It was actually Ryan's uncle Kelly who dresses up as Santa and does parties and stuff around the holidays as a little business--isn't he absolutely perfect?? The kids loved it!
On Christmas Eve, we had a feast made my Grandma, and then we acted out the Nativity story as Grandpa read it from the Bible. The kids were so excited about this. One of the highlights of the night for me was hearing Noah whisper to Kate, "Isn't this so fun??" as they waited to come in as Mary and Joseph. I love the memories these cousins are making as they spend time together.
As I was tucking Noah into bed that night, we talked about the possibility that the Polar Express might come for him that night. He said he was pretty sure it was "just an old railroader's tale," but he asked if he could lay out his snow clothes just in case. He wanted to make sure he was ready to hop on the train and stay warm if it came for him. My heart truly exploded on the spot--I cannot get over how much I adore that imaginative, smart, innocent, playful little boy. I made him promise that if the train came for him, he would come and kiss me goodbye before leaving the house.
The next morning, the kids were so excited to see what Santa had brought for them, and we snapped this photo of them waiting on the stairs before they ran into the living room to discover their loot. Christmas morning is definitely the most magical day of the whole year.
After presents it was time for breakfast, and these two little Elsa and Anna cousins "helped" Grandma make her famous pumpkin waffles. Sally got these Frozen nightgowns for Christmas, and she has pretty much refused to take off the Elsa nightgown in the month since. And anytime Lucy is around, Sally insists that Lucy be Anna. ;)
Since Christmas was on a Sunday this year, we were excited that we would get to go to church and worship the Savior that afternoon. I was looking forward to getting the kids all dressed up in their red church outfits and going to sing carols about Jesus. Unfortunately, we had a massive storm in Pocatello, dumping over a foot of snow, and church was cancelled! I was actually quite disappointed, as I really wanted a spiritual focus for the day, and it's so hard to do that with little kids around. But Ryan gave a little family devotional and we made the most of it. And we decided to end the day with a wintery walk, pulling the kids on a sled and walking up and down the streets to look at the lights. It was magical.
The day after Christmas, we headed up to the family cabin in Sun Valley for a few days. As always, it was one big party! Sally was so exhausted from all the fun that she even fell asleep in the sled one afternoon when we were out on a wintery walk! (Or maybe it was from the stomach bug that she had basically the entire week? It didn't slow her down much other than that, amazingly.)
We went tubing beside the cabin, visited Sun Valley Lodge, spent long days in the cabin with the little ones while the dads skiied Baldy and then took Noah and Kate on Dollar Mountain, played in the hot tub, played Pie Face and laughed our heads off, and made the most of the week.