They were busy. In an eagerness to introduce our daughter to all our community has to offer in terms of Christmas cheer and revelry, we participated in the following over the course of the last few weeks:
A cookie decorating party.
Taking the train to see Oregon Zoo's "Zoo Lights" holiday light show with neighbors (on a school night, dumb idea--everyone was completely zonked the next day).
The Grotto's Christmas lights display with nativity and concerts and petting zoo and wandering St. Nicholas who hands out candy-canes.
A trip downtown with friends to see The Nutcracker (which I cried off and on through, thanks to the memories of my mom taking my sister and me as kids).
Some Jewish friends let our kids help make matzo ball soup one night when they were babysitting.
Abe's holiday party at his school where he got to invite one guest: his sister.
A crowded stroll with three cousins through "Peacock Lane," a street known for its crazy light displays.
We hosted a caroling party with neighbors.
A friend's annual "fishmas" party, which had our kids doing the limbo and conga line until almost midnight.
A Somali wedding reception, females only, outrageously beautiful.
Christmas Eve church service.
Christmas Eve open house at a friend's house.
Christmas Eve extended family white elephant gathering.
Christmas morning stockings, presents, breakfast, reading of the Christmas story, dinner with friends.
Day-after Christmas pancake brunch at our house with all the family still in town followed by a "Boxing Day" party at a friend's house.
He liked the gift his sister picked out for him.
We gussied ourselves up to see The Nutcracker.
There is nothing not to love about big bowls of chocolate chips.
Adorableness: she had never seen humans dressed up as animals and wasn't sure what this was all about at first. More testimony to her bravery, that she snuggled right up to this polar bear.
Four year ago on this day, we saw our son's face for the first time.
I married him in part because of the way he moves:
We are lucky that Abe's old babysitter, now a college sophomore, still has connections to his high school glee club. For our night of caroling, they performed this rendition of Carol of the Bells with no practice at all.