Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas 2014

To begin this post, I must first acknowledge what wonderful family and friends Wes and I have. I look back at certain times in my life and realize that without such great people would've been very difficult for us. Whenever I even consider moving out of California (because let's be honest, we've all thought about it) I realize how sad I would be to leave such important people. And, every holiday and fun event I am surrounded by the people I love most of all, which makes each time so much better. Holidays in particular rock for us because we have found what works best for us.

Christmas Eve is spent with my family. In the last few years my mom has themed Christmas Eve with dress, food and sometimes even activities. I personally have loved it and enjoyed the differences each year. This year was Old Bethlehem (traditional Christ times if you will), so we were mostly dressed in sheets, pillow cases, etc though some came truly dressed. For dinner we had lamb, steak, chicken and shrimp kabobs, along with many other traditional dishes we each helped create. I surprised even myself by making spinach fatayer which was delicious. We also ate under the easy-up "tent" on the ground on pillows and blankets to get into the mood. Ironically, as we were all dressed for it, this was one of the first years we did not do a nativity scene and story.

a sweet little shepherd and lamb
Some of the activities we did do were the reindeer balloon game as seen below.....

Cousin gift exchange as well as a white elephant gift exchange for the adults.
Of course coloring our papers to take home and hang... while others watched Charlie Brown.

A scavenger hunt, presents from Nana and Boppie, which always include new jammies. And other fun games my mom does each year.
We left at about 8:15 to come home and ready ourselves for Santa. We left out his cookies and milk, spread our reindeer food outside on the lawn, hung our paper in the hallway and went to bed.

Christmas morning we spend at home with our own little family, which is spectacular. It is easy, relaxed and really fun! We did our own thing last year for the first time and will continue on with that tradition because it was so wonderful. So after bursting through our paper and seeing our presents we each take turns opening things.

Peyton was thrilled to see that we had fixed up her car to ride. The first thing she said when she saw it was, "oh, I am so glad you fixed my car." It's a good thing we gave that to her rather than Santa. :) And I am so happy we chose to fix an old one up rather than buy a new one because it looks great, she loves it and we saved probably $200.

I failed to take any real "befores" so these are our "durings". We had already painted the grey parts white, and taped it off, but you can still get a general idea of the condition the car was in. Not cute, and didn't work. For about 3 days we would work on it at night while the kids were sleeping. Totally worth it!

 But after some spray paint and new stickers, it looks fabulous!
The girls loved opening present and each got a few things they wanted/needed. It was much easier shopping for Peyton than Jovie though. Although Peyton threw us for a loop wanting a pixie dust necklace, so Santa had to be creative and make one. She said it was exactly what she wanted so all was well. She also got more than 1 flashlight, the only other thing she wanted and a bunch of little things.

And the best part was after opening present playing with them all of course.
Christmas Day: After spending the morning at our house, playing and relaxing we then go over to Wes' parents house for the afternoon/night. Again Peyton is simply in heaven playing with cousins. We eat good food, and have fun talking. Sandie too always has a lot of fun games planned, mostly for the adults with awesome prizes on top of it all. And we do presents there too.
Sadly since no one in the Aleman family posts pictures from the day (I stole all my Christmas Eve photos from Danny) I have just a few from the day.
But, it was super fun. This year for sibling gifts the girls bought for the girls and the boys for the boys. The theme was something for $5 you can't live without. It was fun to see how creative people were, or how perfect the gifts were from each person. For example I gave each girl a pack of gum and chapstick since I always have those things. But, let's be honest the real thing I love most and get everyday is a soda, so I wrapped every ones stuff in a 42 ounce refillable soda cup. Wes gave Lofthouse cookies and his favorite cheese dip... so Wes right?!

Like I've said before, we have the best family and best routine. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Savior. With those we love most in an enjoyable way!

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