So without further ado, here they are opening their early Christmas package from Germany. They LOVED it! One of my favorite things was watching them put the chocolates in each drawer, assembly-line style.
Other Christmas festivities around here have included making gingerbread houses and sitting on Santa's knee at the Bishop's house! Bishop and Sister Wiest are so awesome to do these fun things for the kids. Seriously, the best! Bishop even got my straight-mouthed kids to smile for the picture with Santa.
It was also fun that we could meet up with our good friends, the Neals, for the second year in a row to do the gingerbread houses. Juliette, especially, thought the gingerbread houses were the best thing ever. I think she was surprised and thrilled that Sister Wiest would help her open and glop on as much candy as she wanted.
Juliette's gingerbread house:
Grandma Rise and Grandpa Billy have dropped by with fun Christmas goodies for the kids. They love their new Christmas night lights that Grandpa picked out!
We also got the house all decorated and have been reading lots of Christmas books. We've added some awesome spiritual ones to our collection this year (thanks, Grandma Rise!), and I'd recommend all of them.
-A Dress for Ellen (a real tear-jerker) retold by President Thomas S. Monson. Will and I both bawled reading the kids this one.
-The Christmas Train also by Thomas S. Monson
-Christmas Oranges retold by Linda Bethers.
I also made advent calendars with my Young Women from church this month. We made 24 envelopes out of Christmas scrapbook paper and put fun Christmasy things to do with our families in each envelope and strung the envelopes to string with clothespins. We haven't done every single activity, but we've done most of them! I think one of the kid's favorites was delivering treats as Secret Santa. We only hit up two families this year, but I'll have to get my act together better next year and deliver to more of our friends because they couldn't get enough of that! Other activities were really simple like make Santa beards in a bubble bath. I always appreciate the simple days! I think today's activity is for everyone to sleep in the same room tonight. Should be interesting!
Last but not least, Isabella had two choir concerts in one week. She sang with her first grade class and she also participated in the school's starter choir for the first time this year. I've definitely noticed improvement in her voice and she worked so hard and really did her best with all the songs.
So, yes. I'd say the festivities have been abundant and very enjoyable! There's nothing like Christmas through the eyes of a child, and I love their excitement!
(Oh, and in case you're wondering how the picture of Will playing the guitar fits into this post, he's started teaching himself to play, and has been very dedicated! I'd say having a musical instrument in the home at Christmas-time is definitely festive! I love it!)