I find this a pretty good mix of hilarity and pathetic that I'm writing about Christmas in the middle of summer, but then again, Christmas time in Florida feels like summer so it works. Even though I get overwhelmed with the fact that I'm about 7 months behind on the blog, I have an OCD nature that will not allow me to jump ahead or blog about adventures out of order. For me I want to read this like a book; chronologically and even though it might be tedious or daunting, I still find this blog important. For me it's a perfect place for keeping our memories and reflecting on all the blessings our little family has been given, especially in the midst of sadness and trials.
This past Christmas was our second year spent in Florida away from our immediate family. I was once again nervous that I would be overwhelmed by homesickness. To counteract this, I made a long list of fun things to do over the holidays and got to work checking each of them off. We continued with our tradition of having all the Elders over for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Dallas and I have loved carrying this tradition on from my parents and have even followed by getting them each identical little presents to open before dinner. I have to admit that selfishly, I just love having all the Elders over because they fill our home with laughter and the spirit. It's totally more of a service to us than them.
All the elders opening their little presents before dinner.
Of course everything had to be wrapped identical...
Our main family tradition and reason for the Elders joining us, is to host a family's Christmas. We were super excited to host a family that we've truly fallen in love with over the course of our months here in Florida. To make sure that they didn't know it was from us, we had the missionaries drop off all the presents and then hide to make sure the family received them. It's a tradition we've been doing for as long as I remember Christmas growing up and my favorite tradition Dallas and I have started with our own family.
After a yummy dinner, we cleared the table and put the missionaries to work. It was pretty funny to see them work so hard at wrapping all the presents...some looking very interesting.
Elder Ward, Elder Marshall, and Elder Hunt
Elder Reno, Elder Allen, and Elder Slade
We had so much fun with the Elders.
They truly helped bring the spirit, taught us a wonderful lesson of Christ's birth, and shared their testimonies of the gift of God's love for us. It was the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve.
After the Elders left to deliver presents, we took some quick pictures by our Christmas tree. I'm madly in love with our tree. It's been so fun to slowly collect more and more ornaments over the years. This year it was especially fun since Daxton got to decorate so much of the tree. He was pretty proud of himself!
That evening, we went on a drive to see all the different Christmas lights and found an incredible display at one of the local churches. There were thousands of dancing lights set to music and they even had fake snow falling from the entranceway. Daxton was totally mesmerized and danced around the grounds in his rain boots.
After looking at all the Christmas lights, we went back to the house and opened up a few Christmas Eve presents. Daxton got some new pirate pajamas for Christmas morning and a new book set.
He was pretty excited about his pirate PJs!
Daddy got us all matching super hero shirts. I'm super sad I didn't get a shot of all of us wearing them. Daxton was very excited when he saw his batman shirt.
We also had him open one of his presents from Grandpa and Grandma, which he absolutely adores.
After putting Daxton to bed, we got to work on setting things up for Santa. Dallas was super happy at 1am to still be building the new kitchen from Santa...
Stockings all stuffed
Daxton was immediately overjoyed to get his new kitchen (and mommy and daddy are super excited he still plays with it to this day.) Some of his other favorite toys were his new tools from both sets of grandparents. He's been fixing things for months now.
He also loved his Pirate treasure box from mom and dad (courtesy of Disney) with his own hat, hook, map, eye patch, and gold doubloons.
Dallas loved his "Christmas Story" nightlight which reminds him of his dad. I loved the gorgeous figurine my dear friend, Janelle, sent. Daxton loved his new Seahawks jersey from Bryan's family.
So many fun presents!
The best part of Christmas day was spending the evening with our Aunt and Uncle's family. It is such a blessing to have family so close! They are always so much fun and leave us laughing without fail. We love them dearly.
Spending Christmas Day with family was absolutely perfect.