Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

We're one of those mean families that doesn't let the kids wake up at the crack of dawn and tear through gifts willy-nilly. Actually, we're one of those families that often goes to Midnight Mass, then comes home and eats something, THEN opens gifts until the wee hours of the morning. On years we don't go to Midnight Mass, we attend church Christmas morning, have some lunch, and finally get around to gifts on Christmas afternoon. When we're in the States this allows my parents to get to our house where we hold a big opening for several hours. It used to take longer as we opened one gift at a time for all to see but we smartened up and now pass around gifts to an assortment of people and open in shifts. This way takes roughly 1/2 the time and we're not all glazed over by the end. A little coffee and dessert and we can settle in an enjoy what we've shared.

12/25/11:  Sometimes I feel we should ask "where's the tree?"

12/25/11: Gingerbread house.

12/25/11:  Dessert and bread awaits

12/25/11: Christmas dinner

The big gifts were big hits. Katherine received an art kit for her drawing from grandparents and a new iPod Nano from parents. Rebecca has her room in Jordan outfitted with new bedding, some matching bits, and a chandelier from grandma and grandpa's house (they got a new one and gave her the old one to spray paint and bring to Jordan). Nicholas got stylin' clothes (yes, he's a bit of a fashion hound) from the grands and great-grand, and a gel ball shooter from dad. Jonathon's big gifts from both the grandparents and parents were building projects. He's already built a catapult with his kit and was shooting mini-marshmallows all over the living room. The hand-me-down Kindle from dad was also a big hit. In addition there were loads of "little" items, but every item spoke directly to the recipient. Slippers were very popular as was every form of Washington Capitals gear. I have an awesome set of slippers from Restoration Hardware thanks to my grandma, and a Caps Weagle pillow pet from Ian. Does he know me or does he know me? My parents showered the family with gifts. We are spoiled and, well, spoiled.

12/25/11: The grands got a Babycakes Doughnut Maker

12/25/11: Wearing his new hat, and holding mom's Weagle pillow pet

12/25/11:  Reading off his new Kindle (hand-me-down)

But truly, the best part was having the whole family together. We're a small group. Ian and I and the kids. My parents. And whenever possible, my grandmother. My mom has siblings in Wisconsin, my dad has siblings in several states, Ian has his mother and his brother, but our nuclear family is the 9 of us. The tough realization is that this was quite possibly the last time we will have Christmas like this, all together.

Stop and treasure the moments.

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