January 25, 2012

How It All "Went Down" - Christmas 2011

This is the final post where I will elaborate on our family Christmas traditions and how they were carried out for the year 2011.  I know...I'm posting this at about the same time everyone is giving up on their New Year's resolutions (I obviously didn't make a resolution to keep current on my blog--or did I?).  Well, as the saying goes, better late than never.  I'll let the readers be the judge of that!

Tradition:  Grandma's Christmas Drawers

The children are each assigned three drawers from Grandma Park's advent box, and as they visit throughout the month of December, they are alowed to open one of their drawers.  This year, the boxes contained clues which led giddily excited youth through Grandma and Grandpa's house on a treasure hunt for their little gifts. 

Tradition:  Chocolate Advent Calendars

The month of December is traditionally kicked-off with a delivery of advent calendars for each child from Grandma and Grandpa Park.  One year, Spencer got into his and Brevin's and prematurely ate some of the chocolate pieces.  Remembering that my own mother had melted chocolate and filled empty molds when I had done the same thing as a child, I remedied the situation in a like manner.  I think you will understand why I did not try that again this year.  Yes, we have quite the chocoholic on our hands (and he has a tendency to be a bit destructive, too).

Tradition: Christmas Carol Singing

Brevin and Spencer love to sing Christmas songs and they have strong singing voices.  When a young woman in our neighborhood put together a Christmas choir to sing for a community assisted living center, we gladly involved the boys.  It was such a treat to watch them perform.  They even took personal initiative to go around the room after the program and wish each elderly person a merry Christmas.

Tradition: Park Family Christmas Program

As Christmas approaches, we set aside a night to get together with extended family for a meal, a talent program, white elephant gift exchanges, and Grandpa Park's chocolate mouse hunt.

We like to let Brevin and Spencer represent our family for the talent portion.  This year they sang Frosty the Snowman, a song they had learned for their choir concert.  Jason also showed a DVD with the portrayal of the nativity entitled AGift to the World.

Oh, and I did lousy this year when it came to finding the chocolate mice.

Tradition: Christmas Eve Dinner

Each year I try my hand at preparing a fancy feast and we bring out the tablecloth, china, and real silverware in celebration of the birth of the Savior.  We follow it up with a birthday cake for Jesus.  This is one of my favorite traditions.

Tradition:  Christmas Eve Pajamas

The children get to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it is always new pajamas.  They put them on, and then it is off to bed.

Tradition: Christmas Day

The children woke around 7:30 a.m. and waited patiently for Mom and Dad to get cameras set up before being called into the room to see what had been delivered by Santa.  Everyone loved their gifts, but seemed to like Mom and Dad's Kindle Fire the best.

After a little time with new toys, we ate breakfast and readied ourselves for 9:00 a.m. church.  It was so perfect to have sacrament services on Christmas day.  I am also glad it was early in the morning.  That helped set the tone for the rest of the day, and it was lovely!

After church, we took some family pictures then opened the gifts from under the tree.  We felt a great sense of gratitude for an abundance of blessings and for time spent with family on that special day.

 (Oh, and I totally rock at Just Dance 3!)

Tradition: Funk, Page, and Gilliland Family Christmas Gathering

Our uniquely blended families gathered in St. George for a couple of days of celebration.  Activities involved the traditional Grab Bag, gift exchanges, and family dodgeball games.  There was plenty of good eating, too. 

I am pleased to report that no one was seriously injured while playing dodgeball, although Cheryl did take a pretty hard hit to the face.  That is the risk we all assume when we step onto the court with a bunch of competitive maniacs.  Man, it's fun!

Well, Christmas, you've been downright good to us.  Until next year, my friend!

This post authored by Amber