Christmas kids and their moms share the scoop on the holidays

We interviewed 10 kids from Utah Valley about Santa Claus, his friends and playing in the snow. The videos will be released each week in December. (Photos by Utah Valley Magazine)

We interviewed 10 kids from Utah Valley about Santa Claus, his friends and playing in the snow. The videos will be released each week in December. (Photos by Utah Valley Magazine)

We interviewed 10 tiny Utah Valley elves — and their moms — about Christmas, traditions, Santa and their favorite Christmas songs.

To see what these 10 believers think about the big day, scroll to the bottom of the page for the first “Christmas Kids” video. But, mom gets the first merry word here.

The Osburns


Mom: Lyndsay Osburn
Elf: Rylee (7)
City: Salem

Favorite Christmas tradition

About five years ago, we started a tradition where we go to Salt Lake City. We stay at the Grand America, we go ice skating, we look at the display windows and each of our children picks a new snow globe for that year. The highlight is taking them to Temple Square and teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas. We usually go up for an entire weekend and have a great time.

Favorite outdoor spots

We love going tubing at Soldier Hollow. We also love snow-shoeing in Payson Canyon. We love the outdoors in winter. It takes a little time to get the kids dressed and ready, but there are so many fun things to do. We’ve even gone ice fishing at Scofield with my dad. Utah is awesome.

Favorite local events

We go through the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork every year on a flatbed with my extended family. We also enjoy the lights parade in Spanish Fork after Thanksgiving and love to see the lights around Salem Pond.

The Nashes


Mom: Kristen Nash
Elf: Landon (5)
City: Vineyard

Favorite Christmas traditions We love to go to grandma’s house and open pajamas on Christmas Eve. We decorate ginger bread houses and open cousin presents. There’s usually some sledding and lots of fun with family.

I’m originally from South Carolina, so every other year, we go there.

Warm weather Christmas We go on walks on the beach and collect seashells. The kids love it and it gives us some variety in the holidays.

Family balance For us, we’re either in South Carolina with my family or here with his, so we don’t have to go back and forth.

Favorite local events We go to “A Christmas Carol” every year at the Hale Center Theater. This is the first year we took Landon and he loved it!

Christmas morning We have to wake the kids up and we all go downstairs for presents. We have three boys — Landon, Rivers, 3, and Noah, six weeks — so we go youngest to oldest. This will be Noah’s first Christmas, which makes it even better.

The Dopps


Mom: Shaylin Dopp
Elf: Ainsley (4)
City: Eagle Mountain

Favorite Christmas traditions

Every Christmas morning we make ebelskivers, which are Dutch pancakes. It’s a tradition we’ve carried over from my husband’s family and we enjoy it. We Skype with grandparents while the kids open presents. Then, we are pretty laid back the rest of the day. We’ll get together with extended family for dinner, but the dinner is low key. We also go sledding at least once and like to feed the reindeer at Thanksgiving Point. Plus, we have to visit Santa somewhere.

Notable Christmas memory

In 2014, our basement flooded on Christmas. We are lucky my in-laws were staying with us or we may not have gone down there and wouldn’t have noticed the water. Unfortunately, there isn’t much open on Christmas to help with that sort of situation.

Favorite local events

On the first Saturday in December, Santa Claus rides through the neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain and throws candy. It’s a fun tradition the city has started and it kicks off Christmas for us.

The Davises


Mom: Jennifer Davis
Elves: Kendyl (4) & Jackson (8)
City: Lehi

Favorite Christmas traditions

We’re a young family, so we’re still trying to establish them, but we like to teach our children to give back. Every year we pick an organization — The Road Home or shelters for mothers and children — and we round up a wish list. We deliver the gifts the Monday before Christmas.

Christmas morning

We will sometimes do a sleepover in our room and no one goes down before mom and dad. I get up first and start baking cinnamon rolls and a breakfast casserole I prepare the night before. We take our time, looking at stockings, then eating — we’re all a little happier with food.

Advice for other moms

Don’t feel pressure to travel to all of the extended family. When we had one child, we drove everywhere. As we’ve added more to our family, we try to get their grandparents to come to us. It’s nice to be able to stay home and relax and let the kids stay in their pajamas.

The Harkers


Mom: Stacy Harker
Elf: Sawyer (6)
City: Draper (recently moved from Lehi)

Favorite Christmas tradition

They’ve changed since my husband died a 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, I’ve focused more on experiences and less on presents. We’ve decided to go on a trip each Christmas. This year, we’re going to Sydney, Australia. It’s summer there and should be really fun. My mom is coming with us, so it will be nice to spend that time with her, too.

Future trips

Next year, we are planning on taking my dad with us to Paris. He served his mission in France and I’ve always wanted to go. It will be fun to share that with him. After that, maybe South America. My mom speaks fluent Spanish, so we would want her with us on that trip.

Favorite local events

We like to go on a sleigh ride in Midway. We enjoy seeing the lights that everyone puts up.

The Macalupus


Mom: Megan Macalupu
Elf: Becklynn (7)
City: Cedar Hills

Favorite Christmas traditions

We have an advent calendar and enjoy counting down to Christmas. We’re always counting down and having fun with that. We have some books we like to read together. Plus, we always have school concerts and other things to go to. We sing a lot during the holidays and love Christmas songs. We also like to go to Temple Square sometime during the month and see the lights.

Christmas Eve

My mom’s grandfather’s birthday was on Christmas Eve, so it has carried on to be a big part of our celebration. Now, my siblings and I have carried on that tradition and get together.

Your husband, William, is from Peru. How does he approach Christmas?

He doesn’t get why we go all out. He grew up keeping things pretty simple and doing most everything on Christmas Eve and Christmas. We find a good balance.

The Wilsons


Mom: Tara Wilson
Elf: Kambrei (5)
City: Springville

Favorite Christmas traditions

For us, Christmas is all about family. Growing up, we lived down the street from my grandma and would always have Christmas breakfast together. My siblings and I have kept that going in our family and we try to get together Christmas morning for eggs, ham and pancakes. Spending time with family is what is most important to us.

Chestnuts roasting

We also like to sing songs around the fire. All of our neighbors gather around my parents’ firepit. One of the neighbors is from Arizona, so he brings popsicles every year. That was his Christmas treat.

Christmas Eve

We usually open some sort of present on Christmas Eve. It depends on the year. We like to have some sort of celebration with extended family when it works out for people.

Favorite local events

We’ve been away from Utah Valley for a while and just recently moved back. We like to see the lights at Temple Square, go visit Santa at the mall and I try to watch “The Nutcracker” each year.

The Browns


Mom: Liana Brown
Elves: Jaxon (7) & Carson (4)
City: Pleasant Grove

Favorite Christmas traditions

The day after Thanksgiving, the boys help me pull out our Christmas tree. We try to do the 12 Books of Christmas, where we get a book for each night and read it together.

Favorite local event

We like to visit the Living Nativity in Alpine. We also go see the lights and reindeer at Thanksgiving Point. We make cookies for people in our neighborhood, and the boys are getting old enough that sometimes they like to sing to them when we bring them over.

Christmas Eve

Usually, it’s just the four of us. We like to keep it simple and spend time with just us. Then, on Christmas, we’ll have dinner with my mom.

Giving back

Our church and my husband’s work each do Giving Trees. We like to pick presents to buy for children who match our sons’ ages. Then, we have the boys help us pick out the presents.

Follow Utah Valley Magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you don’t miss the other “Christmas Kids” videos coming out every week in December leading up to Christmas.

Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at

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