Prepare for a picture overload.
Christmas and New Years was spent in snowy Utah with my side of the family. This is the first Christmas we've spent with my family since we've been married so, needless to say, I was pretty darn excited.
Christmas is a holiday jam-packed with traditions in the McCloskey clan. Most of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. were there to celebrate.
^^^Sophie helping make sugar cookies. We tried to make "ugly Christmas sweater" sugar cookies and they failed miserably.
Christmas Eve was spent at the Hoffman's house where we ate delicious food, sang Christmas songs until our throats were sore, and did a cousin gift exchange. I got The Night Circus and The Book Thief thanks to my awesome cousin Brandon. I can't wait to read them!
Christmas Eve night was also spent wrapping presents, watching The Polar Express, and stuffing stockings (don't tell Sophie that). Below is Christmas morning's tree. As you can tell, we go all out.
^^^Christmas morning all the kiddies (yes, we are in our twenties, but we are still kiddies) sat on the stairs and sang Christmas songs at the top of our lungs to wake up everybody in the house, including those sleeping in the basement.
Brett got cool finger puppets from his parents in Chile. Among other presents, I got some beautiful clothes and Brett got a blender and a Nike gift card.
Christmas night dinner was ham and stuffed mushrooms and green beans and cranberry jelly and other mouth-melting yummies.
Christmas night my Aunt Kim taught an object lesson about Christ. I felt the Spirit so strongly when she spoke about how we can become more like Christ by applying His teachings more deeply to our lives. I'm so grateful for the reason for the Christmas season: Christ. I'm also very thankful for the Christ-centered family I have.
The day after Christmas all the family went to the temple together for Rachel's endowment. It was a very neat experience to have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, siblings, parents, etc. there in the celestial room to congratulate Rachie. She just left on her mission to Korea and I am so excited for her. This is probably the worst picture of me ever ever ever, but I'll survive.
The family went bowling and I got only four points more than my seven-year-old sister. Let's just saw any sport involving balls is my ultimate weakness. Even still, it was very enjoyable.
^^^Rachel had her mission farewell with a bunch of people over at the house and when they all left, the cousins played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, a Christmas tradition. We were all a little rusty, but we could still cream all y'all. Do you know the elvish word Gandalf uses to open the Mines of Moriah? Do you know who wrote the screenplay for the trilogy? Yeah, I didn't think so.
All the family went to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights and the nativity scenes.
^^^Marcus and Sophie are so adorable. Marcus is going to be leaving on a mission soon (he doesn't know where yet) and it's so weird to think about. You're supposed to be five years old!
We went skiing! I haven't been in so long and I loved every single minute of it.
Sophie and her bestie Brooklyn were so cute together.
New Years Eve night we had a "Wallace and Gromit" party where we ate exotic cheese and crackers and watched Wallace and Gromit, also a Christmas tradition. My favorite is "The Wrong Trousers."
Then we played games till the wee hours of the morning.
Christmas went by like a blink of an eye. We also saw Frozen (Let it go! Let it go!), watched The Lord of the Rings extended versions, went out to eat, got our nails manicured, and all that jazz.
I love Christmas!