we hosted my parents for christmas eve and had yummy fondue. it was a big success, thanks to the careful tutoring of my sweet friend mindy (it has been her family's christmas eve tradition for years, so she has it down). we had pork tenderloin, steak, chicken and shrimp. plus an amazing cheese fondue. i think the kids favorite was the pomegranate seeds (they LOVE pomegranates)! everything was amazing!
following dinner we acted out the nativity story with the cutest mary, joseph and baby jesus! dave did a great job putting together some pretty great costumes from what we had on hand.
following this night (and our ward christmas party), the kids liked referring to connor as baby jesus!
opening her bling from nana and papa
reading "'twas the night before christmas," the last book in our book advent
the ceremonious placing of santa's cookies (there just wasn't time for cute cookies. we heard santa likes chocolate chip the best. but there wasn't even time for homemade chocolate chip, so peel and bake cookies had to do. i don't think santa minded though).
[L] the kids also made sure the reindeers were taken care of. logan especially was worried they might get thirsty, so we left them a pitcher of water. [R] since we are chimney-less, we hung a magic key on our door that would only work for santa to get inside.
a display of christmas artwork
dave and logan drew scenes from the nativity together in church one sunday (logan held the pencil and dave helped move it)
in my family growing up, before we went downstairs to open presents, all the kids went into my parent's bedroom (and their bed) and my dad would bring up toast and hot chocolate. dave has continued this tradition in our house, although this year we decided to move it out to the kitchen table, since toddlers drinking hot chocolate in our bed didn't sound like the smartest idea (especially our sweet, very messy, emma).
while drinking our hot chocolate, we opened the first present of christmas, our gifts to christ. this is my favorite tradition! the first fhe of the month we talk about the gifts the wise men brought the baby jesus and we talked about what kinds of gifts we can bring to the savior, namely gifts of kindness, service and love. then throughout the month, when we performed an act of service or someone else in the family did something kind for us, we wrote in on a slip of paper and put it in the box, as our gift for christ. then to set the right tone for the day and remember what the day is truly about, it is our first gift we open and we read all the slips of the paper. it is also a major lesson in patience for 2 kids that are super excited to see what santa brought them!!
finally getting to see what santa brought them and what gifts were under the tree!
emma immediately suiting up!
gathering for a christmas feast (and more presents) with dave's extended family
playing with his new toy (an iPad mini)
logan went missing and everyone was frantically looking everywhere (including outside) for him. we found him lying mostly under the bed in the guest bedroom, playing a game on pappy's phone. apparently he was too into the game to hear everyone yelling for him!
a stop to see my parents
and dinner with the wesslers
celebrating christmas was magical, made all the more magical by kids who "get it!" although those kids still provide a dose of reality by whining, brought on by a serious lack of sleep! we are especially grateful for the true reason for the season, the birth of our savior jesus christ and the example of his life and the gift of his atonement.