December 28, 2014

Christmas Shenanigans!

Christmas this year was wonderful! Like, seriously, wonderful.

Christmas Eve we headed up to Cedar City after Dan got off work. Aurora thought it would be a fun idea to start opening my gift from Dan on our way to Cedar... which was funny because she has had no interest in wrapping paper until that holiday drive! haha

When we pulled into town, our first stop was at our friend, Brandon Terry's parents house to give him, his wife, Krystel, and their kids a Christmas gift. We ended up staying there for about an hour chatting with not only our friends, but their family as well. We love The Terry's!

Then it was on to my parents' house for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and program. Every year, we gather around the table and feast on a delicious meal of teriyaki chicken, rice pilaf, rolls, and salads. My mom is the best cook. For real. And then we make our way in to the living room for a program centered on Christ's birth.

The program this year was beautiful. My dad and Grandpa Smith took turns reading scripture and stories of Christ's birth and we would pause occasionally to sing Christmas hymns while Becca played the piano. For me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without that tradition. The feeling of the spirit is strong as we gather together as a family to remember Christ is the reason for the season.

At the conclusion of the program, we exchanged our sibling gifts and then mom gave each of us a quilt she had made with the help of my sisters, Steph and Erin. Everyone's quilts were absolutely gorgeous but ours was the best! King size, huge, and fantastic! (Dan hauls it around and raves about it to just about everyone-- it's that cool!)

This year we gave my mom a fun game called 'Spot It!' and we gave my dad a pocket knife that he could do whittling with. They both loved their gifts, which made us happy because, honestly, it's better to give than to receive.

For sibling gifts, we drew out Becca and Steph. Alex drew my name and Steph drew Dan's name. Dan got socks, of course, and LOVED them (that boy has an obsession with socks. No joke.) and Alex gave me a jar of 'Mugging'; it's a cake mix that you make in a mug in the microwave. It's the bomb! And I may or may not have used up most of it already... haha

After everyone left, we went over to spend the night at Dan's parents' house. We spent some time chatting and preparing for the morning when we arrived and then it was off to bed to await the arrival of gifts from Santa the next morning.

Christmas morning we awoke to a gorgeous winter wonderland of snow and a room of beautifully wrapped gifts! We had a good time going around the room and watching everyone's joy as they opened up gifts from parents, brothers, sisters, and spouses.

Dan really outdid himself this year and spoiled me completely rotten, giving me a REALLY nice camera that I've been wanting for years! A Canon EOS Rebel T5 with a bunch of lenses and attachments. He's basically the best and I haven't stopped playing with it! I'm in love!

This year I gave him a bunch of new Puma socks, a new shirt, and a whole set of new garments. haha I'm basically a horrible gift giver and I give practical gifts every year but he said he loved them anyway.

As for Aurora, we got her some fun new toys and then both her grandparents spoiled her! She got lots of new stuff to play with and she loves it all... and so do all her little friends who have been over to play!

Dan's family is always so good to us! They always seem to know exactly what we've been wanting.

Probably the sweetest thing they got us was a big remote control car for Dan. I guess that when Dan was younger, the only thing he asked for for Christmas one year was a big remote control car. His mom said she wasn't able to get him that because she didn't have the money and she always wished she could've got it for him. So this year, she finally did!

After gift opening, Dan's sister, Christina, used her gel nails set she got for Christmas to do some cute gel nails on me then we played games and ate yummy food. It's fun to just be able to relax and spend some time enjoying the company of everyone on Christmas. I love spending time with Dan's parents and siblings!

Later that afternoon, Aurora and I sped over to my family's house again to get there in time to see my sister video call us from her mission in Louisiana! That was the best to be able to talk with her AND see her! She looked and sounded so good. I sure miss that lady but I know that she is where she needs to be. If you want to hear about her video call check out her mission blog HERE.

Then I showed my camera to everyone and took some pictures and we received even more gifts from my family! I told you we were spoiled this year!

The major thing we took away this Christmas was the feeling of love. We are so SO loved by so many people. And we are SO blessed to have the families that we do. We love them!


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