December was jam packed this year with Christmas Festivities. It started out with the local town Tree House lighting which takes place the first week in December, this year it was Dec. 4th. They brought in a HUGE tree that looked amazing all lit up. Kyle's choir was asked to serenade the attendants with some Christmas carols so we joined a long to listen.
(Super bad pictures, sorry about that)
Macy was all dressed up in warm clothes and looked so cute, like such a big girl. Again- the picture is awful, but such a cute girl!
Next came our own tree decorating. My Mom was always super picky about lights while we were growing up and I think I inhertiated that. One thing I remember about decorating the tree when we were kids is that our whole family would sit around the living room and watch my mom- for what seemed like hours- put the lights on the tree. I'm afraid that's all my kids will think of too when they are older, but at least they'll know how to put on Christmas Tree lights!
The week of the 9th this little guy and I spent a lot of time at the church getting all set for the Festival of Trees. We hosted the festival last year and decided to do it again this year. The Catholic Center that usually lets us set up the trees accidentally double booked and we were the ones that got bumped. Luckily the LDS Church let us use their building and it really did work out great. We had about 50 trees this year and it seemed like everyone really enjoyed it. I was running around so much I didn't get very many pictures, but he was the cutest part anyway.
On the 12th and 13th we had Kyle's big Swing Thing Dinner Show. This one was a little different though, they did Christmas on the Bayou with the Band and Fusion. It was a cool little dinner- they had Jumbalya. The cook did an amazing job and it was so much easier to have all 3 teachers helping instead of just Kyle. I got to just come and enjoy the show!
The 14th was the Annual Parade of Lights and that was a big hit. There were so many great floats and everyone did a great job. The also had Santa Claus at the park. London and Macy wouldn't go anywhere near Santa, but Bentley didn't know any better so we tossed him up there. You can tell he's not really sure of this- but he had his Giraffe so he was all good.
Next came our Ward Party (I think it was either the 16th or 17th). We had a super yummy breakfast for dinner, a cool video that Kyle and I made as the presentation, and then Santa joined us.
I stared at this screen A LOT as I made the cool video. We took a good 3-4 weeks before the Christmas party to interview different members of our ward about Christmas and then put all the clips together. Unfortunately, we didn't have the sound right at the party so you could hardly hear it, but it really was a great video.
How cute are these Santa Pancakes that the Relief Society made for the kids?!
On the 18th Macy had her big preschool Christmas Concert. She was so cute and you could hear her about all the other 20 kids. She definitely has a stage voice that's for sure. She will make a great Show Choir Girl. Luckily Kyle was able to slip away from 1st hour (after clearing it with his principal) and got to watch her. Grandma Gardner and Aunt Kathleen stopped by to watch too.
Her whole class. They all did so good! I was impressed!
After such a busy couple weeks we were ready for Christmas Break to be here and spent it just hanging around the house as a family.
By this time, Christmas was super close and we still didn't have any gifts for the Grandparents so we had a little brain storming session and Kyle came up with the idea to make them Christmas CD's from the songs Macy sang at her concert. Brillant! Kyle's school just put together a recording studio, so we headed over to the school and got to work. It took us about 4 hours from start to finish and Macy did a GREAT job. Can you imagine trying to get a 4 year old to sing 7 songs super loud and clear to put on a CD?! Some of them aren't as great as others, but she did so good. We were super happy with the way the CD came out and I think the Grandparents were too.
Macy stayed in the studio and while I sang into a microphone in the other room that fed into her headphones. That way she could still have help and remember the words, but I wouldn't be recorded with her.
Eventually the poor girl was sick of being in the room by herself so London and I went in to keep her company. I'm not sure who was more ready to be done- me or Macy.
Somewhere in there Macy, London, and Kyle made some cute little gingerbread houses. It's a tradition around here.
Christmas Eve finally came! My parents are empty nesters now so they ventured up North to our house for the Holiday. After they got here we headed over to Joseph City to Brian and Jane's house where we had our Annual Gardner Christmas Eve Party. We always have yummy Mexican food, play games, and the kids favorite- a pinata! After the party we drove around a little looking at the Christmas lights and then came home and the kids opened up their Christmas PJ's.
Our kids have surprised me with Christmas and their presents from Santa. They are MUCH more excited to open up the presents under the tree than their stockings and whatever Santa gave them. I think I might start wrapping their Santa presents instead of just having them out in the open. Maybe then it'll be a little more fun for them.
After waking up early and opening all their presents the kids were pretty wiped out!
After some yummy breakfast the girls played with all their toys. They loved their new glasses from Santa.
I think their favorite present were these awesome duffle bags from Grandma Carbonneau. I have always put the kids stuff in their own separate bag when we go anywhere (it's so much easier for me, I know exactly where everyone's stuff is- and so do they!) and she got them all their own personalized ones. They love to go anywhere now because they have something to call their own.
After all the unwrapping and playing we got to talk to this guy!
Derek is serving his mission in the California Riverside Mission. He is loving his mission and his letters just keep getting better and better. We are so proud of Derek!
Next was Christmas dinner at Marie's house. This is Kyle's favorite part of Christmas... Deviled Eggs!
Kyle was his Mom's Christmas helped getting ready for the big dinner!
I love his cute face!
At Grandma Gardner's house we had even more presents to open- we were spoiled this year.
A few hours later we came home and the girls played some more with their new toys. Grandma Gardner gave them some Princess Barbies and a tea set. They put both to get use.
The Christmas After-Math.
We truly had a great Christmas this year and one very busy month. It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of it all and forget about the true meaning of Christmas. I am so grateful for the birth of our Savior and his atoning sacrifice for us. May we always remember the meaning of the season and keep a prayer in our hearts. Merry Christmas!