December 30, 2019

all the days before Christmas

We have an advent calendar that we pull out for the month of December. Each box has an ornament that reminds us of Christ and we tell the story then place it on a mini Christmas tree. Some boxes I also put a little card and that signifies that we get a surprise treat or family gift. I gave up on trying to get us all together every night and so we would just gather on sundays and do a whole weeks worth at one time. That worked well for us. And then on sundays we could enjoy the candy canes, the new Christmas book, the family games, and the art supplies we opened as family gifts.

The night before Christmas Eve we got out to do some Christmas light admiring. The girls were especially cute bundled up and in their hats.

With Christmas music blasting in the car, we drove through different Gilbert neighborhoods all lit up for the holiday. Our final destination was Comstock where we parked and walked over to enjoy the neighborhoods lights.

And we got all the kids in a picture with Santa! Brinns was still very very wary of him.

We woke up on Christmas Eve ready to enjoy the day with family. After the typical last minute Christmas gift buying and wrapping on Christmas Eve morning, we went to my sister’s house to celebrate Christmas with most of the Allen side of the family.

It was a Christmas miracle that we had all of the cousins together at once so my sister was sure to get some pictures with everyone.

Then the Annual Allen Family Untalent show began! I love seeing all the cousins perform. This is a tradition of 15 plus years! Probably more if you count all of the performances of my childhood to songs like “funky Christmas” by the new kids on the block.

This years lineup included Layla and Macie playing a ding they made up on the ukuleles.

Then Stef beat Kacin up. (They showed us their theater/fake fighting skills.)

Harper and Brinna performed their gymnastics skills—forward rolls and “hang out.”

They were both unsure about standing in front of everyone until they did their first forward roll and everyone clapped. They lived for the applause and kept performing their rolls over and over again.

Bryce sang the song “High Hopes.”

Kyler was the MC for the whole show.

Macie played the piano.

Perry sang “Santa Claus is coming to town” and blew us all away with his clear his words were and how well he knew the song! 

And sweet Brinna kept walking up close to him during his performance and clapped for him and said “yay Perry!”

Preston had a magic trick.

Layla sang Rudolph with all of her aunts and a few cousins joining in as the backup singers.

Gray showed us how fast he could run!

Layla and Macie told us some jokes.

Bryce showed us his worm skills.

I missed taking pictures of some of the other acts—like a skit performed by Kyler and Bryce etc. But as you can clearly see, it was a stellar show.

My mom ended the show with playing a present passing game with the kids.

Then we had the big crazy gift exchange! Cousins gave to cousins. Families have to families. There were a lot of smiles and hugs.

We ate our traditional meal of KFC in honor of grandma and grandpa Neff and enjoyed each other’s company before heading home to anticipate Santa’s arrival.