Christmas Part I
On Friday night, almost a full week before the real Christmas, we had our Perkins Family Christmas. Since we didn't want to haul presents down to Arizona, we chose to open most of our presents on Friday night. It was fun to watch Scott open his presents, he was really good at acting excited, even when some of the gifts were un-fun, like shirts. He is such a sweet little boy! Eva doesn't get this Christmas thing yet, but she is starting to enjoy ripping apart the wrapping paper, so she did a good job. My favorite presents were the little BYU cheerleader outfit for Eva, and the BYU jersey that we got for Scott. That's going to make a cute family picture. Although Scott felt a little ripped off that he couldn't take his gifts with him, I'm sure he'll be happy to return to them when we're done in Arizona.
Christmas Part II
We've been in Arizona for almost a week now, and it's been fun to spend time with Nellie's family, the Grows. Christmas at the Grows has been jam-packed this year, and it's been tiring to be in the middle of it all, but also very fun. In addition to a house full of Grows, we've seen Katie and her fiancee, Jared and his family, and Grandma Grow is staying here. On Christmas-eve day we hung out and Nellie and I got a good make-up nap. Nellie's Uncle Bob came into town and Eva instantly liked him, it was cute to see her warm up to someone so fast. She tends to be pretty easy-going, but she definitely has her favorites. I guess she doesn't mind his famous zerbits (if that's how you spell it). Scott got to go with Nellie and Papa and some others to visit Uncle Jared at his fire station. Scott loved being able to ride in a fire engine and had a great time. For Christmas Eve dinner we had some mexican food, Sarah made some fantastic however-many-layers dip, and I made smothered burritoes.
After dinner, we had Advent. Advent is something the Grow's have been doing for the better part of two decades, four Sundays before Christmas they start to read scriptures about the coming of the Savior and sing songs. They say it gets them into the spirit of the season, and it was really nice to take some time to think about the Savior, especially reading Luke chapter 2. What really made the night fun was Sarah's friend Whitney who is amazing on the piano. She accompanied all of the singing, and it felt like something out of the movies. I would give the night an A grade.
Later (this is turning into a LONG post...), I attended midnight mass with the Bruce family. Arlene Bruce, or Grandma Arlene as she is better known, is a good family friend who we all love. She has a really fun family also, and I really enjoyed attending mass with them. They are just as sarcastic and funny as I am (okay, I'm giving myself too much credit), but it was great to sing more songs about the savior and to get a different perspective. Attending midnight mass was something that I did on my mission at the urging of my mission president, and I've enjoyed attending with the Bruce's for the last couple of years.
Christmas morning started early for me, and not for the reason you may think. It started early because Eva decided around 4 am that she wasn't going to sleep anymore. After losing the battle to her, I watched the Christmas Story on tv and waited for an appropriate time to let Scott get up. This has been Scott's "Santa Year," as Nellie labels it, and it's been really fun as a parent to see him get all excited about Santa. He is extremely worried about upsetting, or lying to Santa. Just before Christmas break, Scott's class was writing letters to Santa. His teacher had provided them a template that said, Dear Santa, I have been really good this year...I would like..., Scott approached his teacher and expressed concern that sometimes he was naughty. His teacher said that was the first time any kid had even considered their behavior in the process of Santa letters. Funny kid. Anyway, around 7:30 we started the presents, Scott got the requested firetruck from Santa while Eva got a little people amusement park.
After all the present opening was done, we had a great breakfast provided by Mom Grow. She is a fantabulous cook and makes this amazing cinnamon rolls, breakfast was delicious. Later in the day we had another fantastic meal, again prepared by Mom. Grandpa Grow and JoRae visited for dinner at this point and I had a really good time. Spending time with the in-laws is definately a lot better for me, than for everyone else. After dinner Aunt Laura joined us and we had pie and just talked. I think the highlight of Christmas night was hearing Bob, Laura and Dad Grow talk about their mishaps they had as youths, maybe better than the stories was the reaction from Grandma Grow who was hearing many of these stories for the first time.
All in all, Christmas as the Grows was great! I'm sorry for such a long entry, but I'm not really that great at knowing what to leave out.