As per our children's request, we skipped some of the Christmas festivities with our extended families to enjoy Christmas in our own beds and at our own home this year. We did miss out on some things, but there really is nothing like a quiet Christmas morning with your own little family, something we haven't really done very much of. It was absolutely wonderful.
Christmas Eve was on a Sunday, and church services consisted of just sacrament meeting. One awesome thing was we had our Christmas Eve dinner provided for us by Jason Phelps. At our last ward auction, my mom bought a smoked turkey from him, and he figured this would be a good day to deliver on that. It sure did not disappoint! There was flavor all throughout it! I think he may have actually injected it or brined it. Anyway, we threw together a few sides to accompany that giant turkey he made. We had so many leftovers, we decided to freeze half the turkey for later.
Amara and I planned what sounded like a fun Christmas Eve. After dinner, we played some board games as a family at the table while enjoying a hot cocoa bar.
The girls then opened their pajama gift and got showered up so they could be all ready for bed. This year they got matching hogwarts pajamas.
When we got home it was time for scriptures and prayers, and then the kids and grandma went to bed while Steve and I snuggled on the couch and watched an old movie with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire called, Holiday Inn. It was a cute movie, and we showed it to the girls the next day.
Santa came and brought some fun things including a cat bed for Smokey!
It was a pleasure to witness the joy of giving as Amara had Lily open the gift she had carefully selected and purchased online for her. Both of them were absolutely beaming and they gave eachother the sweetest hug afterward.
Amara also made Steve a Christmas tree out of tape and money!
Steve and I surprised the girls by purchasing something VERY amazing in the game, Star Stables. They both love that game and look forward to playing it almost everyday. We got them 5000 star coins and a silver mist fox that runs beside their horse. Before they could only get 100 star coins per week and you need those coins in order to buy tack and other horses, so we basically gave them a pony for Christmas, albeit virtual. They really did end up purchasing a pony!
Our Christmas at home was magical and I'm so glad we stayed and did that. We did have time in the following days to go spend time with family, which was also very nice.
Something fun we got for Steve's mom was a lap blanket customized with a picture Steve took of one of her cherished peace roses she grows in the front yard and little poems he wrote.
We also gave my dad and my brother a cookbook of Lauret Christmas Food (not pictured). Steve took the photos from last year's Christmas dinner and I compiled the recipes into smilebox .jpgs and created the photo book using Google photos.
We've been abundantly blessed to be able to carry on such fun and memorable traditions. I loved the glitter and giving of the season, and I loved the peace and joy of remembering our Savior and all He has done for us. Christmas is still in my heart today (Jan. 19, 2018) and my tree is still up and I haven't felt like taking it down quite yet. I'm still enjoying it and the glow of the lights.