Here we are in White Salmon, where Elder Hoogland, District Leader, and Elder Richardson met us.
Elder Whitehead and Elder Bird, serving in White SalmonElder Whitehead: Every year we go drive around and look at Christmas lights, then have hot chocolate. On Christmas Eve we read the same Christmas story book, then get new PJs and watch Hallmark Christmas movies with mom. We write letters to Santa and leave Hostess Ding Dongs and milk. In the morning we open presents and have breakfast, then go to my dad’s. We have another big breakfast there with his extended family and the kids exchange gifts. This year I will turn outwards to serve and help others rather than turning inward.
Elder Bird: We always go shopping at the school gift store, then on Christmas Eve we sit in a circle and give our sibling gifts. There are always joke or prank gifts! We get new PJs and go to bed. In the morning there are presents all over in piles. We open them one at a time. Then we visit both grandparents and extended family. We eat hoagie sandwiches or burgers, then watch TV. For dinner grandpa makes fabulous omelettes. We always watch Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and Mickey Mouse Christmas House and Elf. My dad always plays old Christmas records like John Denver. This year I will have charity for EVERYONE!!(I bring my little heater with me these days. Church buildings are SO COLD.)
Elder Hoogland and Elder Richardson, serving in Hood RiverElder Hoogland: On Christmas Eve we have a nice ham dinner at my grandma’s. There are about 10 grandkids. We act out the Nativity (I’m usually the mule). Then home, new PJs and we read a new Christmas story book together. We have a sleepover with 5 kids in my room (I’m the oldest). We wake up at 5:00 a.m. in the morning and wait until sunrise to wake our parents. Then we open presents, eat crepes with berry sauce and whipped cream, then we go back to my grandma’s to open family gifts. Then we usually go sledding. My favorite movies are the old Rudolph and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This year I will visit the lonely, sick and afflicted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as He would do. Following His example will bring me closer to Him.
Elder Richardson: During Christmas time we love to go “Hooky Bobbin.” Dad pulls us on sleds behind a tractor–up to 6 ropes and 6 sleds. We go through town (Huntsville, UT) and he runs us into snowbanks and we have sled wars. On Christmas Eve mother reads us a tender new Christmas story and cries before she reads. Then we all sleep in one room (7 kids) and watch “Home Alone”. We get up early, have a big breakfast, line up, march in, singing, and open presents handed out by dad. We always get a box of our favorite cereal and a chocolate orange. We have a nice ham dinner later in the day. This year I will remember Jesus by using His wonderful gift, the Atonement, in my life more.