We have a sort-of Christmas bucket list. We have the things we usually do and those things that we try to fit in somewhere. (Like watching The 4th Wiseman. Which, by the way, I missed out on because I was making yucky sugar cookies. I did get to hear most of it from the kitchen.)
Going to see the lights at Temple Square really isn't on the list any more, since we have missed it for so many years running. But Mark wanted to do something with our family and he suggested the lights. I'm certainly not anti-lights at the temple. We usually just don't find time. But this year we had it planned back in November.
We decided to take the train up to Salt Lake because we have few train opportunities and that solves all parking problems and most traffic problems. (On the way home, we were going faster than the cars on the freeway.) We left in the late afternoon when the sun was starting to set.
Hey Mark. Bet you didn't know I was going to take your picture.
It was plenty dark by the time we arrived. The kids were pretty well behaved on Front Runner, but there was plenty of switching seats. (I think it is exciting to be walking around while the train was moving. And NO seat belts!)
Mark had his three boys with him. Those are the extra people in this group shot.
I liked the red/orange fire tree, but I admit the light was better under the white trees. Thanks Robyn for the picture.
I wasn't trying to choose favorites, but Robyn ended up in more pictures simply because she was my assigned buddy for the evening. When you are buddies with the camera lady, you accept the inherent photo risks.
This red tree was amazing. I took a photo right into the middle of it. Sure, it is basically just lights, but I love it.
More cute people in front of lights.
The coolest part was the nativity in the middle of the reflecting pool. There were little floating lights on the water. (Ivory called them glowbes :) It was beautiful. I heard they have done that for several years, but it was new to me since we haven't been.
Whereas I put people in my shots, Tyler went around taking photos of the temple. I loved his pictures.
And the panorama he took was great too.
It was chilly, but not too awful. We didn't stay long, because we needed to get back for dinner. On our way back to Front Runner, a stranger reached into a bag, grabbed something and thrust it into my hands as she passed by, followed by a "Merry Christmas!" I was so startled, I didn't even have time to say a proper thank you. Turns out she gave us a Minky. Minkys are super soft blankets, and they aren't always so cheap. It was very nice.
All the girls were very excited about it, but I already knew that we wouldn't be keeping it. After all, it looked to be baby size and even though I have many kids who still love small blankets, there was one blanket and five kids. Instead, we sat and thought about where the blanket should go. We finally decided a young couple in our ward expecting their first baby (a boy) should get this soft teal blanket. It sure feels good to give. (Some day I want to hand out gifts to random strangers on the sidewalk.)
Our ride back was nice and everyone was ready for a good meal and an evening sleeping under the tree.
Sleeping under the tree is a recent tradition. We did it last year and the kids seemed to really enjoy it and the parents didn't totally hate it. (That is the important thing.) So we snuggled them all under the tree and I read a new story to them. It was very cute, Mortimer's Christmas Manger. I didn't get a picture that evening, but amazingly, I was up before everyone the next morning. Oh how peaceful a house full of sleeping children.