We had a wonderful Christmas with my parents and my sister and her family who came to visit. Just had to share a few photos here to mark the great time we had...even though I lost my voice on Christmas Eve and it's still notably missing.
So before we receive one more family visit for New Year's Eve, I thought I'd share some of my favorite moments from Christmas Eve.
First was our annual pancake breakfast...the highlight being that I received a surprise visit from my distant cousin David (pictured on the left of this photo), whom I met while doing family history research 8 years ago. I haven't seen him since, but I've sent Christmas cards. So this year, he completely surprised us by paying us a visit on his way down to visit his daughter in North Carolina. He is so sweet and kind and brought gifts for each child which were so perfect. He is someone who has Christmas in his heart for sure. His visit was a true Christmas miracle!
My next favorite Christmas Eve moment was our Christmas Nativity play that we put on as a gift for Steve. The kids were just soooo cute!
We read part of the article from this month's Ensign called "The Reality of Christ's Birth" or something like that. I liked reading the prophesies of Christ's birth.
Scarlett played the part of Isaiah. The looooong beard was her idea.
Reading the scripture off of my phone was mine. :)
Mary and Joseph were played by Autumn and my nephew Henry. They sure were smitten with each other. Mousie (Autumn's beloved stuffed animal) played the baby Jesus and Henry's favorite stuffed animal Eyore played...the donkey, of course.
Later on, Scarlett bagged the beard for angel wings.
Mary and Joseph making eyes at each other.
Henry and Autumn made the star hanging on the wall behind them.
Lots of hugging.
The next favorite thing of the evening was the annual reading of The Littlest Angel by my Dad, which we did after the Nativity. It's all of our favorite book, which my parents read to us every Christmas Eve growing up.
The funny thing is that he always cries halfway through and cannot finish, so someone else has to read. Then that person cries and so on and so forth.
As I said, everything is out of order. This picture of my mom opening my gift is from later in the evening, after midnight to be precise, but I like it so I'm sharing it. I gave her a door music box like the one we had on our door growing up.
Another photo I just like...ALL OF THE STOCKINGS hung in our hallway. It was such a blessing to have so many family members and so many children visiting us for Christmas. This never happens! The children's faces were just aglow with the magic and anticipation of Christmas Eve.
Earlier in the evening, we did get another special visitor...Santa stopped by to remind the kids to GO TO BED! :)
We love Santa around here. We love playing Santa. And we love what Santa reminds us to do...that is to give to others with all our heart.