Anyway, this Christmas was fantastic. We stayed home, which is TOTALLY the way to go for us. Eli had to work on Christmas Eve, so Charlie and Liv went to Jen's for the day. It was a good thing, too, because I spent the entire day cooking a meal that I wasn't hungry for when the time came to actually eat! :) But it was pretty good, if I do say so myself. I won't be doing that again, though. Next year, we're eating Chipotle or something. Remind of that when I try to go all-out again.
Elf left us a good-bye letter and gave each of the children their very own elf to cuddle and hold while he's away for the year. We ended the day with Eli reading Luke 2, watching The Nativity, and then Mr. Krueger's Christmas with Charlie and Liv. This was the last of our Keeping Christ in Christmas advent calendar.
This is our newest tradition, and it filled this Christmas season with the Spirit. It helped us all focus on the Savior, and put our energy toward giving, instead of receiving. Every day (mostly. My car accident made things difficult at the end there), we did and activity with the twins, and read a scripture about the Savior. It might have been an act of service, watching a gospel based movie, giving thanks to those who serve us, etc. I wanted to take pictures of each thing, but I failed miserably. I did get a couple though.
They helped set up for the wedding of a new couple at Church.
They made a big thank-you sign for our Trash Collectors.
Among other things, they collected the carts at Kroger for the man who usually does that, brought cookies to the Firehouse across from our neighborhood, brought a poinsettia and sang a couple carols to Grammy, visited and thanked the High Risk Nurses at Riverside who helped our family be, and all along the way handed out candy canes with a little card the recipient could use to get a free DVD of The Nativity. But my favorite, by far, was when I asked Charlie and Liv to pick one toy of theirs to give to a child who would not receive much for Christmas this year. Without hesitation, Liv picked her blue princess dress (she wore it ALL. THE. TIME.) and handed it to me. I asked her 5 times if she was really sure that this is what she wanted to give. She was. And she did. Charlie followed suit by selecting two of his cars (his favorite toys) to donate. I was stunned. And I was moved beyond words...but not beyond tears. This is what it's all about. Christmas. The Savior. Giving . And they taught me so very much by their willingness (and gladness!) to give.
So I am sad to see this Christmas season go. It has been amazingly wonderful. It has been tender, filled with love, and spiritually uplifting. All that I could ask for. My heart is full of gratitude. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!