I was a little nervous about how Christmas would turn out this year since it would be our first Christmas without having other extended family around. So I made lists of activities and different traditions that we wanted to start with our family and had a plan ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that I wouldn't have much time to think about how I was missing being with other family. Our Christmas turned out wonderfully, we were all so happy to have lots of time to spend with one another doing fun things and remembering our Savior's birth. Christmas Eve (day) we made lots of treats and prepared plates to give out to our neighbors. Elisabeth and I made the deliveries and then our friends the Arkell's came by for a little while to play. After they left we had dinner and then did our live nativity; we had been leading up to the story of Jesus birth all week by retelling the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth and the angel coming to see Mary and Joseph. (Below are a couple of really short clips, mostly to show the costumes and the kids...we tried to edit ourselves out as much as we could so as not to disturb you viewers :))
The kids loved dressing up, Charles as a shepard and Elisabeth as an angel, and in fact we had a bit of a struggle later on that night trying to convince Elisabeth to change out of her angel costume and into pajamas...she would much rather have slept in her beautiful angel dress. Christmas night both the kids slept fine but Scott kept waking up because he was anxious about his big surprise for me...my elliptical machine! It was a TOTAL surprise(a complete blessing/miracle) and there's a long story behind that so I might try and post a blog about that later. The kids got up around 7am, I put the monkey buns in the oven, we opened our stockings and then got started on the gifts. We had a hard time getting Charles to open his gifts because the kids got a basketball hoop from Santa that was just sitting out and Charles just wanted to be left alone to play with it. But we got through all the unwrapping and then just relaxed in our pj's for hours and played with our new toys and watched Joy to the World. Later that afternoon we got dressed and Scott and I made some authentic enchiladas and refried beans and brought them over to our neighbors who had invited us over for a Mexican feast....we already had all the makings for mexican food because we'd been planning on doing that for Christmas dinner for awhile so when they invited us over and told us what they'd be serving we decided we'd just add to what they had. We had such a nice time with their family, they had 2 of their daughters there, one brought her fiance, and their parents came over as well (they were probably in their 80's, and I felt so at home and comfortable with them, I love the elderly and maybe part of that is due to the fact that my dad is 81). We got to talk with our families over the phone and of course we would have loved to be with them, but even on our own, Christmas was wonderful!