I love the sights, sounds and smells of December. It's always a bit chaotic and a little stressful at times trying to fit everything in, but there's no arguing how much I love that sense of magic hanging in the air. December kicked off with Jayden's first band concert. He looked pretty adorable, so proud of him for trying something new.
I feel like every weekend, more like every day, was spent Christmas shopping. It was exhausting, but I enjoyed the chance to be with Jason. Even if it was test riding bikes in Walmart at 12:30 AM.
We had a gingerbread house contest for a combined YM/YW activity. Kylie's group won with their beach cottage inspired creation. I love my calling.
Jayden and Maddox had a jingle jog at their school. We are really loving their new school.
We were asked to plan the ward Christmas party, with only 3 1/2 weeks notice, one of which was Thanksgiving. It was crazy pulling off hosting a small army for Thanksgiving and planning a dinner and program for 260 people at the same time, but somehow we managed it. Thankfully we were able to work with 2 other awesome couples who helped us pull off a great evening. Despite my anxieties, we didn't even run out of food.
Maddox was so excited to finally reach the ranks of assistant Christmas light hanger.
Christmas vacation could not come soon enough. I set the goal to get everything done before the kids got out of school. The Christmas cards, the neighbor gifts, the teacher gifts, family gifts, Angel tree gifts, etc., etc. It was so nice to throw those backpacks in the closet and spend our days sleeping in, lounging in our pajamas and snuggling up every night to watch Christmas movies.
I didn't think I liked decorating gingerbread houses, but this year was a lot more fun than I remembered in the past. I think hot gluing the graham crackers together as little pre-fab houses was a game changer. Except Jason totally stole my pretzel stick log cabin idea. Just wait for next year's shredded wheat thatched roof house.
We did a few Christmas crafts. These snow globes have been on my pinterest board for only like 3 years, they turned out cute. They kept them on their nightstands and gave them a few good shakes each night before bed. Pure magic, I say.
Of course we had to carry on our NZ gingerbread man tradition.
And it just wouldn't be Christmas without a stop at the Mesa Temple lights, walking around the grounds, pausing at the Christus statue and picking our favorite nativity set from around the world, and playing an unconventional game of tag. We ended with ice cream at Culvers. And I decided that was the most least stressful time that we've taken all the kids to a restaurant at the same time.
We also stopped to take in Comstock street. The street that won ABC's Great Light Fight, making them the best light display in all of America. It was insanely crowded, but pretty cool as the lights on the entire street were synced to music. What wasn't cool was when Ryder accidentally bumped into me and I stepped on a bulb. It made a loud pop and the entire strand went black. Apparently I got some eye daggers, but I wouldn't know since I kept my head to the ground and shuffled quickly away. Good times...It really has been such a fun holiday season, it truly is the best time of the year.