if i were a better person with more time and cared more, i would make a collage but alas, i am none of these. i can barely remember christmas honestly so here i am making an attempt.
anna and her hooligans stopped in vegas on their way to salt lake. landon was DYING with excitement because nicklaus is his very favorite cousin. we had so much fun with them! even though our time together was short, we had a great time. my brother and nephew came over for dinner too which was a blast. all that was missing was my mom.
*side note* my mom has been gone from vegas for a couple years now and it has not gotten easier yet. it just did not feel like christmas without her. for her present this year i made a CD of myself singing christmas songs and once again, i got her the best gift ever. TOOT TOOT! one of our christmas traditions is for my sister and me to sing songs around the piano so this was my way of bringing that tradition to her. i miss her every day and i can't imagine a life when she isn't around to call.
landon was very much aware of santa claus and porter too! we saw him at landon's preschool party where porter refused to sit on santa's lap. landon asked for a robot, buzz lightyear set, and playground [1/3]. we also saw him on christmas eve when we visited the magical forest. i love the magical forest and i'm so glad we go every year. the boy's favorite part of christmas was jack our elf. every morning they would wake up and search for him. landon would talk to him and bring him food often. he would ask me some intense and very insightful questions about him [yikes! i'm in trouble]. porter STILL asks where jack is. we sure do love our elf!
*side note* my visiting teacher called me and asked if we needed a playset. i said yes and the next thing i know someone brought it over and set it up for us- a christmas miracle! it's older and well used but wood and very sturdy. the kids love it! i didn't think i wanted a play set because they're expensive and take up so much space but i'm glad we have it!
christmas day the boys woke us up at 4am! can you imagine? that was when we got up- they actually woke us up several times during the night + night nursing so i was BEAT! some presents that the boys got include: army costume [landon], movies, BBQ & play kitchen, play food, leap frog games [landon], leap frog baby tablet thing [porter], daniel tiger toys [porter], tv for the play room, books, games, spiderman and batman costumes, and lego men [landon]. santa doesn't give the boys a lot of gifts because i don't think they need them. we do so much before christmas and i'd rather spend money doing things together rather then more stuff. plus their harrison grandparents SPOIL the boys so much. i end up regifting or hiding most of the presents because we get so much.
justin and i agreed not to give each other presents because we usually buy whatever we want for ourselves. plus we'd rather put money into our house. well i didn't do that this year and i surprised him with tickets to garth brooks. he's doing a world tour this summer and justin had always said he was bummed we couldn't go to his residency at the wynn [too expensive]. garth brooks is a childhood idol of his so i'm excited to go see him this summer.
one of the greatest things we did this year was continue our 25 days of christ ornaments and give a gift to christ. we wrapped a present and put it under the mini tree with the ornaments and filled it with acts of service. whenever we would do an act of service, i'd write it on a little piece of paper and we'd talk about how serving others is a way to give a gift to christ. landon loved this and still talks about service he can do for others.
one of the greatest things i did was go to the temple. i love the temple so much but can't go as often as i'd like. what better way to give to christ then to give of our time and serve in the temple.
one of the greatest presents we received as a family was two nativity sets. for the 12 days of christmas, we got a piece of a nativity - two sets actually, a nice ornate one and a little people one - with some scriptures/verses/meaning behind the piece. it was so exciting to see what we'd get each night and to guess who was doing it. turns out it was a person in our ward - the same one who gave us the play set. so amazingly nice!
*side note* this ward we are in is on a whole new level of amazing. the members are all active, wealthy and giving, very generous with their time and talents, and so nice. i was a little worried because it's an older ward but i'm so glad we moved here. they are all so nice and helpful. we feel so blessed.
i'm so thankful for the christmas season - for the merriment, food, and abundance of the spirit.