Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas 2016

Christmas with kids is awesome. I feel like all of the magic of the holiday from when I was young has returned as I see it in them, and I am way more excited to watch them open presents than I ever was anticipating my own gifts. It's also so sweet to see them associate it with baby Jesus and talk about His birthday and why we are celebrating. It has definitely been my best Christmas season yet.  We didn't pack the holidays too full this year, just really enjoyed a few things like the Festival of Trees, going on a special date with our older girls to eat dinner at The Roof and then walk around the temple and see the lights, hosting the second annual neighborhood friend's party, driving through the Christmas in Color light display by Utah Lake, and watching lots of Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, and making and eating yummy food and treats.  I also organized a Christmas drive for the Utah Foster Care system and was blown away by how generous people were.  We were able to provide Christmas for 15 kids who had been placed in homes between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  On Christmas Eve we had a party at Jack's dad's house (where they were so generous with gifts and stockings, we had a super good lunch, and a quite intense nativity re-enactment for the kids) and then dinner at Jack's mom's house where she gave out gifts as well and showed the grandkids how to play Jingle Bells on her new bell set.  Jack and I (true to his form of being so prepared to avoid stress and sleeplessness in the days leading up to Christmas) had the girls' gifts wrapped a week before the big morning and we had had almost no snow all month, but suddenly on Christmas Eve it started snowing.  We cozied up on our couch after the girls were in bed and watched a movie and then at midnight walked out into a quiet, snowy street that was completely empty and devoid of any marks.  It was one of the most magical Christmas moments I've ever had.  Christmas morning the girls snuggled in to our bed to watch a show while we got ready and then we went to 9am church and listened to the choir put on a program.  It was really quite perfect for Christmas Day.  Church was only one  hour and we wished all of our neighbors and friends Merry Christmas before heading home to change and dive into the piles of gifts.  Olivia noticed that there were only crumbs left on the plate of cookies they had put out for Santa and said "Oh!  I guess he is real!"  They got tons of Trolls toys (I made Berlin her own Trolls dress after being unable to find on in stores), we had put together a train table for them, and they also got a new Wii game, some legos, and remote control pony scooters and a remote control dinosaur.  I surprised Jack with a ping pong table that I had had to store in my craft room and put together all by myself, some books on the American Revolution, a Revolutionary War card game, a bust of John Adams, a TV show, a hat, and a sweater.  He got me a huge TV for the master bedroom, new shutters in the two bedrooms that I wanted them in, a gorgeous flatware set, three new dresses that I had been dying over, slippers, boots, and books.  We got Asher a little bounce-on deer, a dolly that laughs and cries, some Moana figurines, a book, and some bath toys.  The rest of the day and week were spent at home playing with our new things and eating good homemade food and treats, and also out with the Austins playing lots of board and card games.  As is every year, it was our best yet.

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