Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dear Mom, Merry Christmas!

Week of December 23 – 29

It was a mad dash to the finish line but it happened – a magical Christmas day. Our first Christmas in our new Colorado home.


I am finding that part of the joy (and stress) of moving after so many years in one place is reworking traditions. Figuring out how to adapt the old ones we really want to keep but also discovering new delightful ones. You know me well enough to know that I am very sentimental, and traditions are a really big deal to me. :)

A new tradition that we added this year and have loved: “25 Days of Christ” family scripture study. I modified this lovely idea to fit our family better and changed the time-consuming handmade ornaments to these (which possibly are against copyright laws but I figured it’s impossible to buy them this small anyway, and I’m not going to sell them, and yes, maybe I’m justifying, but it really added a lot to our celebration this year and I refuse to feel guilty. haha!).


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An beloved old tradition that didn’t work so well in our new circumstances: 25 Days of Advent activities. It was simply too busy. I am starting to realize that these Coloradoans around here love scheduling events! All the stuff flying onto the calendar was really good stuff, but after the more quiet Arkansas Christmas seasons we were used to these daily advent plans just fell more and more behind.

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Oh, well. We’ll adapt it next year – I already have some good ideas. . . .:)

This was one of my favorite Christmas Eves ever, thanks to sweet Bob and Dani who invited us over.


Dani’s parents were there still from Italy, and Daniela and her mom had prepared a fabulous feast including several traditional Italian dishes. (Prosciutto, crostini di ricotta fruttati, stufato).




The cousins love playing together despite the age difference, and we all think Baby Simona is absolutely sweet and wonderful.


I wish I had gotten a good photo of her in her beautiful Christmas dress, but here’s one of her enjoying our concert. :)


After dinner and the concert, we had amazing desserts – Panettone (a traditional Christmas cake, below), torrone, and salame dolce.


They were so sweet to us! We felt honored and so welcome and loved.



426Hummer and sweet Stephen

We came home and had our traditional eggnog and pumpkin bread and then DC and I were up till 12:30am with preparations. I’m glad we could do it together. :)



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Christmas day was wonderful. It started at 7am (thank you, Sweet Ones, for not getting us up any sooner!). We came down and did the stockings first.


Then we had Abendbrot. . . for breakfast! :)


We had planned it for the night before but no one was hungry enough for it, and we all loved it for Christmas breakfast, so that may be a new tradition. Then we read the Christmas story from the Bible.

Back to present-opening, which took all day, and was punctuated by lovely Skype sessions with family members.


My favorite parts were the sibling gifts that they had picked out and earned the money for. It was so sweet to watch the joy on both faces as a gift was opened.


Rosebud said later that the gift below was one of her favorite parts of Christmas.



Our resident squirrel Branchy Kum-n-Go made an appearance, too. :)



This was Rosebud’s other favorite part – her gift to Daddy. :)


195Awesome gift from Hummer!


It’s an oboe reed. And it was a hot item – since being opened it’s already been played on for hours. No, Exacto doesn’t play the oboe. He just plays the oboe reed.



Best. Gift. Ever!



Part of Santa’s gifts were snow clothes and toys for all the kiddos. He knows we’ll use them here. :)

Dinner was Tallarín, a traditional Bolivian recipe I got from my sweet friend Vicky (I miss her!!). We loved this for Christmas dinner – will definitely repeat next year.


Ended the day with our last day of special scripture study, which was reading The Living Christ and watching this video. It was a perfect way to wrap up the beautiful Christmas season – I loved how close I felt to our Savior Jesus Christ through these readings and discussions of the events of His life.

Later in the week we went to the Denver Temple and visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (Thank you so much for the family membership! It was awesome!)


Last night we went to the Gardens on Spring Creek, which were very creatively and beautifully lit for the holidays. It started snowing while we were there, and indoors was a free magic show, and it was just super fun.



(I love DC’s fancy hat here. :)



I told you I would try to take a picture by the Christmas tree today before church, and I did, although it’s not the best picture. The caption should read, “Why we were late to church.” (ahem)


or perhaps, “We love Nana!”


Which we do. :)




Cathy said...[Reply to comment]

The oboe reed just cracks me up. (I was an oboe player.) He can put it on a sliding music stand and channel PDQ Bach :)

Vauna said...[Reply to comment]

I just love reading about your Christmas together. It sounds magical and makes me want to make ours more special next year.
You spoke of some dishes that you really should post the recipes for....

llamitanan said...[Reply to comment]

Love, love, love the post! It did look and sound like you had a very "magical" Christmas putting the Savior at the foremost. Good for you! What a creative name Rosemary gave to your "resident" squirrel! Would love for you to share Hna. Barrientos' recipe! Her cooking is amazing as is yours! Keep these awesome posts coming! I love them!

Lori Bailey said...[Reply to comment]

It was fun to read about your traditions. I hope to use the 25 days of Christ for us next year. Little Rosebud is so cutery! I hope we get to see you guys before long. We miss you.