We loaned our 8 bunnies to a live nativity in Lehi being staffed by refugees. We went and they put on a great nativity with activities and a marketplace from ancient Israel, lots of animals like camels, sheep, donkeys, etc. you could pet.
We have made it a tradition to go to the Young Living Country Christmas every year. They do an amazing job. It includes live reindeer; wagon rides with their giant Clydesdale horses (that work the farm year-round); story time and cookies with Mrs. Claus; a live nativity complete with a choir of angels, camels, donkeys, etc.; and a western / Christmas village with a post office to mail letters to Santa, a jail, a saloon with free hot chocolate, a general goods store, a barber shop, and a bank all handing out something special to the kids.
We did a lot of hosting over the holidays. We had lots of family over for Thanksgiving, Todd and Melissa came to stay with us for a week in early December (yay!), we hosted the Swingle Christmas party, and got to have Marmie and Grandpa stay with us over Christmas. Peggy gave the kids fun gifts at the Swingle gift exchange and we did lots of karaoke that night, including the adults belting out Flogging Molly.
On Christmas Even we made cookies for Santa, got out treats for the reindeer, and acted out the nativity. Tad was Joseph, I was the donkey (he led me the whole way :), Liam was a shepherd, Tyler was a wiseman, and Alexa was Mary with a Snow White doll wrapped up as baby Jesus. Kyle was our narrator. Alexa got a Christmas tree for her room, camelback, the Harry Potter books, and a cat (!!). She has asked for a cat 3 years in a row and Kyle and I keep saying no. Tyler got a minecraft notebook, books on how to make your own comics, a camelback, and Legos. He is currently very obsessed with graphic novels like Dog Man, as well as Legos. They are his two loves. Tad got magnetic building blocks, PJ masks sheets, and a Cat Boy action figure. Liam got puzzles, magnet animals, an expanding sphere toy. We also got some family card and board games and a volleyball pop-up net, badmitton, spike ball, and corn hole. We did a "Christmas angel" delivery this year where we picked a family in our neighborhood and doorbell ditched them a piece of a nativity, treat, and note every night leading up to Christmas. It's something Kyle's family did growing up and we have always talked about doing it with our kids. It was really fun to have Marmie and Grandpa with us Christmas morning and made the day more magical.
^that red gingerbread man with the crazy eyes made by Tad is so amazing that it gets its own spot on the blog
We went to an ugly Christmas sweater party at the Beatty's house and Kyle was thrilled that he and a friend wore hideous, matching sweaters.
So far the new cat, which Alexa named Apollo, has been pretty awesome. I am not a cat person and I was really hesitant, but in 2 weeks he has caught 4 mice and he lets Liam pick him up and carry him around in the weirdest positions as if it's the most comfortable thing ever. I am in awe, and keep waiting for him to bat at Liam which would teach him to stop picking him up and walking around the house with him, but he never does. It's incredible.