Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, Plus One, Minus One

We enjoyed a quiet, relaxing Christmas Day at home this year.  In many ways this year was like years past, but in other ways it was quite different.  For instance, this was our first Christmas since Ed joined our family, so we added a person.  Yet we were also short one family member, since this was Jacob's first Christmas away from us as a new missionary.

We slept late and didn't start opening gifts until 9:00.  Here we have the results of this year's gift-giving:

Here's Dylan with his gifts.  His sister Sarah gave him the Fushiji Ball, used for contact juggling.  He's already quite good at it!  Before Jacob left for the Mission Training Center, he left the Mr. Bean's Holiday DVD for Dylan, plus a pair of headphones Dylan really wanted.  Ed's mom, Caryl, sent Dylan $10.00, which he plans to use to buy a new Play Station 2 controller.  From Mom and Ed, Dylan received the Paper Jamz guitar and drum set.  And yes, he's been jamming on them!
We also gave Dylan this new mountain bike.  Being something of a daredevil on wheels, Dylan is pretty hard on his bikes and wears them out quickly!

No, Dylan didn't wear the bike out already!  It turned out the fifth gear wasn't working properly.  Since Ed couldn't repair it, we took the bike in and exchanged it today.

These are Sarah's gifts.  Before he left, Jacob got Sarah the Cats and Dogs: Kitty Galore DVD.  Dylan gave her the Kyle XY: Season Three DVD set.  Ed's mom gave her the beautiful pearl necklace and earrings.  Real pearls!  Mom and Ed gave her a poster, the Shrek Forever DVD, and two books she wanted: Chords of Strength by David Archuleta (about his struggle to overcome paralysis of his vocal cords) and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer (an off-shoot of her Twilight books).

Sarah with her new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows poster.

Sarah made sure her Diego received a gift.  He loved his new cat-shaped tug-o-war toy and played with it all morning.  It was like he rediscovered his inner puppy!

I was well blessed in the gift department!  Dylan gave me a DVD he loves about missionaries, called The Best Two Years.  I can't wait to watch it tonight for Family Home Evening.  The gift Jacob left for me was the Wizard of Oz DVD.  I love that old film!  It brings back happy childhood memories, yet I've never purchased it for myself.  Sarah gave me the extended version of my all-time favorite movie, Avatar, and the "Irish Charm" figurine for my Willow Tree collection.  Love them both!  Ed spoiled me with the tall Willow Tree figure of the man and woman, called "Together."  I had told him long ago that figurine reminded me of us as a couple.  He also gave me Marie Osmond's latest CD of LDS music; a beautiful silver-and-pink CTR ring; a pair of purple-and-gold Yellow Jacket earrings I can wear to school on game spirit days; and the strawberry Milano cookies!

After living alone for so many years, Ed wasn't prepared for his tall stack of gifts, but we had so much fun shopping for him!  Dylan gave him a rifle cleaning kit and Sarah gave him Thomas S. Monson's life story, To the Rescue.  I got him a book, too, called The Most Valuable Man: A Priesthood Leader at Home, by George Durrant.  His other gifts included a coyote caller, a camouflage face mask, a pair of binoculars, two new pairs of slacks for church, and the 3 movies in the Jason Bourne series: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum.

It's my tradition to take pictures of our gifts each year because it's fun to look back and remember when we received certain things and who gave them to us.  It's kind of a sentimental thing for me.  Still, Christmas is most certainly not about how many gifts we receive or how much money we spend on each other.

No, Christmas is about the greatest gift of all and the incomprehensible love that prompted the giving of it.  This is the time of year when much of the world remembers the birth of our Savior, sent by a loving Heavenly Father to prepare the way so that each of us can one day return to live with Him.

Our family wishes you and yours the spirit of Christmas throughout the coming year.  May God bless you all in every worthwhile endeavor.  We love you!

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