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Christmas Day!

Christmas morning the kids got us up and we headed downstairs to check out our stockings first!

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I think my favorite part of Christmas shopping is the stocking stuffers!

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The we remembered to see if Santa ate the cookies we left for him.

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Then we moved on to the presents!

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Then we had my family over for gift exchanges and breakfast.  I didn’t get any pictures of this except for one with my siblings and the stockings my mom found for us!

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Then we had a lazy afternoon playing, mostly Legos.

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But there was some other fun stuff in there too!

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Then we had some more family over for dinner.  Again, I did not get any pictures.  One of the kids did get this one of me from behind starting on dinner!

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It was a wonderful Christmas and I feel blessed to spend it with people I love.  Most especially to think of the Savior’s birth and what that means for me and my family!

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Our Christmas Traditions

Just before Thanksgiving, Connor and I sit down to plan out December so we can get in all our fun Christmas traditions.  I love them all and can’t imagine not doing any of them so it takes some planning.  I don’t think we have too many that it is unreasonable but it does make for a busy month.

Connor and I put the Christmas decorations and tree up the day after Thanksgiving and then for FHE the following Monday, we put on the ornaments together as a family.

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The first Sunday in December the leaders of our church give a Christmas devotional.  Usually we make hot chocolate but this year we made cookies instead.  Kinsley was my big helper!  It is always nice to hear messages of the Saviro this time of year!

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Can you tell who did which pan? But I was pretty impressed by her work for a 2 year old!

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For another FHE, we always attend the Creche exhibit.  Lately we have been spending less time looking at the nativities in each room and more time in the kids room.  This year we made it in time to watch the whole marionette nativity show which they all loved!

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Then the kids got to dress up in the nativity clothing and then make a craft.

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Corbin wrote things he loves on his!

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(Books, Jeffery, Baseball, Cars, Math Facts, School, Corbin Duke) 

Then we head to our favorite ice cream place across the street!

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This year Connor’s mom sent us the Santa Clause costune Connor wore when he was in 2nd grade.  THe kids had fun trying it on!

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Another tradition that I love is one between just Connor and I.  Every other year we each take a turn doing the 12 days of Christmas for the other.  This year was my turn and it was so fun picking out the gifts and I was super excited to give them to Connor.  It’s a great way for us to show love and receive love!!!

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On a Friday night, we go see the Fantasy of Lights display.  We usually just drive but some day we are going to try and do the train ride.  We went to our favorite sweet shop and picked out some candy for the ride.

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Then we went to dinner.  At the pizza place, they had one of those claw games where you try and grab a toy.  Corbin really really wanted to play it.  We told him he could but to save him from disappointment that also hardly anyone ever wins that game.  Well, on his second attempt he did win!!!! I was shocked and he was super proud!

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Then we headed to look at the lights!

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The next morning we headed to the mall to see Santa.  I was worried how Kinsley would do because she had been saying for weeks that she did not like Santa.  Any toy or movie or picture that would come on she would say she is scared.  I figured there would be lots of crying when we did meet him.  We had prepared her for what was coming and she seemed surpringly okay with it, but she hadn’t actually seen him yet.

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So it was fianlly our turn and she went to sit on his lap and wasn’t crying, but I could tell she was trying really hard to smile and it turned out looking like a scared smile.  They talked to Santa and got their picture, but when the worker came over to try and make Kinsley cross her legs (WHY????) is when she melted down.  But at least we got a shot!

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Corbin had to bring his Flat Gingy for school!

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THe next day, Sunday, we headed up to Oakland to see the temple Christmas lights.  We always pack a picnic dinner to eat in the car.  It’s gettng harder and harder to eat in the back these days.  I ended up having to sit in Corbin’s car seat. Ha!  Cason had fallen asleep on the way up.

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One of my favorite traditions is to to watch the Christmas program at the preschool.  This was the 4th year in a row getting to see it.  (I’m hoping to see it 2 more times with Kinsley up therte!)

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Can you believe the choregraphy for those 4 year olds.  Amazing!!! It was definitely a highlight of my Christmas season!

Another FHE we go and see a live nativity show.  It was pouring rain this year (yay for rain) but it was still a wonderful experience.

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We always try and celebrate Holly’s birthday and this year we got to go with them to Benihanna’s.  The kids loved it, especially Corbin and the food was amazing!

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Holly’s actual birthday!

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One Saturday night, Connor and I went to Apple’s holiday party at the Academy of Science in San Francisco.  It was a fun night!

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Another FHE, we had some friends in town from Utah so we had them over and our kids acted out the nativirty.  Even those these kids only see each other once a year they sure seem to get a long better and better every year!

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Then came Christmas Eve.  The day was pretty normal and we were getting things ready for dinner that night.  Holly and Jona came by and we were chating in the living room.  When all of the sudden, Jona said Uh,I think a guy just stole a package off your doorstep.  Or he dropped one off.  Well, we have cameras and we checked the video and saw that he had indreed stolen it.  He had driven off fast in a truck but none of us saw the licensce plate.  We called the police and an officer came out.  He basically said that unless we had the plate number there was nothing he could do.  Here is a still shot from the video we had. 

I just couldnt believe on Christmas Eve this guy would be stealing packages.  At first, I had no idea what the package could have been but I think now we know what he took.  I had ordered a few white long sleeve undershirts for Corbin and I believe that is what he ended up with. HA!  The joke is on him because I imagine that is far from what he was hoping it would be. 

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But the night was much better, even if a little crazy.  My mom had hired a photgrapher to take pictures of the evening but it all ended up pretty good!

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Then the kids opened some presents.

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We put out cookies for Santa and then got in our pj’s!

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Connor and I stayed up way too late that night but we were excited for Christmas morning!

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Sunday Christmas Pictures

The Sunday before Christmas we take some formal pictures in front of our tree before church!  Here is this years!

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Merry Christmas!!

© The Duke Fam 2014