I will warn you in advance this is going to be a long post but it is for journaling purposes so bear with me, I guess you could always just stop reading;). Trust me, this is the super condensed version:)
We have so many annual activities and traditions each December. They include doing ginger bread houses , seeing Christmas plays, sub-4-santa's, Magleby grandkids Christmas party, Temple square, Festival of trees, etc... I know, it's the same for every family! Some people hate all the hussle and bussle and running around but I love it. This year it started with "Auntie Clause"; a character that Josh's aunt Rakelle began doing a few years back. She comes and showers gifts on her adoring, anxious nieces and nephews. the kids have grown to really love this.
Christmas Eve for us begins at Mimi's cafe. We started going there for breakfast about four years ago and it has become one of the things my kids look forward to the most. It kicks off all the mayhem and calorie-packed festivities that take place over the next four days! After Mimi's we went to my moms Christmas eve party, which started at one o'clock so that family who traveled far could get home at a decent time. We were still full from Mimi's but that didn't stop us from pigging out on delicious food! We also have all of the grandkids act out the Nativity in full costume (my mom goes to a lot of work for this and I love it!)
Next it was on to visit Grandma Thorne for a bit and then on to Josh's aunt Shirleys food-fest, I mean Christmas eve party:). Santa himself always shows up but this year he hurt his knee and just couldn't make it so Darren stepped in as a personal helper and handed out gifts. Teagan stayed close to the olive bowl all night; funny how the little ones learn right off the bat to put those things on your fingers, And Sadie got to call all the Bingo cards during Christmas Bingo. It is always fun to be with this part of Josh's extended family... Then it was back home where we opened Christmas pajamas, left out the cookies and milk for Santa (oats for the Reindeer) and shared the true Christmas story with the kids. I always fear that this gets lost on them in all of the other Christmas activities.
Christmas morning was fun, of course. It is fun to see the kids get so excited. Then we headed over to Josh's parents where they always prepare an enormous brunch. We spent the rest of the day there with his family opening gifts, acting out the Nativity, and eating, eating and eating (See a theme here?). Then it was home to prepare for a couple of nights at my father-in-laws cabin. We always have so much fun there in the winter. We snowmobile, sled, play games, crafts, watch movies etc. Josh gave me book for Christmas that I had been wanting and I was able to read the whole thing while relaxing there.
We got home and took Christmas down immediately! It was time. We have had it all up since before Thanksgiving. Christmas was fun and now it's time to lose some serious holiday weight, Bring on 2009!!