Jake decided to become friends with his car seat just in time for our 8-hour trek to Utah for the holidays, thank goodness. His reindeer friend also seemed to help him enjoy the ride.
Our first Christmas Eve activity was caroling at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. We missed it last year due to a trip to the North Pole, and it felt so special to be at HCI with the Long family again this year. There's such an incredible spirit that comes from singing about our Savior's birth in a place where His peace is so needed.
That night, we had a real live "Baby Jesus" for our annual nativity play. Jake's starring role automatically turned me into Mary and Matt into Joseph. After the play, my two littlest brothers came up to Jake. "You're the star of the show!," 6-year-old Josh exclaimed. Then 5-year-old Gabe leaned close to Jake and said, "Hey! You walk on water and heal people! You're amazing!" My siblings and I laughed and Gabe turned toward us. "What? He's Baby Jesus!" Looks like someone has been listening during scripture study.
Speaking of scripture study, we followed our reenactment of the nativity with this version of the sacred occasion and read a few verses about Christ. Per tradition, we saved Luke 2 for Christmas Day. But before we could even think about bedtime, our elf Pixie started to peek! Jakey ate his Santa hat in anticipation.
The babies were ecstatic to find Pixie's gifts on the front porch. Pixie treated Jake to another book, gifted me a Monopoly card game (you can win Monopoly in just 15 minutes!), and even knew that Matt needed a replacement aerobie.
With the excitement of Pixie and his boss, Santa, fresh on their minds, the babies hurried to prepare a letter and late-night snacks for the jolly old soul and his reindeer.
Then we enjoyed an impromptu Christmas dance party to send the evening out in style.
A few goodnight kisses later, the kids were all tucked in bed...
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads, of course.