Before I get to actual Christmas, I have to mention one other absolutely fabulous evening that I forgot to write about in the previous post. After our friend Mary appeared quite suddenly one evening early in December with a gift for our family, we really wanted to let her know in return how much we love her and her family. We decided to pick out a little piece of pottery made by our friend Ben and deliver it one evening very near to Christmas. We called her to find out if she was going to be home. The next thing we knew we were invited to visit the lights of Layton Park and have dinner at her house. We rendezvoused at a park in Layton that was absolutely decked out in lights and lit-up figures. It was quite magical. So magical that I did not take a single photo. After a lovely and chilly stroll around the park, we headed to Mary's quaint Victorian house for dinner. Though it was quite impromptu Mary had taken the time to totally deck out her table in Christmas dishes. We enjoyed warming up with chicken chili and her fresh rosemary bread after the cold walk. What a good friend.
Morning came very quickly and the kids weren't shy about bombarding us and getting us out of bed. We insisted on a five minute snuggle first.
The thing that I put a ton of time into was two scrapbooks for each kid. Over the years I have saved the kids creations, treasures and notes - I've kept packets of their drawings and funny little invitations and things like that. I just didn't know what to do with them. I made them into books - pretty simple books. Just plastic sheet protectors with three ring binder clips holding them together. They are so fun to look through though. I also saved my favorite pieces of their art and was so happy when I found these big portfolio books to slip them into. I'm delighted that I no longer have piles of art shoved in corners of my house. The books look great and will be so easy to add to. I love them and I think the kids got a kick out them too, although they probably will appreciate them more later. (Oh gosh that makes me sound old.)
Some other memorable gifts were a watch for Chase, walkie talkies for the girls, Chase's first concert tickets (Philip Phillips in March) and play tickets for the girls (Newsies in July - front row!). I was most excited about the play tickets - I made a scrapbook for the girls and me, and put all the programs to shows we've already seen in there, and the girls have been writing memories about the plays. I'm so excited to add to this book since going to musicals has become one of our favorite things.
I'm also pretty happy about a gift I gave my brother Peter - we had them this year and it was so fun to pick things out for them. A bracelet and a spa trip for Sheri and for Peter? Well, for starters he made this hilarious comment one day about Star Wars - how Uncle Owen had every right to be concerned about Luke going to Toschi Station to pick up Power Converters because it turns out the Power Converters are a group of strippers and definitely up to no good. We thought this was hilarious. So...I made a t-shirt for Peter advertising the Power Converters' appearance at Toschi Station. I thought that was hilarious. But the really big gift that was way beyond our usual Christmas Giving was a surprise ticket to Hamilton when it comes in April. We both love it so much, and I have a friend who was able to get tickets early. I was so grateful that Troy encouraged me to go and to take Peter with me. I am beyond excited to go.
What a very Merry Christmas.