1. Write letters to Santa
2. Deliver letters to Santa
This kid was AMAZED to learn that his letters disappeared through a tube, and landed straight on Santa's lap at the North Pole. "Magic is REAL." He told everyone at the post office.
3. Sit on Santa's Lap at the Family Party
4. Go to a Christmas Concert
Adrie and Brynn played their violins in the student orchestra, along with me and my cello students. The community symphony then performed its first ever Christmas concert with a numbers from small groups like our string quartet.
5. Await in wonder to see what the Elf on the Shelf will do next.
6. Provide musical entertainment for the Rotary Club and other parties around town.
7. Get a package from Denmark and send one too!
I was deeelighted to find some offerings from Hotel Chocolate. Sofie's parents are so sweet. They sent Sophie a box of little presents so she could open one thing a day. We also got some ornaments, designed by Sofie's aunt, and endorsed by the Danish crown.
To-die-for and too bad they are only available in Denmark and the U.K.
8. Decorate a Danish tree with the ornaments that just arrived. God Jul is Merry Christmas in Danish. I still haven't been able to pronounce it to Sofie's satisfaction.
9. Swedish pancakes for breakfast....or as Sofie told me, "hey these are Danish pancakes." She is finding out that we give the Swedes too much credit. This was just in time for Scandinavian "Santa Lucia." Sofie showed us pictures of her at age 11 dressed in white for the Santa Lucia procession with a wreath of pines and candles on her head.
10. Attend Adrie's dance recital at Christmas Tree Lane. Walk around after and look at all the pretty trees contributed by the community.
11. Go back to Christmas Tree Lane for a second night of fun and perform instrumental classics on the stage.
12. Sit on Santa's lap again, this time at the ward party.
Cannon let me know this one, not the last one, was the REAL Santa.
13. Make and decorate cookies
The Grinch photo-bombed our Santa cookies.
14. Freeze your buns off at the Main street light parade
These are a couple of Sofie's friends, also exchange students
15. Throw an exchange student party for 14 students from 9 different countries.
Each student brought 2-3 wrapped gifts for a Danish gift game.
16. Participate in Handel's Messiah.
The whole family came to watch all 1 1/2 hours. This is my 13 year playing in it and it gets better every time. This performance was taped for local TV. Local TV!!
17. Celebrate new dresses with Sunday selfies
18. Make marshmallow flake wreaths, and gingerbread cookies (and bars), English toffee (twice because the first batch didn't work, caramel (also twice, because the first batch didn't work) , mint sandwich cookies, spiced egg nog cookies, and santa cookies. A new batch for each new day. My kids love having my sister the cookie lady in town.
19. Have a sisters week in the city. We did all our favorite things: Iceberg malts, went to the movies, shopping downtown at the mall, Costco and samples, games, Thai food.
We rented a chick flick and played Rummikub. This is my first documented win.
Thai vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce. We moms just love it when we can eat somewhere that is not dictated by picky kids between the ages of 6 and 13. Fun was short-lived. It was time to get home for number 20.
20. Adrie's school Christmas program. They really spiced things up this year with some hot Latin renditions.
Ain't hard to please the care center folks.
22. A cheeseball and authentic Mexican hot chocolate.
This one says, "Hey it's December and I'm wearing short sleeves." Where is the snow????
23. Revisit the Christmas to-do list.
24. Mail out Christmas cards
25. Gingerbread men!
In between all that was some sickness, a family party, gift-shopping, and today's Sunday Christmas program that Brandon and I were in charge of. As always, it turned out better than we could have hoped thanks to our wonderful ward choir, pianists, soloists, children's group, speakers, and of course the Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas.