Well, Christmas was a little different around our house this year (seems like I've said that before). First of all, Craig had to work Christmas Day :( So instead of opening all of our presents that morning when he would be gone we decided to open them on Christmas Eve with him. Actually it was kind of fun because the kids (and Craig) got to play with their fun new toys all evening before bed. Christmas morning we woke up to a note from Santa saying that he had delivered our presents to Grandma & Papa's house. In years past my parents have always come over early in the morning to be here when the kids opened their presents from Santa, but this year we decided to take Christmas to them so they didn't have to be up and around so early. So me and the kids jumped in the car and headed to grandma and papa's. Sari had asked for a new cell phone but mom and dad gave that to her so Santa brought her a new digital camera. Ashlie asked for a new baby, instead she got twins that talk to her and to each other. Can you guess what Tyler asked for??? I know it's tough, a train! So Santa brought him an electric train that has currently taken up residence in our front living room. I got lots of fun new socks and a new black dress jacket! And tons of other fun goodies. And since Craig has been such a very good boy this year I decided he deserved the iphone he has been begging for :) Even though Craig was working we had a wonderful day. We made sure that when we added Sari to our family plan for her phone that we all have unlimited texting which has already proved to be very needed. One of the funnest family gifts we received was Rock Band for the Wii. I wasn't overly interested at first but Craig assured me we would have a great time. So far it seems I'm the one that keeps turning it on. I even went on Tour by myself on the drums :)
One tradition I've started with my kids is beginning December 1st we have a red notebook that we read from each night instead of reading out of our scriptures. For each night there is a series of scriptures, a story or poem, and a song that goes along with a piece of a paper nativity we put on a back drop. I started doing this several years ago with the girls and they really get into it and enjoy looking ahead for what piece goes on the backdrop. Some of the songs they've learned to play on the piano so now they want to
accompany our scripture time with the piano. This year was especially fun because Tyler was able to participate more. He really began to understand the concept of Christmas. He loved to look at all of my nativities I have around the house and would point out Baby Jesus in each one of them. So it was really fun each night as we would read to have him ask questions and to tell us what he had learned about Jesus.
Christmas is such a magical time of the year. I am thankful for the opportunity recently to be able to reflect back on my life and to find the things that are most important. While opening presents and enjoying the good food is fun it is not what is most important. More than keeping with the traditions we've created, I found that more than anything I just wanted to spend time with my family. And while I focused more on just spending time with my family, I
found that this Christmas was just as magical if not more so than all of the others filled with gifts and toys. I hope that I can pass on the Christmas Spirit to my children and help them realize it is not about what we get, but about what we give to others.