Our Christmas Eve was so relaxing. Jason and Hallie Harrison actually ended up over at our house, so they played for a while and we made reindeer food with oatmeal and sprinkles. Evelyn is very much in the “I can do my own hair” phase. It turns out that their mom was able to finish the Book of Mormon (per President Nelson’s invitation) in quiet while they were at our house, so I’m glad we were able to serve them in a small way.
I created a few saran wrap games for our Christmas Eve festivities.
We went to my dad’s for the traditional candlelight dinner and my favorite part–singing Christmas carols by the piano. I felt the spirit so strong as Hollie played so powerfully. Brandon and I lack in musical talent, so it was a joy to be able to sing with more musically talented siblings.
I got up with Eli in the middle of the night and happened on this scene. Santa came!
I didn’t get any photos of visiting the Sundays later that day or playing with new toys, but it was magical just the same.
We have found that keeping our gifts to a minimum brings us greater joy and keeps our focus away from stuff. Something new we tried this year was sibling gifts. I found so much joy in watching our children do this. They were excited to get to pick out something for the person they had and wrap it and keep it a secret.
Here’s what everyone got:
Brandon- Classic Nintendo
Melissa- Apple Watch (Brandon helped Santa with this–totally a surprise), but my favorite is always reading Brandon’s letter he writes to me each year.
Blake- Over the door basketball hoop which he has played with nonstop. Star Wars book, slippers
Evelyn- new princess dress, slippers, Fancy Nancy book
Oliver- Picasso Tiles which have also been played for hours by everyone everyday since Christmas, The Brave Monkey book
Eli- new sippy cup, BINGO book, sleepers
We also surprised our children by telling them we were going to Chile.
A Merry Christmas indeed!