On Monday evening we were invited to perform the nativity with our friends the Radants. We have never done that with the kids before, and I'm so glad we did. It didn't last super long, but that's okay - it was adorable. We had gotten together with the Radants last year for a Christmas activity - we went up to This is the Place State Park for their old fashioned Christmas. They really do a good job but it was freezing cold and so crowded that it was actually kind of miserable. We decided that we still wanted to celebrate Christmas together this year but that it would be much better to do it where there wouldn't be hoards and hoards of people all trying to be holly and jolly in exactly the same place. (Plus, no weird puppet shows, which I remember being strangely disconcerting last year....) So Krista invited us plus a couple of neighbor families over to put on a production of the Christmas Story. Bitty starred as Mary, Stomper made a great shepherd and took very good care of his unruly herd of sheep, one of whom was Bundle. Bundle and the other sheep flatly refused to wear the ears I made for them, but that's okay. We sang some carols and I especially got a kick out of the extremely giggly angles. And then we all ate pie. Really fun evening.
Then last night, after a rather long couple of days at home with very few plans, I realized that I would be very sad if we never made it downtown to see the lights at Temple Square. Troy wasn't available to assist me, Bundle had skipped all but 15 minutes of her nap, and the big kids had been fighting all day. But hey, that's no reason for me not to head out alone on a cold night dragging three kids across the city, right? And I was rewarded for my bravery. It was awesome. We parked by Office Max and caught Trax downtown. The kids loved the train though I'm not sure our fellow passengers appreciated their many exclamations of delight. We didn't have to do much walking, we went early before the real crowds hit, and the lights were really beautiful. The kids were happy and cheerful, all the way until we set foot in the door, whereupon the fighting started again, but at least for 90 minutes we had peace and goodwill toward men.
I have so enjoyed these brief little moments of perfect Christmas-ness this season. I think I keep hoping that from the 1st of December to Christmas Day itself every second of every day will feel like this, but it never does and then I feel like I didn't do it right or something. And I think to myself that maybe next year it will be really Christmas-y. Well of course it isn't like that - I still have laundry and dirty floors and stuff to do. December is never going to be one solid month of uninterrupted holiday bliss. I need to remember that Christmas is made up of regular life PLUS these fabulous moments. I'm so glad we went out last night. I think maybe we'll venture out again tonight!