We did more cookies as a family. We made heart cookies and shepherd's staff cookies to go along with symbols of Christmas. We read part of book, "A Christ-Centered Christmas" - it's becoming a tradition to read the book as a family.
The story that gets to me every time is one called, "The Widow's Mite" by Elaine S. McKay in the chapter on Mary. It's about a poor widow, with 8 children, who wonders what she can give her children for Christmas. They had nothing under the tree (that they cut down themselves). All they had for Christmas was some oranges and nuts that someone had given to them. On Christmas morning, the mother said, "Today, because it's Christmas Day, we're going to do something special. We are going to take gifts to a family who is poor." She went on to talk about the people in the world who had so little, and since they had so much, they should share. They went through their things and each found something they could give - hair ribbon, book, some clothes, and the mother made some apple pie. When everything was ready, one of the little boys asked why they were doing that when they didn't even have enough for them. She told him that what they had was enough. They were keeping the precious things, like their testimonies of the Gospel, the house built by her father, their love for one another, hope for good things to come. They delivered their little baskets of things and felt peace as they climbed back in their cold beds that night.
What the widow did not know that night was how successful her children would be - a US congressman, a US federal judge, 2 mission presidents and a Visitor's Center director, 3 sons serve as bishops and one as a stake president, all 4 girls called as Relief Society presidents and one as Mission Mother, all sons fulfilled missions and served in the armed services.
"She could not visualize the twelve college degrees, the scholarships, trophies, and awards that would accumulate. Nor could she know for sure that each would marry in the temple. She could not foresee the shared planning, pennies, and prayers that would cause it all to happen...She little knew that in twenty-seven years she would be named Utah's Mother of the Year."
We read that story and also talked about how Mary pondered in her heart about that first Christmas night. We talked about what the birth of the Savior means to us.
Here are some of the goodies we gave away this Christmas - the cookies were for a cookie exchange and the homemade JOY ornament was also for an exchange. I forgot to take a picture of the school teacher candy jars and other treats we gave to friends. The rice krispie treat trees looked cuter on Pinterest - we laughed about how they looked more like a volcano!
Some of us got to go ice skating (for our ward party) - it was the first experience on the ice for the boys. I have been ice skating before, but it has been a while. I didn't do too bad - never fell down. They have these things now to help on the ice. They remind me of the walkers that old people use, so it was funny to see them out there pushing around with those. The boys spent a lot of time on their bums, but they did get a little better by the end. They loved being pushed around by their friends!
And here's a random collage of Weston - he finally lost his first tooth. Nathan helped it along when they bumped heads. Weston did NOT want the tooth fairy to take his tooth though. When he lost his tooth, we asked where it was - he said he swallowed it... The tooth fairy is NOT getting that tooth!