As our family matures, we have been able to better establish rich holiday traditions. It is my goal to fill the season with meaningful memories as opposed to a commercial gimme-gimme focus.
A new one that we added this year is the Journey to Bethlehem put on by several local faiths. It is so cool to see the variety of backgrounds there come together by a common focus on Christ.
Here is the participating camel, my favorite part of the production.
Mia was terrified of the "grunchy green guy" while watching "The Grinch" with cousins (the Jim Carey version is gross, but we needed something that the older male cousins could appreciate).
Dad and Mia used external sources to turn up the gingerbread-house design competition this year. Note their Seussical landscaping in the finished product (on the right).
That top-heavy marshmallow tree caused a lot of heart ache.
Mia decided that she wanted to see the Nutcracker ballet this year for her Christmas present. Mom was a little reluctant about the attention span of her wiggly little body, but we made it through the entire production with only one declaration of "not again!" when the prince emerged on-stage for the final scene.
Our annual Coeur D'Alene cruise to the "north pole"
We tried a new type of Christmas cookie this year for Mia's school party: "peppermint buttons." The girls were well-practiced at sneaking dough by the end of that night. June patiently waited by the oven until each batch came out.
Here we are, dressed in our festive red velvet for Christmas Sunday
Getting into the spirit at Great-Gma R's on Christmas 'eve:
We were so lucky to have our always missed Utah cousins surprise the family for Christmas!
Times like this usually call for a dance party:
All is calm and bright at midnight
Testing out the new art supplies and puzzles:
When Mia opened her fancy World Map puzzle, she skeptically said, "Umm...this one is at my school"
We had a frosty "white" but snowless Christmas day. It was still lovely.
We pulled out the fancy crystal goblets at Gma K's in the evening, but Mia was a bit heavy-handed with hers despite countless warnings and nearly sliced her finger off when it shattered. She was instructed to keep her hand elevated to slow the bleeding down in order for her parents to assess whether it warranted an ER visit. She took her instructions to heart and wouldn't lower her poor hand for the rest of the night. It did the trick... no emergency room Christmas to our relief!
Cute matching nightgowns from talented seamstress Gma K:
After the girls went to bed that night, Mom and Dad discovered that the girls' plasma cars from Gma & Gpa R have a 250 lbs weight limit.