Despite the crazy hecticness of December, I love the Christmas season. I love getting out the decorations and putting up a tree. This year I fell in love with our tree. It was taller than ones in the past, narrow and not nearly as full, but it was pretty. I also love that the season provides universal motivation for people to come together. Given that Christmas landed on a Sunday and Stanford "shut down" fell on a Wednesday to a Wednesday we were in California a little longer than normal. In some ways that was really nice - we had three weekends instead of two for all the festivities. The downside was that we weren't able to tack on a trip to Utah to see our friends we miss so very much.
The traditions we love each holiday season were repeated again this year: our cookie decorating party, our annual friend's holiday party and ornament exchange and dinner with the Tanners. We also managed to visit the Oakland temple one Friday evening.
Temple Night We hit record numbers this year at our cookie decorating party - we had 22 adults and 30 children and I baked nearly 22 dozen cookies. We hold the party on a Monday night and with our work schedules we aren't able to start until 7pm. This works rather well as the chaos is limited to a 90 minute window. When teenagers hit their cookie decorating limit the crowd moves to the backyard where a lot of energy is let out. This year it took the form of wrestling and the adults sitting around the fire had their own private WWE performance by their children. Thank heavens the rains paused that evening!
Mila loves frosting! Each October when I realize January will be here in about 3 minutes, I begin to look forward to our friend's holiday party. It's usually the only time all year that I see some of our friends from my early California days. This year the Bruens hosted and it was a wonderful dinner. Always great conversation, amazing food and lots of laughter. This year we came home with one of the "three ships" and Santa on a motorcycle. We are at the point where we would need two trees if we ever wanted to hang them all.
We've retired the gingerbread making and house decorating with Joy and Collin since the arrival of Miss Mila. Instead we have recently replaced it with decorating some of my gazillion cookies. This year both Kook and Ay were in town and Joy and Collin invited some friends to join us. We had family dinner, Joy made ice cream and Mila got a sugar high from all the frosting and cookies. We adore Mila and wish we saw more of them.