The day before Christmas Eve, I was able to accompany Annie's old violin teacher. It has become a fun tradition that I accompany her Christmas recital on Joseph Smith's birthday in the Joseph Smith Building. It stresses me out every year but I really like being part of it. My family came and watched. That too, has become a new tradition. Michael sat next to President Samuelson so they were able to talk about BYU winning the Vegas Bowl. Fun coincidence. After the recital, we hustled over to the Conference Center to see "Savior of the World" with Michael's family. I thought I had seen it before, but it was my first time. It was a great way to feel the real Christmas Spirit.
Christmas Eve we went swimming with Michael's family and enjoyed some Christmas movies and treats. We had a very yummy dinner with my family and my grandparents. Then we had our traditional family night where we read the Christmas story around my mom's amazing Nativity Tree. We also have a Christmas talent show every year. Growing up it was a lot more diverse. This year, it was not the same without Annie there to play her beautiful violin arrangements. But, Melanie and Will are both getting better at piano. I have a Christmas book with more advanced piano duets and I'm just waiting for Mel to be able to play them with me! This year we also shared our Christmas thoughts. (I still feel like when I go home I should have my little brother and sisters only talking about presents and Santa.) After, we went into the "Santa" room and opened our Christmas eve matching pjs. We looked awesome! Even my dad in his with footsies! (He was not too pleased that my mom made the purchase. He kept saying, "Why did you waste money on these?" and... "There is no fly! Are these girl pants?!?" and... "I feel like there should be a bunny tail on the butt!" *CLASSIC!*)
Christmas morning we enjoyed opening presents and a BIG, WONDERFUL breakfast. The missionaries came over and my dad quickly changed into the pajamas my grandparents gave him- claiming that "they have a more comfortable flannel fabric." After breakfast we had our climax of Christmas...we got to call Sora Ostler in Romania! My mom bought herself new phones specifically for this purpose. We were all on with her- half of us talking at the same time. It felt like she was home with us. I can't believe the next time I will talk to her is when she comes home in April!
Annie was my Christmas thought this year. I had been thinking about the Christmas story and how of all the people to tell, the Angels appeared to the Sheperds in the fields. And how that specific night was something every single soul had been anticipating, looking and waiting for. And now, the Savior of all mankind was here! I can only imagine how excited the Angels were delivering their message of "great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." I also thought about how the Sheperds were so excited to share that message with everyone they saw. I love that my sister and millions of other missionaries around the world are sharing that same message today. It's an amazing gift!