Today is the last Sunday before Christmas. It was, by extension, also the day we taught our primary class the Christmas story. They already knew so much about it, naturally, so we made good on our Middle Eastern costumes and simply had them act it out while we narrated it.
It was mass chaos.
Every girl wanted to be Mary so at one point we had two different scenes going on with two separate Marys and two separate Jesuses because we simply didn't have time to run through the story three times.
When I asked the kids to tell me what they had learned one of them responded, "In the real story there is only one Mary but we used two at a time. But there's only one. Just one Mary."
We also talked about the wise men—we brought in some beautiful boxes full of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gold was mostly fake but the frankincense and myrrh were real. We bought some when we were in Turkey. The kids liked the smell of myrrh but weren't too fond of frankincense.
"What gifts did the wise men bring to baby Jesus?" I asked during our review.
"Gold!" the children answered.
"And what else?"
The room was silent until one brave boy ventured to answer.
"Frankinsmyrrh!" he blurted out.
Close. Very close.
Our lesson went overtime but I don't think the children minded though their parents might have been a little annoyed. It was unfortunate for us, too, because we had to rush off to Salt Lake for some family Christmas parties.
We first went to the Layton family party. I haven't been to one in a couple of years; they've changed as things are prone to do. My poor grandpa's health is declining and without him acting as the patriarch of the family things are...different. For example, we didn't bless the food, which was kind of weird. I know we're the only ones in the family who go to church so everyone there thinks that we're weird but we thought it was weird that everyone started eating before saying the prayer because in the past we've always said prayers. But Rachel had fun playing with her twin cousins, Olivia and Sabrina; she doesn't get to see them very often. She wanted to do everything they did and kept saying things like, "We three have reindeer cups," or "We three like pink," or "We three are eating red chips."
Miriam got scared spitless by Uncle Kevin. I put her down while I was filling up plates for myself and Rachel and she wandered off to look at some Christmas lights. Big ol' Uncle Kevin with his scraggly grey beard and long hair bent over and bellowed, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Miriam started wailing; she was walking around in circles trying to find me and kept bumping into things. Great-Grandma Layton grabbed her hand and helped her meet me.
To his credit Kevin was wearing a Santa hat; still, I was less than impressed. She wouldn't let go of me for the rest of the evening. *sigh*
Soon, though, we had to boogie out of there to head to the Heiss Christmas party. We were rather late but luckily there was plenty of dessert left over. Rachel and Miriam were both fans of the gingerbread trees. They were covered in green coloured sugar.
"I want one of those!" Rachel pined, "They're sooo sparkly!"
"Coo-coo!" Meme said.
Things were a little quieter at the Heiss party than at the Layton party. The Heiss family is much smaller than the Layton family. It was a nice, quiet end to the evening. Rachel enjoyed watching Grandpa Frank's train under the Christmas tree (and being the center-of-attention in general).
She did her best to always be in the same room as Uncle Morgan for a while. Grandma Sharon even let her eat in the living room (as long as she promised not to touch the furniture) so that she could be in the same room as him while she ate her cookies.
It was a good night. And on the way home it...rained. You will hear no complaints from me about that although everyone else seems to be a little sad about the lack of snow.