A picture on the stairs before we could go see what Santa brought was mandatory growing up so it is now mandatory in our household.
This year we did something a little bit different, the kids wrote a letter to Santa saying that they would like to give presents to someone in need instead of getting presents from him. So he wrote a letter back and included wish lists from some kids in need. They were mostly happy to be doing this. Some days they were really excited about it and some days they were sad that Santa wasn't coming (he still came and filled their stockings). In the end they didn't get to be a part of picking out presents as much as I would have liked, mostly I did it all by myself. But I felt like this was a nice way to move away from Santa Claus and focus more on the Savior and making Christmas a time of giving. Sometimes to really feel the spirit of giving you have to feel a sacrifice as well. Jeff and I decided to keep our gifts to each other really inexpensive, for the first time. It was really fun to give thoughtful, but cheap things. Oh I forgot. Jeff did surprise me with perfume. I have been wanting him to pick out perfume for me so I knew it would be something he'd like too. Anyway he went the the mall one day and I knew what he was doing because he smelled really strongly of perfume when he came home. In the end he said he only liked one, and it was actually one I had told him I liked a long time ago. He told me I could have made it easier for him and told him that before he went and smelled a hundred different perfumes.
The kids picked out presents for each other and I am beginning to think that they know each other better than I know them. They each picked out thoughtful, really fitting gifts. Speaking of gifts, the present I ordered for Callum from Amazon still hasn't gotten here. I emailed the seller today and hope to be able to figure out where it went. Really. I ordered it November 17th. Oh well. Luckily he wasn't old enough to know he was one present short. Or care for that matter. I had to bribe him with candy to get him to open his presents. Until he sort of hit this point where he thought it was cool and started tearing open everyone's presents towards the end.
On Christmas day we made plans to go sledding with some friends to the best sledding hill in Madison. It was seriously huge. And. super. fast. I. mean. really. fast. The girls were so brave. We started in the middle of the hill and by the next run they wanted to go up to the top. I went down with our friends daughter and I would have screamed if I didn't have to save face in front of a four year old. We were spinning and going backwards and throwing snow up into our faces. It was kind of scary. It got scarier though when some older lady totally got taken out by a sled. She wasn't paying attention and a sled ran into her. That was only the first one. While we were there two more people got knocked over. Our friend's little boy and a mom with her four year old. The boy was fine but the mom got a tooth knocked out. That's when we called it quits, before any of us got hurt. We had to go anyway because we were having dinner with some friends and we were running really late. Like we needed to be there in 30 minutes and we still had to get home, get changed and make dessert. I had done prep for the dessert so we got it thrown together and I got my makeup and hair done while we left the kids in the garage buckled in playing their leapsters. On our way to our friend's house Lauren said that I had gotten ready really fast. I told her that we didn't just change, but we made a dessert too. She was super impressed. I commented that teamwork makes everything faster. And Lauren said "Like when Kenna and I were pulling the sled up the hill together? Because that was NOT fast." I thought it was so funny.