Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve, The Hunt Way

As previously mentioned, this was a year of Christmas firsts for the Hunt family. After the long standing tradition of spending the holiday in Price, Utah at the VanWaggoner “farm”, it was agreed that the time had come to begin a tradition of our own. It would be modeled after the original Christmas experience, with a few noticable differences...mainly that we’d be staying in warm and sunny Mesa. (AND of course we would miss the company of the the VanWaggoners!) We would all gather at Mom and Pop’s for Christmas Eve and Day, and the Hunt kids (all now adults, married and half with kids of their own) would occupy their childhood rooms.

The most anticipated event was The Crepe Paper Ball program that was instituted in Kara’s early childhood by her loving father. “What is this,” you ask? Here is a description :

The program is held on Christmas Eve. (After our bellies have been filled to near bursting.) The program unfolds, literally, as a ball rapped in crepe paper is rolled around by a circle of family and friends. Pre-paired ahead of time, a paper mache ball filled with candy and tiny toys is wrapped in yards and yards of crepe paper. Every few feet or so a small slip of paper is taped to the crepe paper with instructions for the program.(Things like: prayer assignments, songs, readings, performances, and rhyming clues as to the location of hidden gifts.) As the ball is rolled on the floor in front of the circle of participants, the notes become visible and are read aloud. The fun is in the unity... watching our loved ones share their gifts in performances, singing carols together, helping little ones follow clues to a gift (ALWAYS pj’s!) and their excitement in modeling them, and in the Spirit that is felt as the end of the program takes a more reverent tone. Pop reads from the scriptures the account of Jesus’ atonement and death, Josh delivers a stirring monologue from the perspective of a soldier present for it, and Jeff closes by singing O Lord My Redeemer. After a closing prayer, the ball's contents are poured in the middle of the circle for the children to enjoy.

The pre-program dinner was GREATLY improved upon from the original fare of sandwiches and chips. (Sorry if this offends anyone!) The men grilled steaks and we dressed our own baked potatoes. DELISH!

Uncle Max joined us, along with our friends the Wilks. Since this was the start of our new Christmas tradition, I made a slideshow of Christmases of the past including Mom and Pop’s childhood and the in-laws before we joined the Hunt family. (Credit also goes to Ken for helping in the 11th hour!) Grace was... well, shall I fine form. (As evident by the pictures.) We also had the treat of enjoying the hot tub after the program. (Now that’s something we didn’t have in Price!) Once the kids and old folks were happily asleep, the rest of us had a great time wrapping presents and setting the stage for Santa’s arrival.

The day was the perfect start to The Hunt’s Christmas Tradition.

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