No matter where we are in the world...
and what are circumstances might be...
with the these four I would find JOY!
Some of our favorite things about this holiday season---
Seeing the lights at Temple Square with most of the Davis family...Rob + Whitney were even there! Danny, Kate + Sophie were able to be there (Ellie and I were hosting book club)
A new addition to our holiday celebration are the stockings hanging in the background. Ellie wanted to learn to make a stocking in her sewing class and decided she would make three...one for her and then for her sisters! They are beautiful!
Concerts...Ellie played O Little Town of Bethlehem (EmmyLou Harris inspired) at her guitar recital (a.k.a. guitar party) and I backed her up on guitar. Kate played in a concert with all of her fellow cello students in her teacher's studio (50 students in all) at the Salt Lake Library. Some of the songs she played were: Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Allegretto, French Folk Song, For Health and Strength, Clock Tower Bells. Sophie learned The First Noel and played slurs for the first time! She worked so hard!
Grandparent parties...it was our second annual grandparent party. Because Papa Davis is still recovering from his fall he couldn't come to our house SO we had two. The first one was at the care center. The girls brought their instruments to share their recital pieces. Papa wanted everyone to hear it so we played just off of the dining room. We brought clam chowder (Papa could eat it!) for dinner.
The next day we had the rest of the grandparents here at our house. We served homemade clam chowder, rolls, appetizers, etc... They were so sweet to listen to our music and the girls were thrilled to share their gifts with them. The grandparents shared their favorite Christmas memories with us...and grandparent party has been some of our favorite memories!
We have loved our advent books each night...and LOVED the girls book club Christmas celebrations! Ellie and Kate's groups did special service projects to celebrate the season. Ellie's group collected books for the pediatric floor at South Davis Community Hospital. Then as a group we were able to spend time delivering the books and reading to the patients (many who are very long term) there. After 40 minutes or so I walked down the hall to find Ellie + Madelyn (they were reading partners) in a young man's room. They had been there the entire time. He listened with excitement and contentment as they read. When it was time to leave I saw a glow and happiness on Ellie's face that brought tears to my eyes. We wont forget that experience. Kate's group collected books for Eliza's library! Eliza is part of her book club and it was such a treat to be able to do something collectively in Eliza's honor---we love her so much. Then the girls wrote cards for Eliza's tree. (Special service projects done in honor of Eliza that her mom + dad read to her as her gifts for Christmas.)
Kate's letter was as follows: "I played cello at the care center and all the pepole were so happy and even my grandpa cried! I love doing servece. (insert drawing of cello) I deleverd appel cider to som nighbors and was also thinking about giving this very letter to you. All the pepole are proboly gulping the cider down! (insert drawing of Christmas tree with a gift underneath) Kate"
A facetime performance...Annie and John practicing the musical number for John's family Christmas party. We miss not having them here with us this Christmas.
Davis family Christmas parties: With Papa + Sally @ Noah's...eating catered Cafe Rio and playing walley ball! Then the next day @ Go Ute Nana's...a turkey dinner presents and stockings. Hours of jumping (Lowe's Extreme sports) and two ultrasounds for the two babies coming!!!! Lilly + Paul's baby girl and Sharon + Jason's baby boy!!!!!!!!!!!
Christmas Eve: a phone call from the Lowe's in the morning inviting us to come enjoy homemade doughnuts!!! The Passey's were there too and brought a delicious egg casserole! We met Nana Miller at Build A Bear in the afternoon so the kids could make their own stuffed animal...the older kids were give gift cards to spend at any store. The little ones making stuffed animals were on CLOUD NINE!!! It was so fun seeing them all together! Mike + Annie were even there from AZ! Ellie wanted to shop at Urban Outfitters! She has wanted her own camera from there since her last birthday. With a discount we receive because her aunt works for Anthropologie she could afford it with Nana's gift card and a few of her own dollars! She wanted a mint colored Holga! She went up to the counter with the camera, her gift card, and my discount card. The manager was checking us out and said- "That will be $12.80." She and I both thought it must be an additional $12.80 above her gift card. As we were gathering more money the sales clerk said, "No. Just $12.80" The packaging was torn so I discounted it for you. WOW! Ellie was so excited. We met up with all of the family to eat. As we were walking back to the car we went by the Children's Museum. Ellie asked if she could go into the gift shop. She still had money to spend. She saw some necklaces she loved right away...I thought she wanted them for herself. She asked, "Mom, do I have enough on my gift card to buy these for Kate and Sophie?" I was so touched that she wanted to share her own gift by buying something for her sisters.
How grateful we are to the many wonderful friends and family we are blessed to know. It is our relationships and memories make Christmas so special to us. Our blessings are abundant and we feel oh, so grateful!