After Thanksgiving each year, I have the kids write their letters to Santa, and then I forbid them to think about their own gifts any more. Here is what they came up with this year. Isaiah was a little unclear on whether he would be giving Santa something or receiving something. Super cute!
Eliza has long wanted to craft with polymer clay, which bakes hard in the oven, and at the beginning of December, she finally saved up enough and bought a big package of it so she could do a nativity set. This is the first one she did, and I loved it so much that she gave it to me for Christmas. She spent the rest of the month crafting little gifts for siblings, cousins, grandparents, everyone. I wish I had pictures of them all, they're amazing. She spent hours every day for weeks on end.
And here is the adorable little elephant she sculpted for Paul's present.
Here is a picture of the gift she sewed for TJ's parents, front and back.
All the Monnett siblings minus Kendall were in town before Christmas, and we had a couple of really great game nights, besides the mandatory caroling night. This is us all out to lunch with Mom and Dad at Olive Garden. I especially loved getting to know Tana's darling baby Desmond, and getting reacquainted with Nikki's sweet Palmer. My sisters' babies are perfect, adorable boys and I miss them already! And no, I'm not baby hungry.
Christmas Eve we had our traditional reading of Luke and the kids dressed up and did a musical nativity scene. Since we had Jonathan and Cherie's kids, our nativity this year reminded me of the one we did together in 2009:
We were just missing Tony's kids this year, but Cherie and I have done our best to keep numbers up:
Looks like Spiderman put in appearance at both nativities, so we didn't win any prizes for authenticity.
Christmas morning was just beautiful. I have been asking myself some serious questions about gift-giving as it relates to Christmas and materialism. But watching the giving and receiving that went on Christmas morning was a very sweet experience. I loved all the well-planned and well-thought out gifts. I loved that the cousins had spent weeks and even months preparing special surprises for each other. And yes, Paul did get a block of pepperjack cheese from Santa. I was so absorbed that I didn't really take any pictures except this priceless gem of Eliza's face when she saw that Santa had put a mustard packet in her stocking.
Two days after Christmas we took the kids to see the moki marbles in Snow Canyon. Then Grandpa and Grandma treated us to dinner at Chuck-o-Rama. The kids thought they had died and gone to heaven.
They might have stuffed themselves a little silly.