The month of December has to be my favorite month of the year. Not only is it Christmas, but it is also our anniversary month and my birthday month – obviously it’s my favorite month! We had a month full of fun activities, dinner with friends, nana sleepovers, visits to santa – we had a good time. The week before Christmas is when the real excitement started to set in. We attended our church Christmas service which never ceases to amaze and brought a wonderful spirit of Christ to each of us.  photo 20131222-DSC_8532.jpg  photo 20131222-DSC_8590.jpg Steve’s mom and dad hosted the annual cousin talent show and white elephant gift exchange. Hallie was the only one from our family to participate – a piano solo of Silent Night and a last minute impromptu number with her cousins.  photo 20131222-DSC_8598.jpg  photo 20131222-DSC_8603.jpg  photo 20131222-DSC_8607.jpg We found a young family that needed a little love this year, so we spent the afternoon at a Target, where the kids picked out gifts for the different aged kids. Hunter was hilarious as he tried finding a gift that a little girl his age would like. Every idea he had somehow revolved around legos, or guns. Luckily, Hallie stepped in to aid in the selection process!  photo 20131223-DSC_8616.jpg Before I knew it, Christmas Eve was upon us. We made a list of all the things we wanted/needed to do that day to make sure we fit everything in. I love the commentary the kids added to the list.  photo 20131224-DSC_8739.jpg I had a gingerbread cookie kit (that we didn’t use the year before, don’t judge!) that was a huge hit. The cookies were hard as can be but Santa has strong teeth and the reindeer wouldn’t mind either!  photo 20131224-DSC_8731.jpg  photo 20131224-DSC_8724.jpg  photo 20131226-DSC_8998.jpg We acted out the nativity (with one of my favorite gifts from my mother – homemade costumes) and sung songs.  photo 20131224-DSC_8749.jpg We ate dinner with Steve’s family.  photo 20131224-DSC_8772.jpg We came home to enjoy the neighborhood luminaries and Christmas lights, sparklers (Peruvian tradition), opening Christmas pajamas and a book and reading “Twas the night before Christmas.”  photo 20131224-DSC_8763.jpg  photo 20131224-DSC_8812.jpg Kids (and even some adults) are so fun on Christmas eve – the stage has been set, the excitement has been building and all they have to do is go to sleep. Easy enough, right? We let Hallie and Hunter sleep in the same room and they thought we were the coolest parents ever. They took a little time to fall asleep, but it was totally worth the faces they had when we agreed to let them do it!

It was the best day. The kids were great and cooperative. Steve and I weren’t stressing about anything and we truly enjoyed the day as family.