Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa was very good to us!

Christmas was wonderful! Oh and warm - yes shorts and sandals and palm trees for Florida this year. (The pictures are all from Christmas morning at our house.)
Christmas Eve we have a tradition we started years ago with my Grandma Alder....breakfast with the Alder family. Nineteen of us gathered bright and early - 7:30 a.m. to meet for breakfast (unfortunately a few had to head off to work so we meet early so no one is left out.) I think it's something we all love to do. It's tradition!
Christmas Eve night we gather with the Chandler's (my mom's family) and exchange gifts and play a fun and lively game of White Elephant gift. Bring a nice $35 gift and leave with a nice $35 gift (hopefully!) The gift can be stolen 2 times before it's frozen. I won a $25 Publix gift card and a $500 gift certificate for $25 at Publix every month for the next 18 months. I think I lucked out on that one. Neal got a cool small indoor remote control helicopter.
Christmas morning we started in our own home. Our tradition is 5 presents - Santa brings one, dad, mom, and the 2 siblings give one. It keeps it simple and not overwhelming. I really like the tradition we started. It makes you think long and hard about what the one gift will be.
Christmas brunch is spent with the Steinhour's. We gather together - all 33+ (10-12 adults and 21+ kids under the ago of 15..give or take a few depending on who's in town). It's actually pretty mellow. The kids get along very well. We exchange a few small presents and just spend time visiting with each other.

Christmas afternoon is spent with Grandma and Grandpa Alder followed by linner with the Chandler's. All 19 of us gather again and exchange gifts.

I love Christmas. I love how it makes people smile. I love how it makes people forgive. I love how the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ (thanks Pres. Monson for that thought.) I really do wish there was a way to bottle up the feelings of Christmas and hand it to people throughout the year to remind them of how wonderful it is.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

I know a little slow on getting pictures uploaded, but here's our Christmas tree. Notice the sparse decorations in some areas and a high concentration of decorations in others. Nope I don't change's what the kids did. One day I might have a designer tree, but not in the next 10 years (at least).

Our Family Nativity

For FHE tonight we painted a nativity. First we went over the story (briefly) and made sure they knew the main people. Eli knew most of the story! I'm always amazed when they actually know stuff that I swear they never listen too!

I actually really love nativity sets - I semi- collect them(this is probably an unknown fact to some people.) Currently there are 6 variations of the nativity set up around my house.

The boys painted 4 pieces each while Neal and I did 2 each and Morgan pretended to paint or bumped into dad and mom while they painted.

Enjoy the pictures of our newest nativity collection. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Santa Claus is coming to town!

By the Pointer Sisters (the best version EVER.) That's the boys favorite song right now. Even Morgan gets into it by dancing in her car seat. It's the first song we hear when we get in the car and we usually listen to it several times in a row and definitely more than once in a car trip. My favorite song this year is Josh Grobin and Brian McKnight singing Angels we have heard on high. It's a beautiful version of a pretty song.

The holidays are in full swing. We started listening to Christmas music the week of Thanksgiving. We put up our lights on the house Thanksgiving weekend. And for FHE on Monday we bought our tree. The next night we hung our decorations. I love letting the kids do most of the decorating. All the ornaments get clumped together and are usually low. I don't like to change it - it's what they did and when I see 4 ornaments on one tiny branch it makes me smile. I do, however, add some ornaments to the top, ribbon, and ting, ting once they get done.

Merry Christmas! May you not be too rushed to enjoy it!