The month of December has felt like a total blur to me. Let’s see…
I had to speak/teach twice in church this month.
3 Family Christmas parties,
2 Ward Christmas parties,
2 Work parties,
4 Friend Christmas parties/dinners,
…not to mention all the shopping for gifts, decorating the house, wrapping gifts, mailing gifts, delivering gifts, mailing Christmas cards, and all the other fun things that the holiday brings.
I was honestly as giddy as a little girl when I received Christmas cards in the mail this year, it is always been one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I also have this weird obsession with the mail in general (I get very sad when Zach goes to our mail box first and gets to sort through all the letters, catalogues, and spam). As each one came, I displayed them on the mantel…but they didn’t stay up for very long due to the fact that they blocked the signal for the T.V. remote.
Our Christmas Eve was spent with the Hendersons this year. We went out to a delicious dinner at Market Street with Mark, Jeanene, Lori, Travis, and my nieces Olive and Lola. After our meal we went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which we all enjoyed! Christmas day we woke up early to exchange gifts with Zach and myself. Like every year, Zach is always super thoughtful and gets me way more than I deserve. I even surprised him this year with a ski adventure in a couple of months, which he has been dreaming of since this summer.
After we were done opening our gifts to each other, we sped off to my parents’ ward to hear my Dad speak in church. He did a phenomenal job, and after the meeting we exchanged gifts with my family.
My parents surprised me with a sewing machine, which I’ve wanted for months now! I am elated at the thought of all the things I can…learn to make! Zach got a somewhat strange gift from my Dad in his stocking: Playboy body spray “Hollywood” Scent? Don’t ask. After all the gifts had been opened (and bows had been recycled – Mom is a bow Nazi) we drove to my Grandpa Ross’s house for another gift exchange with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. Not to mention his famous Christmas lunch, along with trays of homemade Christmas candy. Zach even tested out his gift from my Aunt, his University of Utah Pillow Pet! (He has been going on and on about how cool he thinks Pillow Pets are for months now). After we finished eating, we visited my Grandma Fotheringham and gave her a gift from all of us. This was her first Christmas without my Grandpa, and she was an absolute trooper! Luckily my Aunt and Uncle were there visiting to keep her company all weekend. Then, we took the drive up to our final destination of the holiday: O-Town with the Hendos. We ate a delicious dinner and Jeanene even whipped up some Chicken Kiev, their family favorite. After the feast the grandkids got to open their gifts from Mimi and Papa. If you can imagine with me for a moment 21 minis opening their presents at once sounded like, it would be perfect background music to this photograph…
After all the excitement had settled, and all the shreds of wrapping paper, the adults got to open our gifts from Mark and Jeanene. Jeanene is so creative with how she wraps our gifts each year, and this time was above and beyond. She had wrapped boxes within boxes, until the last box we received had more than a hundred strips of paper folded. We had to unfold each strip of paper until we found what our gift spelled out! How creative is that? Mark said he spent weeks folding brightly colored strips of paper! Zach’s favorite gift? His gift card to Chili’s, his all-time “American Favorite”.
Thank you to Paulette, Gary, Jeanene, Mark, and all the other family members and friends who gave us such thoughtful gifts this year! We love them and feel so very lucky, spoiled even.
Amongst all the chaos, I am grateful for many things:
The opportunity I had to speak about my Savior and bear my testimony of Him…twice.
The example of my husband and his selflessness as he gave a much needed gift to a family in need.
My family, friends, and neighbors – and all the joy they bring to my life.
The Gospel and my elder brother, Jesus Christ.
I hope you all had the most peaceful and happy holiday possible!