Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Memories: 2012 Edition

Our Davydd as Baby Jesus and our Dierdre as Mary

I still have to be careful about the amount of pictures I add here, until I decide to actually PAY for more storage (Yeah, I know I'm uber-cheap!), but I want to record some of the fun things we did this year! (Most of which I forgot to take pictures of anyway!)

  • We taped candy canes to several bank ATMs and handed them out at various shopping centers, just to say "Merry Christmas" and hopefully brighten someone's day. The best experience with this was when one of the kids handed a candy cane to a tiny little boy (he couldn't have been more than three years old), whose dad had just told him he didn't have money to buy him any candy from the vending machines. The expression on the little guy's face was priceless! 
  • We not only went to the Christmas lights at the temple visitor's center, but we also met Russell's boss and his wife there. They are not members of our church, but are faithful members of the Catholic church, and it was so great to listen to a combined Catholic and LDS choir with them, as well as seeing the lights all around the temple grounds and some of the other things at the visitor's center. They asked several questions about the temple itself and the work that goes on there. It was so fun to share with them and see things through their eyes. I never want to forget how good it felt to share my love of temple work!
  • On another night, we made up a big batch of hot chocolate and took it around to bell ringers at a few different stores. Even though it's not SUPER cold here in Arizona, it was still a bit chilly for bell ringers to stand out in for long, and it felt good to give them a warm treat.
  • We got to go see my sweet Southern Granny at her nursing home the Sunday before Christmas. I feel bad that I don't go see her very often, but it can be a bit painful for me. Granny and I used to be so close, and she doesn't remember me at all-- she has even stopped recognizing that she knows me. But we were able to introduce her to Davydd, and she adored holding all the kids and hugging them. She kept saying "I love you!" over and over to each of them, and in her classic Granny fashion kept asking me if I would give the baby to her-- just as she has always done with each of the others. That was sweet music for me to hear. It was good to be reminded that she's the same Granny, the same person I have loved all my life, even if her memory is gone.

Granny meeting Davydd
  • One day, we left some wrapped cookies with a note for our grumpy mailman in our mail box, and it was AWESOME to see him smile when he took them out of the box! (We were sure to watch him stealthfully!) 
  • Money was REALLY tight this year, so we got the kids a few things at the dollar store, Russell got the older boys some inexpensive leatherman-type tools, I sewed presents for everyone else, and the kids all made each other gifts. They drew names, as is our tradition, and I was so impressed with the gifts they came up with! We had homemade bows and arrows, jewelry, playdough, dollhouses, and more. (Thank you, Pinterest, for all the great ideas!!!) It was a humbling experience, but it was also very, very SWEET.
  • One other thing that happened this year, was that an unknown, kind family chose to give us a present every night for the twelve nights before Christmas. The kids had a ball with it, and Russell and I looked forward to every day's new gift, as well! It was also a bit humbling, but it gave me great memories of the times we did that for other families with my mom on several Christmases during my growing-up years.

All in all, we had a warm and wonderful Christmas season, and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!!!

Love, Mama Rachel


  1. I LOVE and adore you and your family! What wonderful examples you all are! I'm SO glad you had such a wonderful Christmas!<3

  2. wonderful Christmas ideas. I'm wondering if I should look for something we can do as a family each month. Those little surprises are so fun for everyone.


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