We started off the season by putting up our Christmas decorations. Every year, we buy a real tree, but sadly, we were not able to do so this year. They just don't sell them our here (at least anywhere near us that we know of), but in years past our BX on base did, so we thought we'd be set. But, unfortunately the BX decided not to stock them this year, so we had to buy a fake tree instead! I was pretty bummed about it, but the kids really don't know any different and this cute little tree didn't take up too much space in our small house!
Bennett was asleep when we were putting up our Christmas decorations and tree, so I made sure to have my camera ready when he woke up so that I could get a picture of his reaction. He was so funny though, he just kept looking over at it from a distance. He never even crawled over to it, he kept examining it from a distance. So funny!
After getting our house decorated, and once we were in official Christmas mode, we sent our letters off to Santa! Our post office here on base had a big box just for letters to be sent directly to him.
After battling cancer for a short 3 months, my grandma passed away. It's still hard for me to imagine her gone, but I'm glad that she gets to be with my grandpa again after all these years. And, as sad as it was to bid her farewell, it was really nice to be able to get home to the states so close to Christmas and to see all of our family.
We got to see the lights at Temple Square . . .
We went to Gunnison to visit Peter's grandparents . . .
We went to Gardner Village to see the elves . . .
Visited Grandpa Ron . . .
We went and saw Santa Claus . . .
Then, because trying to catch military flights is so crazy, we got to spend an unexpected night in LA with my parents!
Once we got back to Japan, we got back to finishing off our Christmas Activity Advent Calendar activities, like making Christmas cookies . . .
Going to see Christmas lights at Showa park . . .
Making gingerbread houses . . .
Making ornaments for our tree . . .
Making Christmas aprons and decorating Daddy's office . . .
Peter and I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party . . .
We made nativities out of sticks that we found in our yard . . .
And on Christmas Eve, we got together with 5 other families and sang Christmas songs. Have I mentioned how much I love where we live??? All of these families have really become like family to us.
Then we went home, took more pictures, read from Luke 2 and The Night Before Christmas, and Will and Clara got to open the gifts that they gave each other.
Christmas morning was tons of fun; Will, Clara, and Bennett loved all of their presents and Peter and I had fun watching them go crazy. Between Santa, Mom and Dad, and the grandparents, this year, Will got an Air Force uniform, lots of Legos, magnatiles, some new games, and books. Clara got a pink balance bike, a box of princess dress-up clothes, lots of coloring and art supplies, a couple of new dolls, and some books as well. And, little Benny got a slide, a Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head, a glow worm, Fisher Price farm animals toy, and he got a couple of books too. Overall, it was a really fun and very relaxing day. We spent the day playing with all of our new toys and just hanging out. I loved being with my little family and not having any other distractions.
And, because it was Benny's first Christmas, we had to be sure to take some pictures of him in a Santa hat! I love that little Santa baby!!!