Monday, December 5, 2011

Breakfast with Santa, a Trek to Bethlehem and a Christmas Devotional

This weekend we participated in several Christmas activities.

Saturday morning, Mike went to help set up for our ward's Christmas party that evening.  I took our kids to my parents' ward breakfast with Santa.  They enjoyed the pancakes, but were really just looking forward to sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what they wanted for Christmas.

Mr. One promptly smiled and told Santa exactly what he wanted.

Mr. Two got shy and tongue-tied and didn't say a word.

Mr. Three hopped right up onto Santa's lap with no trepidation, then took a confused look at Santa while he talked to him.  As soon as he got his little gift bag, he quickly hopped off and was done.  It was so cute!

Thanks to Grammy and Grandpa for inviting us.  It was a great morning.

While I went with my mom and sisters to the movies, Mike stayed home with the boys and put the lights up on the house and tree.  Now our home really feels Christmas-y.  All we have left is to decorate the tree with our ornaments (that's the plan for FHE tonight).  The boys loved spending time with Daddy.

That evening was our ward party.  They had planned a wonderful Night in Bethlehem for the ward, with family and neighbors welcome.  We were encouraged to dress up in Biblical attire.  It was so cold, we wore lots of layers under our tunics and robes.  (Can I just say, it's amazing what you can do with old bedsheets and bath robes?)  There were booths with middle eastern food to sample (hummus, pita bread, shish kabobs, dates, etc.) and activities for the kids (making clay pots and games), pictures with the Wise Men, a soup dinner and time for lots of mingling and wandering.  During the last hour, they had a group of a capella singers seranade us with Christmas songs, then a live Nativity play with special musical numbers and audience sing along's.  (I don't have pictures of our great costumes.  It was too cold and dark, and our kids too excited to explore.  Maybe we'll put them on later and take a family picture.)

There was a wonderful spirit of friendship and love for our Savior that night.  It was such a beautiful evening.  We even witnessed a little miracle:  All that day, it was cold and rainy.  We were thinking they might have to cancel our ward party with it being completely outdoors.  Just before the party started, the rain cleared up and it stayed dry.  As the final program was wrapping up, it started to drizzle, then began to rain heavily for the next hour.  It made for a very wet and cold clean up, but we were dry for the activity.  It's so comforting to know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and gives us those little tender mercies we stand in need of.

Sunday was the annual Christmas Devotional by the First Presidency of our church.  It was beautiful as always, and really helped me forget about the stress of the season and remember the really important things of Christmas:  remembering the Savior, serving others, spending time with family.  You can watch the broadcast here if you missed it.

Now I need to pull out my copy of A Christmas Carol and find The Mansion...

I am looking forward to more Christmas fun with my family.  What are you looking forward to doing with yours?

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