Dec. 2 we went to Justin's work party. Everyone wanted to see Gabe. Caden went to a friend's house, because there was no way I was bringing a 3-year-old! We won a Nutribullet in the raffle. Justin danced a couple songs with me and then we went home.
Dec. 6 was our Stake Choir Christmas Performance. It was enjoyable but a little different. This is the second one I've been to (different stakes though) where they made the audience sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. I'm musical yet I have a hard time following along, especially since I try singing alto because the soprano goes freakishly high!
Dec. 8 we watched the Church's Christmas Devotional as a family. Caden lined up all his cars to watch it too. I really liked when it showed the children singing during Elder Nelson's talk. I also like that the speakers now are from all auxiliaries, although I love the First Presidency dearly.
Dec 10. was our ward's Relief Society party. We started with dinner and then had a musical program with scriptural narration. I sang "Away in a Manger" with 3 other ladies. Our ward has a lot of talent!
Dec. 12 we finally put up the Christmas tree, much to Caden's delight. Caden put most of the ornaments in one spot. Every day he asks me to turn the tree lights on.
Dec. 14 was our ward party. The first hour was dedicated to fun: sugar cookie decorating, candy cane bead ornaments, a photo booth with props, hot chocolate station, and peppermint candy candles. Some children also did a short nativity play. After an hour, we had dinner. Gabe slept that first hour, and then was fought over the rest of the evening, though my friend had him most of the time. Caden loved making the candy cane ornament; in fact, he made 2 and kept another one his nursery teacher made. But later while we were waiting in line to see Santa, the clean-up crew threw his ornaments away. We were both very sad. I wish I had put them in my bag right away. This year Caden sat in Santa's lap after I told him Gabe and I would come with him. He was more excited by the treat bag he received afterward.
Dec. 17 we went to a dinner party for the Primary teachers and leaders. Like last year, they served pies: chicken pot pie for dinner and various pies for dessert. The kids made foam ornaments and the secretary's teenage son played Christmas music on the piano. I think he should play at weddings to raise money for his mission, he's that good!
Dec. 20 Kirsten and Adam came over for dinner and exchanging presents before they went out of town. I got Wreck-It Ralph, Justin got a video game, Caden got books, and Gabriel got a cute outfit. Then we all and our old neighbors went to the Mesa temple to see the Christmas lights and international nativity sets (my favorite). They had a new nativity scene on the waterfront that I thought was gorgeous.
Dec. 22 the Primary children sang "Picture a Christmas" in sacrament meeting. That was the extent of our Christmas program. Kinda disappointing; previous wards have done better. I've been thinking of going to another Christian church for a Christmas Day service since we don't have one (not this year though since we have the day booked).