The longing for a festive big family gathering had already been met, so it wasn't at all a let down this year for Christmas to be simple. While we didn't quite get through all of our advent stories, I did borrow an inspiration and pulled together 25 candles for the dining room table. (Remember the visitors we almost had in October? They were the push I needed to unearth the living/dining room from the lingering visitation paraphernalia.) We ate the evening meals in there for the bulk of December. The kids loved the change of location and lighting the number of candles to correlate with the date...leading up to the anticipation of the 25th. The center candle holder was purchased from an art shop on our honeymoon, projecting to the cross.
It was a day of worshipful focus, yummy food, family and excited kids with a few gifts.