Merry Christmas everyone! We had a lot of fun this year. We spent Christmas eve with Mandie’s family and had a quiet Christmas Day at home.

The week before Christmas, we went to Temple Square again, this time with Mandie’s family. As soon as Dimitri realized where we were, he asked, “Hey, where’s Kasi?” I thought it was so cute that he remembered being there a few weeks earlier with her.

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It’s always been a tradition in my (Mandie’s) family to get together on Christmas Eve. We play games, eat food, and open presents. In Colombia, where my mom is from, instead of Santa bringing presents, Baby Jesus brings them, and he always brings them at midnight on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, the parents wake the kids up at midnight to let them know the Baby Jesus has come. When we were growing up, we’d always just try to stay up until midnight. All our cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa, would have so much fun watching movies, playing games, dancing to music and eating Colombian food. Then at midnight, we’d open gifts. Christmas eves with my family are some of the best memories I have as a child. Now, with all of us grown and kids of our own, we continue this tradition, but for some reason we can never quite stay up till midnight. With so many young kids, we usually start opening presents around 7 or 8. But it’s still a lot of fun.


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Dimitri had a lot of fun. The funniest (and most embarrassing for mom) part was when he opened a present that was a book and a sweatshirt. He looked at them and then grumpily said, “I wanted a toy!” I guess we’ll have to work on our manners and gratitude.


Acting out the Nativity. Baby S got the honor of playing Baby Jesus.


One of the games we played is to try to make someone look like a snowman. Dimitri just thought it was fun to get wrapped up in toilet paper.



Last year on Christmas Day, I made a meal with foods that might have been eaten in Bethlehem at the time of Christ. It was really fun and we decided to make it our new Christmas tradition. This year we had fish, flatbread, hummus, olives, nuts, goat cheese and grape juice. It’s a yummy meal and a fun way to help us think about Christ and what things might have been like when he lived.

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We hope that everyone had a great Christmas! And best wishes for a Happy New Year.