Friday, December 25, 2015


Christmas Eve we ate yummy homemade challah bread and clam chowder. The kids opened a present from Grandma that was matching Christmas PJ's! The kids changed and then we tried to take a few pictures before doing a cousin gift exchange. 


It was a little confusing for Freddy to be given a present to hold and then be expected to GIVE IT AWAY to someone. As the youngest in the exchange he was given a present first but he didn't want a new present, he wanted to open the one he was already holding. All confusion and tears were cast aside as soon as he did open the right gift, he LOVES the little wooden car transporter Mady gave him!

The kids were super antsy and the parents were anxious to put kids to bed but we felt like we should do something else, so we asked Great Grandma (GG) to recite for us the poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" She had come down from Ogden just that morning and we were so happy to have her there. Despite her wonderful poem, Freddy was too tired to actual sit still and be quiet and I didn't get to hear half of it because I was trying to calm down a screaming Freddy in the kitchen (He's starting to throw some doozy tantrums!) 

As the families dispersed to put their kids to bed, I was wanting to talk more about Christ on Christmas and have a nice spiritual moment with the kids, and so we gathered our children all on our bed in Thom's old room to try and talk about the meaning of Light at Christmas time and try and give everyone a turn to share a time when they felt the Light of Christ during the past year, and/or a time when they've reflected or shared His light. I had wanted to use candles, but improvised with a bedside lamp. It all sounded so good in my mind, but it was a COMPLETE BUST. Alec and Charlie were just mad that they were stuck in a room with siblings and parents when there were cousins to play with, Gwen was whining about something else... probably wanting to eat a treat or not wanting to go to bed, and Freddy was going crazy with the lamp and Mom and Dad were getting frustrated about being frustrated when we were aiming for calm and spiritual. *Sigh* Do we get points for trying? After explicit instructions for the kids regarding expectations about staying inside bedrooms until certain times, we put the kids to bed. 

We helped get the room ready for Santa and by the time that was done we had eaten our stomaches full of peanut and plain M&Ms, red licorice, and cinnamon bears and honestly I can't remember what we did next. Probably just went to bed. 

Christmas morning started at 6:30AM! By 7:00 we were lined up on the stairs and ready for fun!

Because both Thom and Brittany and us were traveling and trying to not spend very much, I think we did a great job with moderation on the presents. I think every child felt loved and spoiled, but I didn't feel anyone went over the top. We had worked all week on a special present for GG and we were all excited to see her open it. It was an "Open When.." box. We filled it with envelopes with instructions written on each one like "Open when You're Worried" or "Open When its Easter" etc.  I got the idea from my sister, Sarah and while it was a lot more work than I thought it would be, it was good to see the kids excited about making it and giving it to her. 

Freddy's exuberance did not disappoint!

Then Chris and I braved the newly fallen (and still falling) snow for a drive up to Herriman to visit with my siblings and parents. It was nice to see them and spend a few hours with them. I forgot to take pictures. Darn! But all too soon (I admit, I cried when it was time to leave) we headed back down to Provo for a scrumptious Christmas Dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, yams, jello, rolls, and trifle.  

It was so fun to be together and have so many fun gifts and eat such delicious food. I hope next year I can be better about really keeping Christ as the focus. Ideas anyone?

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