The kids and I arrived home from Australia just a few days before the start of December. It made it easier to leave the sunshine knowing that A. my husband was at the other end and B. that I could spent December in Christmas preparation. Last year we didn't have our house yet and were living in temporary accommodation so I missed doing some of the things I love. So prepare I did. I hit the stores and added a few things to my collection (which levi had limited to two boxes and is now three...opps). I decorated here, there and everywhere. I also baked lots this year. I did snowballs, clementine cake, chocolate covered pretzels, coconut mousse cups, gingerbread and I had a cupboard stockpiled with various christmassy treats. And we spent each weekend doing something Christmassy and Canadian. We picked our tree (a true highlight, yes we know it is HUGE), enjoyed the ward Christmas party (amazing food), had a little party with a few friends over to get into the holiday spirit, went to Sugar Moon Maple farm and enjoyed seeing the snow and eating pancakes in a log cabin, skated at Halifax's outdoor skating oval and watched the Stake outdoor live nativity pageant. It was all wonderful.
We were very happy to have Levi's sister Yolanda and her husband Luke with their two children Rooke ( 2 ) and newborn Harvey with us for 10 days over Christmas too. We talked and ate all the day long and the kids, particularly Rooke and Finley found great fun together. It was beautiful to meet our sweet nephews and for the kids to get to know their cousins. We had a great and memorable evening together waiting to have a Santa photo. Levi and Yolanda jumped in at the last moment and it made for a great picture of the Catton siblings and their children.
Christmas fell on a Sunday this year and we enjoyed a beautiful sacrament meeting at church. I really like attending church on the day. The whole Christmas season I felt moved to tears every time I read, or watched or spoke of the birth of the Saviour. In all of the hustle and bustle of the season it resonated so strongly in my heart, I'm so grateful for the birth of my Saviour Jesus Christ and that we have this magical season to celebrate him. Along with laying our milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve, we watched the Joy to the World and read the nativity story to the kids before bed. Finley really understood Christmas this year and as much as he looked forward to presents delivered by Santa he also loved hearing the real Christmas story and talking about Jesus' birthday.
For Christmas day I cooked and cook and cooked. I did a turkey (dressed by wonderful, no job too stomach turning Blanche), a tray of stuffing, cranberry sauce (also with Blanche's help), bread rolls, sweet potato pecan bake, risoni salad, peas and corn. It was all delicious and lasted for days which made it all the more worth it. It was a lovely day spent with family, eating, sleeping, reading - perfect.
And a silly Christmas Greeting from the Cattons