Henny Penny and Mr. C made some gifts to give to their friends that they ride horses with on the weekends. Being the completely organized person that I am, I didn't have any gift bags on hand to put their gifts in.
This is what you find when you turn to the Internet and all of the creative people out there. You find blogs like this that teach you how to make your own gift bags.
We chose to use newspaper because there is no shortage of newspaper around in our house. Craft paper of any sort would be really cute, scrapbook paper......... I was thinking the ads that are shiny that we all get in the mail with all of the Christmas toys and such would be really cool looking.
Next Internet search....... how to make manila envelopes. I don't seem to have any of those on hand either......
Mr. J putting the pipe cleaner candy cane on the tree he and the other Native's made on Monday night. Can't beat the look on his face!
It's been happening for several years now. How many, I'm not sure! It is harder to remember when it wasn't happening.
The week before Christmas a mysterious box shows up. Shows up unannounced just sitting quietly on our front porch with a label on it letting us know that it is a secret box from a secret person and we aren't to open it until the appointed day. That day is always exactly one week before Christmas.
It's a magical box. The Native's look at it and wonder what it is filled with each year. The day arrives and the box is opened. There is always a note on the top, hand written, with instructions. The box is filled to the brim with Christmas artistic crafts, wonder, and delights. An activity for The Native's to do each day. A craft of some sort with all of the fixings and trimmings. I don't have to do anything! All of the glue, and glitter, googly eyes, and markers, and fixings for what ever the activity for that day...... it is all packaged neatly in a plastic bag marked for that day.
If you ask The Native's what makes Christmas at our house, they'll tell you that it wouldn't be Christmas without their mum's cinnamon rolls Christmas morning and the Christmas box.
It's been awhile since I've been able to do some spinning. My fingers have been kind of itching to do some more so I went and bought some very colorful wool roving to spin.
I like color. Bold colors. That's me!
I feel kind of like a cheater though. Very much like with my quilting. If I make a quilt top and then have someone else machine quilt it, and then someone asks me if I made the quilt.............. I have a hard time saying yes because technically I did make the quilt top but I didn't quilt it so........
It is the same with this yarn I've spun. Yeah I spun it, but I didn't color it. I do plan on learning how to dye my own wool so that like my hand quilted quilts that I've quilted by hand....... when asked if I made the yarn I can without a guilty conscience say, YES! Yes, indeed I did. From start to finish.
In the meantime......... buying roving that has already been dyed for me is a pretty snazzy way to go until I can learn how to myself! Now....... hmmm......... what to make out of this yarn........
This is what happens when Humpty Dumpty tries to dress up like Santa Claus and gets into a fight with Jack Frost.
Either that or this is what Santa looks like on the day after Christmas........... Or maybe it is one of the three little pigs trying to impersonate Santa.... I can't decide. All I know is my freakish Santa here doesn't look anything like the photo in the pattern I used...... I'm sure it is the patterns fault.
Two nights ago I along with several other adult leaders took the teenage youth in our church up to Salt Lake City to see the lights on Temple Square.
At this time of year the whole area is filled with Christmas lights and is just beautiful. This is the Salt Lake temple. It doesn't matter what religion you are, what you believe in, this building is a gorgeous building. It took the pioneers 40 years to build. Because I was with the youth and trying to keep an eye on them I didn't have the time to take very many photos, especially ones in detail but if you'd like, you can go to this link to see more photos of this incredible building.
On the temple grounds not only do they have fantastic lights but they have displays set up around like this one, depicting the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Two great loves in one photo. My country which allows me the freedom to choose what religion I want to follow and this temple and what it represents. Marriage for time and for all eternity. Not till death do us part, but for all of eternity. Sealed to all of my loved ones.
Sorry the photos are so grainy. It is night obviously and I didn't want to use a flash.
Just a smidge of the lights. These photos really don't do them justice.
I didn't have time to play with my camera and get better shots. Guess you'll just have to go and see for yourself if you are able to!
More of the temple. The majority of my photos are of the temple. I kinda love the temple........
One of the little stink pots I was with. She wanted her photo taken right here! So I did!
After Thanksgiving the cousins came to visit. My baby sis, her husband, and their children. My adorable nieces and nephews. One of the things we did is we went to a pioneer village that is relatively close by and enjoyed a "Candle Light Christmas". It is a real pioneer village that has been kept and maintained.
After we visited with Santa we hopped into his sleigh. Guess what photo is going on our family Christmas card this year......... bet ya can't guess........
Next it was onto the Polar Express! The cousins all bunched together singing Christmas carols.
Speaking of Christmas carols..... there were carolers walking around singing. Does anyone Christmas carol anymore? I know our family does from time to time. Not every year but every so often... I miss Christmas carolers!
Off to the old school room to do some dancing. You can totally tell this is all authentic by the microphones and the amplifiers. Kidding aside, this really was the old school room. I love the idea of one room school houses. I think I was born in the wrong era.
Where there is music there must be dancing! We were taught a fun dance which we did around the big Christmas tree in the middle of the room.
As we danced around we switched partners. Levi thought the dancing was quite fun. He takes after his mommy.
The SM dancing with our cute niece Miss C. See the pot bellied stove on the left? It had the whole room piping warm.
Or maybe it was all the bodies dancing around. Cousins!
Daddy and daughter. Wish I were that limber. Was I ever that limber?
A live nativity. This was neat. A little family with an infant. How that sweet mother sat there all evening in the cold with her baby is beyond me. It was neat though and as we all stood there in that barn, all quiet and watching, even the little ones, my heart was filled with peace, gratitude, and joy for this wonderful time of year.
Every live nativity isn't complete unless it has a friendly goat that is just dying to say hello and shake hooves with everyone that passes by.
Craft time! Take some shiny glittery beads and some pipe cleaner, string the beads on the pipe cleaner and you have an icicle to hang on your tree!
The beads have to be clear glass looking and several shapes and sizes.
As you can see by the looks on my nephew's faces....... it takes a great deal of concentration to do this!
Even the big boys made some.
At a time of year when it is hard for our furry and feathery friends to forage for food, one must not forget them! These bags have bird seed and pine cones in them so we could make treats for the birds.
My baby sis's husband and Baby E who is not going to be the baby anymore in a few more months!!
A happy couple looking on........ looking on trying to find some mistletoe.
Mr. B saying something that has captivated his brothers and The SM's attention.
The pioneers didn't have television. You didn't know that? Seriously! They didn't have television so they had to entertain themselves by other means.
Puppets. A puppet show that was the weirdest funniest Christmas puppet show we've ever seen. We didn't know whether to be disturbed or amused. We chose amused.
Every child writes a letter to Santa. If not on paper, then in their minds or hearts don't they? They all have wishes, desires, dreams.......
Except these three bafoons. Yes, three. I can count. I realize there are only two heads. Count the sets of legs. These boys were told they'd get lumps of coal for Christmas. Mr. C said he is excited because then he'll light them on fire and BBQ himself some meat! Years ago when Mr. B my eldest was little he had learned about coal turning into diamonds so he asked for coal one year so he could have diamonds.
I was't able to take pictures outside very much because it was so dark. We would walk on a boardwalk from little cabin, school house, church, cabin, cabin, cabin, etc. Each cabin was lit with candles and we were able to learn about the pioneers and how they celebrated Christmas. In this particular cabin we were told a story of Christmas past by a mountain man. He told us, "The Night Before Christmas".
Another happy couple....... Isn't my baby sis just beautiful?
Did you know you get to choose if your name goes on the naughty list or the nice list? Not only do you get to choose but we actually got to write our names on those lists! I won't tell you which list I wrote my name on but I will tell you that The SM isn't writing his name on the naughty list. He is teasing a certain little Henny Penny and writing her name down for her.
Mr. J knows better. He knows he won't live long enough to see coal turn into diamonds.
What is a pioneer village without a printing press? Not only were we shown how the printing press works but we were also given a Christmas card made on that press. A Christmas card that was the first card (print/design) made on that press and given to others many many many many years ago...........
In walking through the pioneer village and learning about Christmas long ago I learned that some things are different now......... and some things haven't changed at all. The things that haven't changed I am glad for because they are the very most important part of Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the importance of family and loved ones spending time together.