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.
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.