Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, Part II

Our dog died, our cards did not get mailed, and we had a few neighbor gifts still to deliver, but Christmas Eve "came just the same," and we went on. We don't have any extended family traditions that night, and have been discussing what our traditions should be. Rob suggested going out to dinner, and I thought that sounded perfect, since we already have plenty of prep for breakfast. We decided to go downtown, see the lights at Temple Square and go to a restaurant at Gateway. Since Doug & Cathy were out of town this year, the Stringhams joined us.

Trax is definitely the way to go.

It was cold, and we decided to eat at Nauvoo Cafe rather than walk to Gateway. It wasn't the greatest, but anyplace that can accommodate thirteen people at the last minute deserves some credit. On our drive home from the Trax station we guessed who our secret service person was, and it was fun to hear all the acts of kindness discussed and thanks expressed. Love that new tradition. Here's a photo of our manger filled with straw. We actually ran out of straw before the week was out—a good sign.

Opening pajamas is a well-established tradition that the kids love.

We ended our evening with one more new tradition that is also a keeper. Melissa made these cute boxes and gave them to us on December 13th so we could count down the 12 days of Christmas. Each box contains a scripture that refers to the Savior and a simple activity. We usually read each scripture just before bed, so we didn't do the activities in order, but we did do most of them. Another great way to focus on what matters most this season.

The kids must have been worn out, because they went to bed fairly early and did not get out of bed once. Luckily, Rob and I had no gifts to assemble, and very little wrapping to do, because we were wiped out too. It was a nice ending to a tough day.

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