Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Our Christmas festivities this year were a little different in terms of scheduling, but still a lot of fun. Lynette went in for her second hip surgery less than a week before Christmas, so we knew ahead of time we'd have to do most of our "out-and-about" activities well before Christmas itself.

As per our normal tradition, we set up our decorations and trimmed the tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Both Lynette and I have a bunch of ornaments from our childhood as well as dozens that we've collected in the 15 years we've been married. Then add to that those ornaments chosen by, given to, or made by our kids, and we have a hodgepodge of decorations.

We have no set theme on our tree...rather, it's a jumble of old wooden ornaments, new plastic ornaments, glass globes, paper trees and stockings, Disney rides and figurines, Hallmark pop-culture decorations, and much much more. It's all over the place...and very clearly ours. I love it.

During the first week of December, we had a fun filled windstorm in our community which delayed a few of our pre-Christmas activities, but mostly gave us a nice teaching lesson for the kids as we worked together as a community to help and serve others.

We then made our trip to Salt Lake to see the lights on Temple Square and the plaza. I still think there are fewer lights than there used to be, but that's probably just the crotchety old man in me talking. The lights were gorgeous and we had a nice time walking around and taking in the sights and sounds.

It was a cold night. We bought some hot cocoa and cookies from a little street cart but even that didn't help warm up little Andrew enough and we had to speed walk through the last few hundred yards back to the car to get him home and warm.

The fairpark hosted a Dickens Festival again. I'm so glad they've decided to bring this back. I have fond memories of the festival from my childhood and I love being able to share it with my kids. While it is, to a large extent, a bunch of booths and vendors trying to fleece the public with overpriced gifts, there are still those diamond-in-the-rough treasures you may find. Besides...the entire thing is themed Victorian London.

So even though many of the booths are something you may find in a mall, they at least have that Dickens flair to them. And there are a few booths that embrace the authenticity both in their mannerism and their wares. This seemed especially true of the food booths and some of the clothing booths. Plus...they have Father Christmas...and he is amazing.

We also made it up to Ogden to see their annual Christmas Village down by City Hall. Once again, it was a cold night so we cut it a little short, but it was very fun. We love looking at all the cute little houses each decorated with a different theme or motiff by a company or community group.

About mid-month, we went to our local "care center" for the elderly. The primary was in charge of putting on a home evening lesson for them. A couple of their teachers gave talks and the kids sang a bunch of Christmas songs. I was caught a little off guard when Jason got up to sing a I didn't get a full video of him singing, but he did great. They all did. It was a very cute night and everybody had a good time.

We did manage to get out and visit grandparents and cousins, though sadly Lynette didn't get to make all the visits because of her surgery. The kids had a ball playing with their cousins and getting to open a few gifts prior to Christmas day.

Once Lynette had her surgery, we stuck with more indoor activities...making gingerbread houses, watching Christmas shows, relaxing and playing games and the annual reading of the Christmas story from the Bible complete with some impromtu costumes and acting from the kids. :-)

Christmas morning was a little more subdued than normal as we let Lynette hobble in first on her crutches and then the rest of us gathered around and opened gifts, laughed and played together. It was actually nice that it was more relaxed as that made it easier to convince the kids to get dressed up for Church. There were a few seconds of reluctance but I assured them their toys would still be there after we came back. So we went over to Church for a lovely Christmas morning program and then came home and just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company.

In the days after Christmas, we've played a few new board games, watched a few new movies and played with new toys.

Jason has recently taken a passion for Airsoft guns (hence his starring role in the "Christmas Story" Jibjab video I posted recently) and so he and I stepped outside for a little Airsoft war. I nicked him a few times in the cheek and gave him a couple of welts. He smacked me in the forehead really well once and left a little red spot. The kids and I also got out to see a movie (their vote was for the new Chipmunks film...definitely not my first choice, but it was a fun outing).

I have had a ton of fun these past few weeks spending time with family and celebrating our lives and our love. I love the Christmas season for its power to bring us together even more than usual.

I also love what Christmas truly stands for. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and what He means to me and my family. I chatted a little with the kids the day after Christmas and asked for some of their favorite moments...I loved the answer Andrew gave about how excited he was to watch Jason open the present Andrew had picked out. He truly had the joy of giving. And I think they're starting to understand more about Christ and His role in our life and the world...His selflessness and love.

I hope all of you have had a fabulous Christmas season and that your lives are truly blessed.


Brian Miller said...

nice...what an awesome christmas card....just got home from and airsoft manhunt at night...was so a few welts myself...

Unknown said...

Happy holidays to you and your lovely family. Love the card :)