Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve!!!

Last year at Christmas, if someone would have told Nate and I
that we will be in London for the following Christmas,
we probably would have laughed at them, and said, "Ya, right!"
But, ya, it happened.
Nate and I spent our 2nd Christmas together as a married couple in London this year.
London is quite magical at Christmas time.
We had a lot of fun and created many memories.
Christmas Eve was spent at Heather and Steven's house.
We also had the Elders over and our friends Maryanna and Gamzat from Kazakhstan.
Gamzat is in the same Master's program with Nate at LSE.
6 Christians and 2 Muslims....it was really fun!
The night consisted of:
Dinner, Christmas message, White elephant gift exchange,
Dessert, and Gingerbread house decorating!
Rock, Paper, Scissors war to see who gets to go first in the White Elephant gift exchange!
Heather and I were the final two, and then I beat her after 2 trys. Sorry Heather. :)
I guess we didn't explain the rules of the game too well to our Kazakhstan friends....
Instead of bringing one present from each of them, so two presents total,
they brought a present for everyone at the party!
They knew there were going to be eight people there,
so they brought eight presents.
We felt so bad!
Next time we will be more clear. :)
Heather got the best present of all!
A banana holder for her lunchbox, and a back scratcher/shoe horn!
Elder Park and his present went together perfectly.
He got a rice bowl with an Asian person on the front.
He was excited because he LOVES rice!
Big Ben piggy bank for Elder Tingey.
This was the present that I brought......
and also the one that I stole at the end!
Since I was the person to go 1st,
I got the chance to go again at the end.
So, I stole my present back!
Now Nate can give to head massages all of the time!
I am sure he will excited about that one....
Even Elder Park loved it!
Gingerbread Houses!!!
This is a tradition that the Young/Simon family does every year.
Our Kazakhstan friends had never heard of decorating gingerbread houses before so it was fun to see them do it for the first time. They actually didn't know much about Christmas at all or why we celebrate it. The Elders were able to give a Christmas lesson to explain about the birth of Jesus Christ and why we celebrate Christmas. We also explained to them about the usual holiday traditions such as Santa coming down the chimney, filling stockings with toys and goodies that are hung from the fireplace, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots for Rudolph.... They didn't know about any of this!
It was so interesting to realize that not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas like we do.
Somethings so obvious to us, aren't really that obvious to everyone.
Different people have their own beliefs and own holidays that they celebrate.
But, they loved every second of the party.
They kept on making comments like,
"I feel like I am in a movie or something! This is so much fun!"
They also explained about some of their holidays and celebrations that they take part in in their country and with their Muslim religion.
Our finished product!
When the Elders were just about done with their house,
it completely broke and fell!
It was pretty hilarious.
Elder Park is from Korea and Elder Tingey is from Las Vegas.

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