Friday, December 31, 2010

Because I Should Really Finish Christmas Before New Year's

December moves way too quickly. I vote we eliminate March and make December twice as long.

Since it's nearly 2011, I thought I'd better hurry and put up the rest of Christmas 2010 pictures.

I love the pewter nativity on this coffee table. I loved it so much that I asked my mom for it last year. She said she wasn't sure. Later that afternoon, someone dropped by to give my parents a gift and it was the exact same nativity! So she gave that one to me:) Christmas books are one of my favorite parts of the season. I've read and re-read all of the books on this table. Including the one I got from Rychelle last year. Thanks for that.

I think this is my favorite Christmas spot. The poor cement nativity wasn't even going to get picked at my parents---and I ended up taking pity on it before it went to DI. And I'm SO glad I did! I bought the red runner in Germany two years ago, and I love how that looks under the nativity, and ties the color of the book together. It's one of my favorite Christmas books. I boutht the crystal nativity when I went to the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland. It stays up in my house all year long.

And here are Christmas Eve pictures:

Some of the grandkids doing the nativity. I'm particularly fond of the enthusiasm of the Asian angel in the top right.

Our two Babies Jesus. We were extra holy this year.

The result of trying to do more than just recite Luke 2:1-18: The sheep's head is off, the donkey sat up, one of the Baby Jesus' is getting angel accessories and the shepherds returned to their fields.

My parents with 17 (of their 45) grandkids with new jammies.

Grandma with some of her granddaughters.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Pictures #2

I think this is the first time all year that I've posted 3 times in one week. I'm really getting in the Christmas spirit by sharing all these awesome pictures with you guys, no? Anyway.

This spot is an open window (I really don't know what the technical term is) between my kitchen and my living room. It makes the house feel all "connecty." One of my brothers gave me the Grinch doll several years ago. The animated version of that is one of my family's favorite movies. (The Jim Carrey one is pretty great, too.) The Richard Scary Christmas book leaning against the wall is one of my family's favorite books. We love the story of "Abe and Babe, the Bad Twins" best. There were fights over that book---so I got online and ordered extras so we could all have one. I bought the nativity on the red, wooden background from Metal Moms. I love it! It's one of my favorite things I own. The wooden half-circle nativity I bought in Germany a couple years ago.

It used to be my job to decorate the little Christmas tree and I hated it. The branches were scratchy and hard to get into the right place. So why'd I end up with it? Cuz I like all the ornamnets that went with it. And cuz I needed a tree:) The three nativity pieces at the bottom are all ornaments, but they're too heavy for the tree so I left them on the music cabinet. The two other nativities are made of olive wood and were given to me by two of my cousins. Chrissy brought me hers from Jerusalem several years ago---I'm not even sure how many. And this last year, Becky brought me the other after spending the semester studying there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Pictures #1

I thought I'd post a lot this month. And by a lot, I mean I was thinking I'd get up to four posts... I love Christmas and have so much to say about it, but I've just been spending all my time enjoying the season instead of writing about it.

So, I started writing a picture post with all my house decorations. Then it was too long. So, I'm splitting things up. Maybe I'll get up to four posts this month after all.

Anyway, this was my first year to really decorate my house. I had just moved in about this time last year and was still in the unpacking phase and didn't take the time to make it festive. Earlier in the month, my parents divided some of their Christmas decorations (that we've seen in their home our entire lives) amongst the kids. It was fun. And it was sad. Sad to think that the house won't always be the same and we'll all get older and things will change. I could live without that. But I did end up with some nice things for my home and so finally did my own decorating this year.

This nutcracker isn't actually mine. It belongs to my brother's family---but they weren't going to put it up this year so I borrowed it. He greeted everyone that came to visit me this month. I think my dad was glad to get rid of it, cuz big kids like to crunch dry noodles in his month and it makes a mess. I think my brothers are sad it's not in the house anymore, cuz they used it to scare little kids.

My niece (who's very cute)(and who is moving to New Mexico next month) (and I'm not happy about it) actually refers to him as a "mutcracker." Nobody's bothered correcting her cuz we all think it's funny.

Several years ago (19 in fact) my aunt took her kids to Germany for Christmas. But her youngest at the time(Becky)was only one so she left her at our house for a month. My brothers and I LOVED having a new "little sister." My parents weren't complaining either.

Our traditional Christmas Even nativity---with new jammies. Becky was a very patient Jesus in the manger that was too small for her.

We loved it so much we didn't want to give her back in January. As thanks for keeping the child, and then begrudingly returning her, my aunt brought this decoration from Germany.

Since I'm such good friends with Becky, and since I love Germany so much, I received it for my own house.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Help/Advice! Please?

See these cute boys? And their cute parents? (I don't care about the dog.) It's one of my brothers and his family. Well, I get to buy a Christmas present for them. They live down in Arizona. And I really like them. A lot. And I want to buy them something they'll like. Our family usually does games for the gift exchange but I'm not sure what to get. The boys are 6, 9, 12 and 15. And seriously, aren't they really handsome?

Any advice on what to get?

PS-don't judge me for doing this so late. I just got my gift exchange assignment yesterday.

And don't worry-they don't read my blog so you won't give away any surprises if you comment and tell me what to get.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The One Where I Talk About Christmas

I read this Christmas list off a few blogs recently. Apparently the people who did it were competing for a prize. I'm a little late on that aspect...but I still liked the idea so, in the spirit of being completely un-original, I'm using it.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
That the jobs and school taking them away from Utah and away from living close to me will become unnecessary and we'll all live near each other. (This doesn't have to be realistic, right?)

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Forlornly listen to the children outside playing with their new toys while we're banished to our bedrooms to wait for Dad to get home from working at the hospital. Then, when we finally get up, go into my parent's inhumanely cold room, patiently suffer through Mom's ubsurdly long prayer and finally (around noon) get to go into the living room to see what Santa brought. Then, about half-way through, get re-banished to our rooms while Dad goes back to the hospital to deliver a baby and we wonder if there will ever be a Christmas that Dad doesn't have to work.* I highly resent any child that was ever born on Christmas.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
Is it weird that I don't know? Can Santa bring a boyfriend? I guess that would be decadent.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Spend my parents money.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Any games you can play with Rook cards. Oh Heck, Hearts, Golf, Rummy, Speed etc. Or, we'd play The Glob: one person throws a blanket over their head and tried to catch and smother someone else to make them The Glob. Wonder why I'm claustrophobic?

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Well, I still insist that my parents do Christmas Eve jammies. And I still try and force everyone into the same car (which is clearly impossible at this point) to see lights. And did I mention the whole waiting-for-Dad on Christmas morning thing? Guess who's working Christmas Day this year?

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
Nowhere---I love being home. Instead, I'd want all my family to be here, too. I guess if I had to go somewhere, I'd head up to Cokeville, Wyoming.

What about the rest of you? How would you answer these questions?

Also, it's the beginning of a new month which means a new edition of The Barrel. And I still don't know how to post the picture link. It features all kinds of Christmas ideas (lots of saving money ones so you don't have to spend your parents money either), great recipes to make you gain holiday weight and fun stories. Plus, stories from other bloggers outside of the U.S. with different cultural traditions. So go check it out.

*Don't let my dramatics fool you---Christmas morning was actually always wonderful. Yes, there were interruptions, but it didn't matter. It prolonged the time we sat around the tree opening presents and being together.