Welp…I got the flu for Christmas. Me and Blake both. And Nat and Simon. Then, we passed it on to Grandma and Josh. So, that’s super exciting. We had to delay our Christmas Eve dinner and jammies so we wouldn’t infect the rest of the family. Everyone was so sad. Josh said, “You mean I have to wear my old Nuggets t-shirt and band pants on Christmas morning?? Santa probably won’t even come!” But come he did.
On the 23rd G&G Cornell took the kids and Rusty to a Christmas River cruise in Provo. Everyone said it was very unique. Santa, played by a skinny teenager, came up to the boat in a canoe and gave everyone exactly one peppermint candy. It was a fun, new experience.
Blake luckily had a pretty mild flu case, and I was feeling much better by Christmas Eve. And the Banks family isn’t as germ conscious as the Cornells. So, we got to go Christmas Eve skiing. This year Cory brought his camping grill and we made breakfast burritos for lunch. They were really yummy! And it was fun to just hang out and relax at the cars over lunch. But, by the end of the day, I was missing my french fries. I wish the Lodge food stayed open until the lifts closed.
It was a cold, pristine day. It never got above freezing, so the trees stayed with the icy magic branches all day long. It was our very own Winter Wonderland. We had such a fun day and Halle’s knees did so well. That made me so happy. After lunch Blake and Grandpa decided to go rest in the lodge. Blake took Grandpa’s phone, and Grandpa took a nap!
Christmas morning everyone slept till about 8:30. I love teenager Christmas morning. Then it was present time! Josh got to go first. Santa brought him a gamers gift basket. It had all kinds of snacks and drinks, and a gift card for Civilization 6. But perhaps his favorite gift was a tshirt Halle had sent me a link for. “God’s Silliest Goose.” Josh is always calling everyone a silly goose, so we thought this was fitting.
Halle got a beautiful new Christmas dress and a gift certificate to her choice of a Broadway show in Denver next year. I think she’s gonna pick 1776.
Blake and Santa collaborated this year. Remember all that $$ he earned from cookies? He used that money and Santa pitched in the rest to get him a gaming PC.
Grandma made us a delicious breakfast casserole and Trader Joe’s croissants. Landon, Jhena, Finn and Cole came to join us for breakfast. Then it was a mad rush to get to church. It’s always a treat to go to church on Christmas Day. I love listening to all the beautiful music and just reflecting on the birth of the Savior.
Christmas Evening was the Banks family party. Rusty and I were in charge of dinner this year. Before we came to Utah I’d sent Alan to Costco with a list of what we’d need. It was kind of fantastic to just show up and cook and not have to worry about the shopping. We had Tri-tip steak, salad with goat cheese and pomegranates, smashed potatoes, and cheesy herb bread. Delicious! Rusty was in charge of entertainment. We played Left, Right, Center and Bingo. I came out the big winner both times! Rusty made me give back my LRC $$ so we could play again. Josh won that round.
Then the teenagers humored the adults by dressing up in the nativity costumes for a picture. It was quite hilarious. And Cohen said the hats were starting to smell a little funny.
FINALLY on Monday, the day after Christmas, we got to celebrate our traditional Christmas Eve. Everyone was deemed healthy enough, AND Carlie and Dan came out after Christmas. So, maybe it was meant to be delayed so we could all be together. Dinner was divine, as always, and we stuffed ourselves silly. G&G kept the tradition of giving all the kids $ to donate to charity, so all the grandkids shared the charities that they picked. I love hearing the variety! It’s so cool to think our family could touch so many different entities. We lit the Christmas pyramid, read the nativity story, and then it was pj time! Mass chaos!
Tuesday Blake and I hung out with Lindsey, Cohen and Carson. We went bowling (the mom’s killed the kids) and then played Laser Tag. Team Banks smashed the competition–we won the whole thing! I wish I would have taken a picture. It was a lot of fun.
Wednesday was Sister Yoga and Acai. A tradition I look forward to all year long. Then, Rusty and I attended the funeral for Glen Brown, Lorin’s Dad. I was so glad we got to show up for Lorin and Kelly. There is just something so special about these life long friendships. It was fun for Rusty to see friends and neighbors he hadn’t seen in a long time. Glen’s funeral was a tribute to a life well lived!
Carlie was kind enough to come grab my kids and meet Natalie for ice skating while we went to the funeral. Halle was so excited to go. The kids had fun–some more than others. Simon said it was the boringest thing he’d ever done.
That evening was Luminaria! Always a fan favorite. Complete with Dinner at the Deli after. The flu put a wrench in our Christmas and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of everyone, but I’m glad we came and that we got to make these memories with our family!