About a year after Kory and I got married we moved to Arizona. The 1st few years we traveled home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. After Madelyn's 1st Christmas we decided it was just to hard to travel with all the gifts for Christmas. We stayed home that first year and I absolutely HATED it. I hated how quiet our home was. I hated how both Kory and I were seriously bored! I hated how much time and work I spent in the kitchen making this huge Christmas dinner and then had no one to share it with. We decided there and then that we would have to do things differently. The following year we started a new tradition. Prescott was full of young, poor college student families. We invited several friends (that were also staying home) over Christmas afternoon to eat a big fancy dinner and then play together. We missed being away from family the most during the holiday's. Our tradition stuck. For 5 years we hosted Christmas Dinner for our Prescott friends that felt like family.
Moving back to Utah being closer to family was a perk. Our 1st Christmas home was in Hurricane where we shared it with the Christensen side. The next year we were living in Alton. I could not believe it when I heard that Kory's family did not get together for Christmas. The Heaton's at that time were getting together every Sunday for dinner and so did not do anything on Christmas Day. That was not O.K with me! So 3 years ago we changed family dinner's to 2x a month and we hosted our 1st Heaton Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. This year was our 3rd year hosting and will probably be our last. I'm not expecting to be here next year. I wouldn't mind hosting again but I'm sure most of the family won't want to travel to our house on Christmas Day. This year we had 5 families, Grandma and Grandpa (who have been on a mission the past 2 years) plus Mike and Carol, our adopted sibling couple. We had 34 people at our house.
Everyone brought a dish to share and we had a plenty of good food to choose from.
After dinner we played a reversal charade's game. One person sat and watched their team act something out that they had to guess. What they were acting out was held above their head so that they couldn't see but the team mates could. Uncle Kevin went first. Savannah, Madelyn, Ruth and Aunt Harmony were his team mates. They were trying to get him to guess "suspender's". They must have done a good job. He guessed it quickly and they went on to the next card drawn.
Grandma participated several times while Grandpa was napping on the couch. I'm not sure how he could have possibly fallen asleep with as loud as it got. But he some how managed.
More cousins doing there best at acting.
The older boys spent most of their time outside playing darts!
It was a great activity for those bigger boys.
Madelyn was a great sport and let everyone have a turn on her new karaoke machine. The girls had a good time hearing themselves. I believe our family missed the singing gene. I don't think anyone will ever make it in the singing world but it was fun to hear them do their best!
It was a great few hours to spend together. We're a big family and I'm glad our house can host everyone. It does sadden me a little to know that next year we will be in a different house, in a different town and we probably won't see any of Heaton's on Christmas. On the bright side it's been a good 3 years and I hope the Heaton's will continue this new tradition of their's that we started. Chances are Grandma and Grandpa will be serving another mission at Christmas time next year so it will be left up to one of the siblings to get everyone together.