Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our "Tender Tennessee Christmas"

We spent the week of Christmas in Tennessee with the Lamberts. Grammy and Grandpa Murphy were also in town for a visit, so it was a week full of festivities! 

Mormonza 2012
A few years ago my family decided to start our own holiday, and so Mormonza was born. We celebrate our religion each year on December 23rd (Joseph Smith's birthday). Some of the traditions include: 

decorations in red, yellow, and blue (the primary colors)
a stereotypical Mormon meal (casserole, green jello, Lion House rolls, etc.)
favorite FHE games 
attending the temple (added this year)
having the missionaries over to join us for dinner (also new this year)
watching a movie or clip with a spiritual message or thought 

It was a great experience to attend the temple with Grammy and Grandpa - they had so many insights to share with us from their service in the LA Temple Presidency. We are so grateful for their amazing example of service! 

Some people might think we are crazy or sacrilegious, but it is just fun and has become one of our favorite family traditions. :) 

Christmas Eve
The Murphy Christmas Eve traditions were continued this year - it was so fun to have Grammy and Grandpa with us, just how it was each year growing up. We enjoyed the traditional clam chowder dinner with Grandpa's famous shrimp cocktails. The Sleepy Elf made his special delivery, of course! This is one of my favorite family traditions - he drops off presents on the door step or on our beds each Christmas Eve and they are always pajamas so we can all look our best on Christmas morning. 

Earlier in the week we walked around the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. They do a fabulous job decorating for Christmas! 

Christmas Day
Christmas fell on a Sunday this year and I loved it! It just seems right to celebrate the birth of our Savior by attending our church meetings and learning from the Spirit. Dad assigned himself to speak and he did a wonderful job! 
Once we returned home, we all changed back into our pjs and started the Christmas routine. We always take turns opening gifts and watching each other so the process usually takes a while, but I like it that way. I don't know why, but opening our stockings is my favorite part! Mom made a stocking for Mike to match the rest of the family's - she's the BEST! 
After all the presents were opened, Dad surprised us by playing a little "Let's Make a Deal" game that he put together. We each got a hat from his golf club in our stocking, but then we had to decide if we wanted to keep that hat or trade it for something else. We each traded and ended up with different hats. Mike got the best prize with a BYU hat signed by Ty Detmer - he was a happy boy. 
We finished the night by watching The Grinch all together as a family; the perfect finish to the Christmas season.

 It was such a fun week and a great feeling to be home. Can't wait until we are all together again in April! 

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