I've been thinking a lot about traditions lately and how amazing they are at tying love strings around your family. Even with all the craziness, we have been able to fit in a little Christmas spirit here and there, mostly because of the traditions that draw us to do things amidst the chaos. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without them and my kids are old enough to push to make sure we do them. It's interesting to me to watch as they grow up how each year they latch firmer and tighter on to the few traditions we have so far and treasure them up, hold them so high. To me, one of our best traditions is reading a Christmas story under the Christmas tree each night (well, the nights when we're home). I LOVE it and so do the kids. A couple years ago Dave's brother's family gave us and awesome gift of a basket stuffed full of beautiful Christmas books which has really added to our tradition. My kids think I'm nuts every once in a while when I can barely get through the ending of a book and they look up to find tears streaming down my cheeks. My favorites are "The Three Trees," "The Gift of the Maji," and very top is "On Christmas Day in the Morning." Amazing books I would highly recommend. Right now we're reading this chapter book called, "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" and we love it too. Anyway, there's nothing like nestling in there under the tree with the kids taking turns doing my hair in all sorts of crazy new hair-dos (they love to do this while they listen, and I'm definitely not complaining).
One of the kids' most prized traditions of Christmas is getting together with the cousins to make gingerbread houses. They crack me up with how much they look forward to this. So on Sunday we got together and whipped up some serious candy-laden cottages. We sure love these cousins. Click on this picture if you actually want to see what they look like...there are a bunch of them! (Yes, that is Lilly the hamster on Max's shoulder.)Then there are the temple lights. On Monday we went to check them out and watch one of our cousins perform there. Claire decided the best place to soak up the sining would be from this position:(she was also extremely excited to break in her new coat I bought on clearance last year)
My girls have been begging to make Christmas stockings for some crazy reason. They want to fill them with candy and give them to their friends. So we pulled out the sewing machine for FHE a couple weeks ago and whipped some up. They were delighted...even Max caught the vision. New tradition???