Maybe it's because I'm not a night person, but in the best of times I don't like going to midnight services. I understand the concept, celebrate the first instant you possibly can, and... I don't like it. Before I had kids I would go and each and every year wonder why we are still
So, last night we planned to go. Calvin had overtime that ended late but he would meet us at church. My girls were set on going--especially because they get their own little candle throughout most of the service and I promised them rice crispy treats afterwards. We were set, all systems go. Except not really, because I kept having to do one-more-thing to get ready for all the festivities, and by the time I went to get the girls ready for bed it was already 9pm. By then it seemed a shame to have to struggle to get them to bed just to struggle to wake them up less than two hours later, groggy and grumpy, and so I told them they could stay up. Oh Happy Day! They were so excited and jazzed, this was going to be great, staying up late and going out into the dark of night and having their own candle and basically being excused from all frowned-on behavior in church because they're kids and it's the middle of the night. It quickly became apparent that staying up wasn't really that great, after all.
At about 10:25, when we were getting ready to leave and no one could function, I surrendered and swept my girls into bed. That's it, too bad for us, maybe next year, we are not risking the unknown of over-over-tiredness with three small people who cause me stress to manage in the best of times. I will know to plan ahead better next year, put my kids to bed better and earlier, and let them get a "nap" in before going. They will be a year older, slightly more cognitively developed, slightly more able to function next year. Or, there's always the very real possibility that we won't go next year, either. And I'm okay with that.
An Aside: There are plenty of Orthodox people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter, we're just doing the opposite.