Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Christmas & New Years 2010 recap

Well, since I gave an overview of early December, I figure I really should give a recap of our Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

Christmas was FABULOUS!!!

As mentioned in my earlier post, we had a lot of fun buildup to the Christmas holiday…between visiting lights and sights around the state or early family/friends parties, we had a busy December.

On Christmas Eve, we spent the night with my parents/family. We had our annual traditional Christmas Eve soup dinner which was tasty. Followed by some fun Christmas games (bingo, white elephant exchange/thievery/etc). I read sections of the Bible while my kids acted out the parts of angels, shepherds, Mary, Joseph and wise men. My mom had written a fun "night before Christmas" poem incorporating my kids in a scheme to try and catch Santa and steal his presents…they thought that was a riot.

After everything, we headed home and let the kids open their Christmas Eve gifts (traditional pajamas with a bonus this year of a new Christmas Tree ornament for each of them). Then we read scriptures as a family, set out some Coke and Cookies for Santa (and carrots for his reindeer) and scooted off to bed.

For Christmas Morning we have ruled that the kids are not allowed into the living room until at least 7 AM and that we must all be awake and go in together. So naturally we heard the kids shuffling around in the hall and the kitchen starting around 6. At exactly 7 AM, all 3 of the kids burst into our room informing us that "It's 7! It's 7!" and we all filtered into the living room to see just how good Santa thought we were.

The kids were stoked with their gifts. They were apparently all very good this year as Santa brought them what they were looking for…from a fully automatic Nerf gun, to an intricate Indiana Jones Lego set, to a pretty doll with lovely clothes…they were all excited. Lynette got piles and piles of books and the new BBC Sherlock series and I got a bunch of new board games to try out along with some books and clothes. The next level of excitement came in opening the gifts under the tree.

I'm so happy that the kids are often just as excited (sometimes MORE excited) to see the reaction on other people's faces than they are about what they're getting themselves…I took the kids shopping for other family members earlier in the month and they have so much fun trying to come up with an awesome gift that the other person will just love. Then to open them on Christmas morning, they're super excited to see the reaction and joy on the other person's face. I'm not saying they fully get the "better to give than receive" mantra yet, but at least they have joy in the giving. ;)

Once the gifts were open and we'd all given thanks, it was time to fire up some breakfast before guests started arriving. I sizzled sausage for the next hour or so while the kids started playing with their goodies and Lynette started working on getting other preparations in place. Before long, Lynette's family had arrived and cousins were racing all over the house. My parents showed up in early afternoon with gifts to exchange. For the next few hours everybody mingled around, playing games, running around, or just relaxing.

The next day was Sunday and we all went to Church. Even though it was the day after Christmas, there was still a definite feel of Christmas in the attitude at church. The "official" Christmas lessons were the previous week, but even then, there was plenty of talk about the spirit of Christmas and Christ. It was a great time. After church we had a couple of hours downtime and then we headed off to Lynette's dad's for dinner and fun. Once again, the kids got to play around with their cousins and have a ball while the adults mingled and chatted for a few hours.

The week between Christmas and New Year's was about as fun filled and exciting. Lynette's sister's birthday is right after Christmas so the following Monday we "kidnapped" her and took her out to lunch. Unfortunately our intended destination was actually closed on Mondays so we had to amble around for a bit to find an adequate substitute which sort of downplayed the kidnapping aspect. But it was still fun.

Midweek, we went down to the local recreation center for an afternoon of swimming fun as a family. Even after a few hours in the pool, the kids didn't really want to leave. We also made a couple of runs to the malls for post-Christmas sales and the like.

Then on Friday during the day, we went over to Boondocks to celebrate our niece's birthday. We spent a couple of hours playing arcade games, running around the laser tag arena and just having fun.

Friday night we drove out to our friends's house in Salt Lake for some New Year's fun. It was a bit cold and snowy so we left a little before midnight but we made sure to shout Happy New Year's and jump up and down before we left. The kids had a lot of fun playing downstairs with new toys and watching shows. Jason graduated himself to the "middle ground" and came upstairs to play games with the adults. We played some Tikal and Pirate's Cove…both fun games that I haven't played for a while and was glad to get to play. We had some other games in the queue but ended up just talking and hanging out for the last bit of the night. It was a nice relaxing New Year's. The drive home wasn't too bad. There was a stretch of road that was icy and a little crazy, but otherwise it was fine. About halfway home the fireworks shot up in downtown Salt Lake which the kids were excited to see.

And then the next day or so was spent decompressing and trying to get things back to normal as we moved back to school and work and the standard routine.

All in all it was a great couple of weeks. Tons of fun to hang out with family and celebrate and have a good time.

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