Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Christmas to you!

A fabulous holiday was had by all here in the Whittacre household!  Ok, maybe not by Chopper -- poor boy is really really sick!  But it was still an excellent Christmas -- 1st one in our own home!  That's a present in and of itself.

So I told my brother and sister-in-law I would post these, 1.  because it was very artsy of me, and 2. because I am tooting my own horn about this wonderful idea I had that I am going to continue in year's to come!  And I'm tooting the horn not for me but because it worked for Megan!  So the story is that I knew simply reading the Christmas story from the scriptures would not keep Megan engaged.  My family has always acted it out but we don't really have enough people for that and honestly, I didn't know how that would work with her either.  So instead, this is what we did:
 A few days back, I "drew" a mural of Bethlehem -- rolling hills, square houses -- you know, really complex stuff.  Megan did the coloring and together we put lots of star stickers in the sky (and a few in the hills too).  Yesterday, we made an inn and a stable out of boxes that were super easy and that Megan also helped with:
 Megan painted the awning of the inn and glued the windows on.  She also helped me stick strips of paper on the glue-laden box for the stable.  She loves the little crafty projects.
 Last night I told the Christmas story and in the telling used key scriptures from Luke, Matthew, and 3 Nephi (ancient Americas not pictured) and while we told the story, we added pictures to the mural.  All of the pictures of people come from the Primary Visual Aides cutouts -- Christmas, nature, and people of the scriptures packets.  Love these things.  It went so well because Megan was involved in helping me find pictures of everyone (tell part of the story -- "and then there were shepherds, Megan where are the shepherds, let's put them in the field) and she had ownership over the design as well.  I really do think we're going to do this every year.  And maybe I'll get lucky and have children with artistic ability that will take it and run as they get older.  It just worked really well.
 Don't you love a tree with presents under it?  I had to add in a few more to fluff ours out -- mostly wrapped socks . . . hey, having warm feet is a definite gift.
 Last year, we decided Megan not liking to open presents was her age.  This year, I think it's her personality.  She really doesn't tear into them unless you encourage her.  And once they're open -- she's done and wants to play.  Well, if anything, Christmas isn't over in 15 minutes.
 Abby really enjoyed the curling ribbon . . . that's my girl!
 Isn't she just sweet?
 Chopper is excited about his leaf blower.  Yes we do have leaves.  On one tree.  In the backyard.  And they fell off last week . . . 
 Ahhh, the Christmas explosion.
 Both of my girls surprisingly loved the Melissa and Doug cupcake decorating set.  That is not surprising for Megan (it's cupcakes, markers, and little all rolled in to one), but Abby's reaction was crying that she couldn't have it.  Hmmm, future baker already?  Or indication of sister fights to come?
 Megan is fabulous about sharing though and gave Abby a cupcake.  She's better about that sort of stuff than I ever was . . . or am.  I do tend to sneak treats rather than share them . . . 
All her duckies lined up in a row.  When she's not playing kitchen, she's playing duckies.  It's hard to see but there's a "mama" duck, a "daddy" duck, and 3 little babies and they've had quite the day.  Already they've been down several waterfalls (holding on tight), slept in Megan's bed (Megan was not sleeping of course) and have been upside-down numerous times.  I love the mind of a toddler!

We had a great day that was actually very relaxing and peaceful.  After the copious amounts of sugar that Megan had, I don't think tomorrow will be the same!  It's ok though.  I love Christmas and watching your children love it is a gift itself.  Merry Christmas!

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