This Christmas, Ken's Mom wanted to do something to really bring the Spirit of Christ into the season! She has a friend that told her about a family tradition they have that they call Christmas in Bethlehem. So, we gave it a try; it turned out wonderful! Ken's Dad and brother, Mark, built a bazaar. They put up a wooden front with sections for different booths. Then we draped the tables with rich colored sheets and table cloths. We pulled different decorations from around the house to add to the theme. Ken even found a translating site he used to write the signs (and all the kids' names) in Hebrew . It really turned out amazing! Then we all dressed up in bath robes and sheets to get into character!
Penny prepared all sorts of near-as-could-be-authentic foods. We had all sorts of breads: bagels, pita bread, Inn bread, pita chips, apple struesel bread
Meat and Cheeses: cheddar, hummus, cream cheese, feta
Fruits and Nuts: figs, dates, olives, oranges, grapes, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, bananas, pears
And Jewish Latkes, which are little potato pancakes made with potatoes, onion, and egg.
Mark also made each of the kids a leather pouch to hold their coins in. We all received an invitation calling us to the house of our ancestors to be counted and taxed. We met at the corner of the road and Uncle Mark took everyone by buggy, to the South Gate.
The kids had to pay taxes to Grandpa and they had to pay Grandma for the food they bought from the bazaar. Then we all sat on blankets to eat.
We even had a blind beggar (Layne) asking everyone for alms.
After the feast, we had a program about the Nativity with song and scripture. My favorite part was at the end when Ned and Penny each said something to us. Penny talked about how when she had children or grandchildren, she never thought she could love another child or grandchild as much as the first; but then how Heavenly Father has blessed our hearts to grow with each new family member and we love everyone so much! It was so sweet! Ned echoed Penny's words and expressed his love for us and his happiness in having us all together.
It was such a memorable Christmas! It brought such a wonderful Spirit and meaning I have never felt before!