas for the family and to help with David’s schoolwork, while he silently, “gives away” who the gift was from.
David shows off a box of chocolate dinosaurs that will soon be a treat for him to sample.
My wife takes careful notes of all the gifts we’ve opened, while David opens a new present.
David shows off “Russ” the pooch, which now joins his stuffed animal collection; while my wife records both the giver and gift – thank you cards will be written to mail over the holidays.
My camera catches a pause in the action as David prepares to choose another gift to give to someone.
A model car is a new addition to David’s growing car collection – he knew most production makes and models from a very early age due to his interest in them.
After opening our presents it was time for Christmas Eve dinner – I always liked to take pictures of tables set for dinner – because they tell a story.
A picture of a table set for dinner tells you a lot about the setting, function and people involved; and describes the preparation, effort and care that is placed on the dinner by those about to take part.
David had a small Christmas tree in his room upstairs, and he often fell asleep at night with the tree lights on – and here on Christmas morning he found out that Santa had left a full stocking of treats on his bed post.
Santa always put oranges, walnuts, chocolates and small gifts into our Christmas stockings, and as we had no fireplace he had to be quite resourceful in his methods.
David parks his stuffed toys – “Russ” the pooch and “Mickey Mouse” – in the rocking chair while he begins to investigate what Santa brought during the night and placed under the Christmas tree.
Santa uses his own unique gift bags and wrapping paper for our family – and here David explores the contents of Santa’s gift bag to him.
David finds a large gift from Santa for him, and begins to open it and discover what the contents are.
David finds a seam of the wrapping paper to begin the process of discovery – for a child Christmas represents all that is good with life – and we always tried to make it special for David.
At last David reveals a race car set that Santa brought for him, which will soon be set up in his room to play with.
The evidence that Santa left behind after his visit to our home on Christmas Eve is clear for all to see – the crumbs on the plate from the cookies left out for him and an empty glass of milk!