So the two week lead up to Christmas was kind of frantic. I had to do in two weeks what I usually do in a month since I had done that catering job. All of the neighbor gifts, and all of the family gift shopping was on my to do list. I also had had in my mind since last year that I wanted to replace our stockings with homemade stockings out of thrifted sweaters, and Tia cut them out for me this year, so that was some sewing stuff on top of the rest. But it all happened. We somehow got everyone remembered, and all of the gifts bought.
We had a nice Christmas morning. It was so great having Tia back home with us!
But....on their way that day, even as we were opening presents...
This is what made Christmas break so great, and so overwhelmingly exhausting in a good way.
We decided to have a Thai feast for Christmas dinner, with each family bringing something (and my Aunt contributing the cheese plate for appetizers).
Beef with basil, cold sesame noodles, spring rolls, Thai salad, Thai broiled tofu, Masaman curry, green curry, Chicken satay with peanut sauce, Pad Thai... the only problem was not having a stomach big enough to eat everything.
During dinner we had an anonymous piano recital. Lots of the cousins are studying piano, and each got a chance to play a piano piece in the front room (so the group wasn't looking at you making you nervous). We all clapped at the table after each song.
Jeff is just being silly. He liked the songs too.
We did a hot chocolate bar for dessert.
We pulled out all the stops, including a version of the hot turmeric tea drink Kai got up in Park city the last time we were there.
The next day we went to a cousin lunch up in Sandy. The restaurant was called CoreLife which made me think the food would be crappy diet food. But it was really good! Even better we got to talk like crazy people. We were in that place for hours soaking up the talk.
Sledding in our little Mapleton canyon is a must when we get together. I love it, the kids love it, most of the adults go too.
Tia is working at Heber Hatchets now, and told us about a special they were having, so Jeff and I bought a gift card for anyone in the family who wanted to to go try it out one evening.
Going up to Salt Lake on the train was another fun day. It didn't start out super fun for me... I bought tickets last, and couldn't get my credit card to read in time. I got one ticket bought and sent Ari onto the train, then when the last two tickets finally came out, Kai and I ran as fast as we could to the train doors....we thought. We ran the exact wrong way. The train pulled out without us. I tried driving up to catch it at the next station, missed it again, and turned the car around to go back and wait for the next train back in Provo. It was fine. we missed the family touring the planetarium but that was all.
Looked like they had fun though!
I loved going through the church history museum though. They had a huge exhibit with pictures and stories of faith filled people from around the world. I was taken especially with these guys from Madagascar, and a couple of women pictured in Mexico. I was really touched by so many of the stories though. So much bad in the world, but so much good is there too. There are so many good people out there!
One of the church leaders is an excellent watercolorist and there was a room of his work. These are more detailed examples, but my favorite ones were tiny scenes created with a few simple strokes that still conveyed all you needed to know about the feeling of a place or moment in time.
We finished up at the museum and headed over to Chile Tepin for dinner. I was so excited that we passed Vossen's German bakery on our way there. I snuck in and got a bunch of seed rolls for the next week. My most favorite bread ever.
For New Year's Eve this sign got me. Every year we do a gingerbread house decorating party, and we usually make the houses. But these were marked at 1.88. With 50% more off they were supposed to be .94 cents or something?? I couldn't pass them up and got 21 of them. Of course at checkout the checker told me they weren't another 50% off. I contended that the sign had stated that they were, so Walmart needed to honor it. Management wouldn't budge. I was too emotionally worn out at that point and just bought them. But I wanted to burn the store down on my way out. It was just so lame of them. It wasn't the money so much as the dishonesty. I felt tricked. I said they at least should take the sign down. They wouldn't. Whatever.
Tia even came home early enough to do a house with us. So cool. By the day after new year's day we all wanted to crawl into our respective holes we were worn out with so much partying. But it is the best part of Christmas each year: being together.