First, there are three shows that have to be watched. This year, with the help of my enthusiastic toddler, they were watched several times each:
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original Boris Korloff cartoon version)
- Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
- Muppet Christmas Carol
Next, the tree. Despite my misgivings, Eli LOVED the tree, and it stayed mostly intact through the month. There was the occasional rearranging of the lower ornaments, and some were added that I wasn't expecting (lizard man? socks? bread?) but nothing was broken.
Then there's the gingerbread. We were all extremely proud of our little men, trees, snowmen, and dinosaurs. Eli must have "decorated" at least a dozen. Eating the cookies was slightly less popular, but a large amount of decorating material went mysteriously missing.
Next, the ward party with a visit from Santa Claus. I stood in line with Eli for a good 10 minutes prepping him for the encounter, but still didn't manage to get him on Santa's lap. Luckily it was a very wise Santa, who knew that candy can lure even the most suspicious of children. Porter tolerated it all just fine, but still refused all eye contact.
Finally, the Annual Magleby Family Salt Lake Fiesta. We all loved being with our siblings and cousins as we had dinner, checked out the lights on temple square, played around the hotel, and saw A Christmas Carol at the Hale. This is by far my favorite Christmas tradition.
The kids with Santa. What goofballs.
Zach, who is going on year 7 of this tradition, modeling the fantastic Santa hat Laura made.
Temple Square with exhausted children
How we all feel at the end of it all.