We finished going through the 30 comfort bags to make sure they each had 23 items in them.
Sophia and I worked on doing this; and then labeled each bag with the appropriate age, gender, and hospital destination (e.g., young boy oncology, teen girl oncology).
The last one we did was very easy to cut and took less than a half hour to complete.
We loaded the car with the bags and brought them to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. The bags are for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy.
It was an impressive project that Sophia coordinated; and was able to do thanks to a grant from YSA and Disney as well as donations from individuals and businesses.
Afterwards, Sophia and Olivia deposited money they have been saving into their bank accounts. At home, I worked on Christmas stockings for Danny and Scooby
23 – Saturday
- Made cookies:
- Triple chocolate cookies
- Cookies with marshmallows and chocolate frosting on top that my mom made
- Peanut butter swirls
- Made the white cake that I cut into candy canes
- Made brownies that I decorated like Christmas trees.
- Sophia, Olivia, and Paige visited Dan and had dinner with him.
- Wrapped Christmas gifts.
- Transplanted aloe vera plant into five individual plants.
24 – Sunday – Christmas Eve
Sophia, Olivia, and I went to Christmas Eve service at church at 9:00 a.m. Afterwards, we dropped gifts off at Mary and Art’s home.
Came home and wrapped presents. For one of the gift cards for Sophia, I put a gift card in a cardboard toilet paper holder, I placed it in a mason jar and then filled it with M&Ms. It looked like the jar was filled with candies and nothing else.
I finished sewing Christmas stockings for Danny and Scooby. I still have to put their names on them with red fabric paint. Danny's is the penguin and Scooby's is the reindeer.
Their stockings joined the rest of the stockings by the woodstove. The number of pet and horse stockings now greatly outnumber stockings for people.
Sophia made the rest of the chocolate Bundt cake.
We had a pizza dinner by the Christmas tree.
We had cheese bread; a sausage and pepperoni pizza; and vegetarian pizza.
The leftovers are what we eat on Christmas morning and/or lunch since we have a big meal in the afternoon with extended family.
We opened our "Night Before Christmas" gift boxes.
Each person received one which included:
- Pajama Set or pajama pants
- Fuzzy Slipper Socks
- Body Lotion
- Makeup Towelettes
- Hot Cocoa Mix
- Christmas Mug
Sophia and Olivia put a plate of cookies, candies, water, and notes out for Santa's visit.
Each year, Santa writes back to Sophia and Olivia; and answers their questions. The girls are coming up with questions that require Santa to do some research before answering - such as "What is the current temperature at the North Pole?" (Interestingly, it was 12 degrees below zero on Christmas Eve which is comparable to some temperatures we have in Minnesota.)
The cookies were ones that I had made using two of my mom's recipes and a new one. The cholate cookie with marshmallow, frosting, and sprinkles on top is one; and the peanut butter swirl cookie is the other family recipe.
Carrots, oats, and sprinkles went in a bowl to be put out for his reindeer.
Sunday, December 25 – Christmas!
As in past years, Olivia and I were the first ones up. After letting the dogs out, we looked at the table where Santa's food and water were; and read the response to Olivia's questions.
We went to the family room. The dogs wanted to join us.
This was Scooby's and Danny's first Christmas with us. Even though Scooby is ten years old, he was fascinated with the presents and wanted to help open them.
Santa brought a variety of things - including panda eye masks for the girls.
Cooper was a bit excited to get to his treat left by Santa.
Aspen was happy with what Santa brought her.
Olivia was surrounded by Aspen, Scooby, and Cooper as she helped them open their gifts from Santa. Danny was resting on the couch in the other room. Sophia helped him open up his gift later in the morning.
I created the Saran Wrap gift ball game.
Sophia woke up and opened up some of the gifts for the pets. She's surrounded by four dogs and Eenie, the cat.
Lucy was taking it easy on the Christmas quilts that were on the chair. Olivia opened his treats.
Eenie was interested in what Santa brought him. Danny was trying to get some more treats.
We opened some of our gifts then.
The dogs wanted to help. Scooby got right in there using his mouth to open some of the gifts. You could tell he felt like he was being a good helper.
Olivia received several puzzles. This one has a Frank Lloyd Wright image. It's called saguaro...a nice reminder of the trip we took to Arizona in July 2017.
We made the frosting for the chocolate cake and frosted it; put cookies in containers to take to Mary's condo; and then got ready for an afternoon with extended family.
There were 17 of us at the community room at Mary's condo. She said a prayer before the meal.
There was ham, cheesy potatoes, and a variety of salads, fresh and cooked vegetables, and rolls.
The kids were having fun together and liked being at their own table.
After the meal, they kids played the Saran wrap ball game.
Afterwards, they swapped items they won with each other.
Then the adults played the game.
The kids played a game of Skip-Bo...a game they were taught by my mom.
Sophia, Myrna, and Olivia were playing a game with a dictionary that Myrna wanted that belonged to my dad. They would open up the dictionary and point to a word without looking; and then read the definition. They had fun doing this.
Eventually, it was time to go home. Below is a picture of my sister, me, and my brother.
We had a great Christmas this year. It was filled with lots of good memories and laughter.