Our next stop was Ellensburg. Roads are clear, but it’s really cold out right now. Here’s the line up in Ellensburg: (Elder Jex got bumped–we ran out of time.)
Elder Sorenson and Elder Heaps, serving in the Cle Elum WardEElder Sorenson: We cut our tree Thanksgiving weekend and decorate the house. We draw names for our gift exchange (5 kids). On Christmas Eve we re-enact the Nativity as a family while Dad reads from the Bible. Then we drive around to see the lights and drop of Secret Santa gifts for others. We also stop by my grandma’s house. At home we open 1 gift–new PJs or a toy, we play, put cookies out for Santa then go to bed. In the morning we can’t get up before 7:00. We go into our parents’ room, then wait on the stairs for them to open the doors. The stockings are by the tree. First we open the Santa gifts, then we have a big breakfast with bacon and eggs and pancakes. Then we open the other gifts, taking turns. It’s a relaxing day We also have a ham dinner with pies. This year I’ll be focusing on the Good News that we celebrate– “the true meaning of Christmas.”
Elder Heaps: Our family makes lots of fudge! We take it to others as our neighbor gift. On Christmas Eve we get Papa Murphy’s Pizza–pepperoni and Chicago style. Then we get new PJs, before watching The Polar Express with hot cocoa. On Christmas morning we get up real early and open presents. We have pancakes for breakfast. My grandparents come later for a nice ham dinner. This year I will remember WHY we celebrate His birth and I will be grateful for all that He has given me.
Sister Thayer and Sister Wilcox, serving in the Ellensburg 1st WardSister Thayer: We open every Christmas season by singing “Silent Night” then we turn off all the lights, light a pine-scented candle and have a family prayer, asking for help to remember Jesus through the holiday season. On Christmas Eve we wrap gifts, bake goodies and go to my grandma’s for dinner. Christmas morning we wake up with a present at the end of our bed that we can play with until all are awake. Then we go to our parents’ room and open our stockings on the landing before going down. We often feed the missionaries for breakfast, then open presents, play and visit. We take lots of pictures. We have a ham dinner with grandma and open her gifts. This year I am serving others like Jesus did by participating in Light the World.
Sister Wilcox: On Christmas Eve Day we always go ice skating as a family. Then we go help the homeless or do a Sub for Santa for someone. In the evening we gather with our extended family for a big traditional dinner. Then we (cousins) act out the story of the Nativity and have a talent show where we all sing and play. Then we exchange family gifts. When we go home, we put our stockings out and have a family prayer. In the morning we open our Santa gifts and hang out with our parents until our grandparents come over. Then we open more gifts and have a big breakfast with orange rolls. We spend the day visiting family and playing games. This year I am focusing more on what I can do for others.
Elder Holt and Elder Leonard, serving in the Ellensburg 3rd WardElder Holt: In our family we have a PJ race. Every year my Grandma Holt gives us new PJs on Christmas Eve. We have a race to open them, undress, and put on the PJs. I’m the 3x Champion! Then we make reindeer food: oatmeal, sprinkles and glitter, and toss in on the yard. We leave out treats for Santa and write notes to him. Then we put the little ones to bed and watch Christmas Vacation (edited). Then we go to bed. In the morning we wake up everyone, open presents taking turns, young to old. For breakfast we have croissant sandwiches with bacon, eggs and cheese. This year I will look for specific ways to “lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees!”
Elder Leonard: We put up our tree the week after Thanksgiving, and add gifts under the tree all month long. On Christmas Eve we make 3 large homemade pizzas, open new PJs, then have a PJ Fashion Show, coming down the stairs. We watch the movie “Elf” before going to bed. In the morning we read the Nativity Story, open presents, one at a time (dragging it out). Then we visit relatives. I love hot chocolate at Christmas time! This year I will read of Christ in the New Testament every day.
Elder Holt got a new sweatshirt from his mom today:
Elder Jacob Olson and Elder Thompson, serving in the Ellensburg 2nd WardElder Olson: Our family has a big Christmas dinner for 40-100 relatives at a church sometime after school’s out. We exchange gifts or have a white elephant gift exchange. On Christmas Eve we open one present–it’s always PJs. We eat finger food snacks for dinner and then watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” then “Christmas Vacation.” It’s usually midnight when we finish. In the morning we open presents, then play or go sledding or play football. This year I will serve others and not think about myself.
Elder Thompson: Early in December we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Miracle on 34th Street.” We always sleep around the Christmas tree the evening after we set it up. The Monday before Christmas we have a special Family Home Evening with spiritual thoughts. We also have a special Christmas musical recital with lots of Christmas goodies. This year I will put more effort into serving others.
Hermana Linford and Hermana Hurst, serving in the Ellensburg Spanish areasHermana Linford: We always go see the lights at Temple Square in December. We also go caroling with ward members. On Christmas Eve we drive around looking at lights in the neighborhood, then we have a big lasagna dinner and watch movies like “Holiday Inn” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In the morning we get up later, sit by the tree, make stacks of our presents, then open them one at a time, going around the circle. We have bacon and eggs and honey ham for breakfast, then spend the day at home relaxing. This year I’ll remember Jesus by reading the Christmas Story in Luke.
Hermana Hurst: We always re-enact the Nativity every year at my grandparent’s house. We have a talent show, a gift exchange with our cousins, and we eat cinnamon rolls. My dad always hides our Christmas presents around the house, instead of wrapping them. He’ll hide them one at a time, and we have to find them one at a time. Sometimes they’re in places like the dishwasher or in the curtains. It takes us all day, and sometimes into the week, to find all our presents! Our Christmas dinner is ham and turkey with pumpkin pie. We also have shrimp dip and cheese balls. This year I will testify of Him at every opportunity. Merry Christmas!