I think it was about 8 years ago when my Dad suggested that everyone in the family campout in the backyard on December 23. We start by celebrating the birthday of Joseph Smith by eating cake and ice cream. Then we play games till all hours of the night, dress up in bundles of clothing, and head out to the backyard for the night. We've had a good turnout every year. Neighborhood friends joined our family, and of course the boys always tried to be cooler than the girls by sneaking a TV and extension cord out to their tent.
The funniest memory was my youngest brother sleeping alone in a tiny tent, and rolling around so much that his tent rolled around with him. But, he made it through the entire night.
Of course, in freezing temperatures, making it through the entire night is the challenge. All the girls would situate themselves with the luckiest persons sleeping in the middle. If you couldn't make it through the night, the door was unlocked and you got to sleep on the livingroom floor. Sis. Zander began rewarding people with a quarter if they could make it through the entire night. And then she and my mom would cook up a nice breakfast in the morning.
Most people call this tradition crazy. But, we call it crazy fun. Obviously, since moving to Seattle I haven't camped out, but this year Emily is coming. And because Emily is coming everything is different. When we talked on the phone yesterday, one of the first things she asked me was, "Diana, do you have a backyard?"
So, I guess the next thing on my to-do list is find a tent and another sleeping bag.