Jason and I had an awesome Christmas season, including ward Christmas parties, work Christmas parties, dinner dates with friends, and all of that jazz. However, the real joys of Christmas time were centered around family.
Jason decided to carry on the Twelve Days of Christmas tradition and surprised me with many wonderful gifts, including: a chocolate orange, the Children of the Promise series (LOVE it...I recommend to all!), candy galore, air fresheners for my car, a coat stand, pillows, and more! I love it when Jason surprises me like that!
(apparently Jason was trying to go with the rhyming, rather than the song rhythm)
The Sunday before Christmas was spent with my family. My mom asked each of us to come prepared with something to present or share for a Christmas program. Some may call Jason and I lazy, but we found an awesome slide show on YouTube with pictures of Christ assigned to Christmas music (hey, why redo something that has already been done). I think pictures and music can have a greater impact than words if done correctly (that was my justification). It might even pass for a great Easter video as well!
My sisters, however, really stole the show with their part of the program. Camry is genius! She found an old family video of Kimberly and herself dancing to a Christmas song, played it for us, and then surprised us all with an exact reenactment of it. They had spent several hours watching the old dance, relearning the choreography, and preparing to dance it for us. It was hilarious! I'm jealous I didn't think of anything like that. Wish I had pictures or video from it...sadly I don't. Camry and Kimberly definitely get props for their creative and comical contribution to the program.
Christmas of 2009 was spent with my family, so that meant Christmas of 2010 was our year with the Grubers. That meant my first Christmas away from home, ever! That may not be a big deal for some, but I take Christmas very seriously...I look forward to the month of December all year! I make it point to get at least a week off of work around this time. I am so thankful to Mitch, the night team Supervisor, for taking over that week between Christmas and New Years. I was so nervous that with my new promotion to supervisor that I would have to miss out on a lot of the Christmas holiday. Mitch was so nice and didn't let me worry a second longer; he offered to cover for me for the entire holiday. I couldn't have been more thrilled or grateful!
The night before we headed out to Alpine, Jason and I had a mini-Christmas party, opening up the gifts from my parents and siblings. Here's a peak at our Christmas moments at home:
Our tree (Jason even set up a moving train around the tree)
If you look on top of the book shelf, you'll notice two white paper wreaths.
Bryan taught us how to make those in his part of the Christmas program.
(can't forget the famous Arbon Christmas cereal!)
And so the true Christmas gathering began. How do you sum up five days of utter happiness and bliss?!? Amy, Robby, Alli, Sean, April, Max, Karl, Nancy, George, and all of the grandkids were there to celebrate. That's seventeen people sleeping, eating, bathing, etc. in the same house! Complete chaos and complete joy! The Grubers totally took me in and made it an amazing "First Christmas Away From Home!" I absolutely loved it! George and Nancy were so thoughtful, they even got me my own box of Cocoa Puffs (my typical Christmas morning breakfast) just to make sure it was just right.
Let the pictures begin:
Love this picture of Capri!
Thanks to Alli we had night after night and bowl after bowl of the most amazing kettle corn I have ever had! She brought her Whirley Popper to share her special treat. Ironically enough, Jason and I had just given ours away at my work Christmas Party as a white elephant gift since we had never used it (never really knew how). Needless to say, after being treated by Alli, we totally regret giving it away and wish we still had ours!
We spent many hours watching stand up comedians like Brian Regan and Jim Gafagan.
Lots of kitchen time for all of the amazing meals!
The nieces and nephews
Mya, Clara, Oliver, Harlan, Alex, and Capri
This was a typical spotting...the kids getting into any and all of the food
(especially Capri....she never STOPS eating)
The big Christmas Eve feast
The traditional Party Poppers with their toys and crowns
Next comes the Christmas Eve Nativity Scene. I tried uploading the video of it, but it kept giving me an error (I'll try again later). Now, I'm quite used to a longer and more serious nativity, but I must say, after this year's little scene, it's going to be hard going back! The angels never tried to flatten the baby Jesus in previous years. Nor have they ever shown such lack of focus. So great!
The official cast
Jason and I brought our TV to put in the family room with the hope of providing hours of entertainment. It definitely got its share of attention. We played Mario Kart, a motorcycle stunt game, Super Mario Brothers, and more. This picture captures the real "excitement" of the video games. This is also where we enjoyed the evening hours of comedy shows and kettle corn.
I will be getting one of these chairs when I have kids! So awesome!
Clara being a diva
There are always competitions when the Gruber boys are together. In this intelligent contest, the purpose was to see who could blow the most air into the balloon. Jason still boasts about beating out all of the men. We're all so proud, Jason... :)
It was so different being in the "aunt" role this Christmas. Up to this point, I had always been on the "receiving" end of Christmas...Santa was coming to visit me. This year it was about Santa visiting the grand kids. Not that one way is better than the other, but it definitely made me excited to start my own Christmas traditions with my own family some day. There's something about seeing kids' eyes light up when they open their gifts that makes me so excited for that day. And I know that Jason is itchin' even more than I am. Maybe soon? We'll see.
Other fun holiday activities included swimming at the Lehi Rec Center, skiing at Brighton (just the boys), and sealings at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.
The time sadly came for Jason and I to leave the Gruber clan and head to Idaho for yet another cousin wedding. It was definitely sad to be the first ones to bid farewell. It was such a fun and memorable Christmas. Thanks again, Grubers, for sharing such a wonderful time with us!