Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Recap

Brad and I both come from big families, so Christmas is always a time with plenty of opportunities for celebrating.  Add to that two birthdays -- my dad on December 17 and my sister on December 26 -- and we are busy all month!

Our first Christmas celebration actually came on Daddy's birthday but didn't involve celebrating for Daddy's birthday.  We always celebrate Christmas with Brad's mom's family the weekend before Christmas.  It used to be on Christmas Eve day, and I am so thankful that they moved it; it is so much easier this way.  I don't have any pictures from this particular celebration, but Brad grilled more meat than you have ever seen, and we ate and ate and ate.  Tyler read Jesus' birth story from Luke aloud, we opened presents, and had a grand old time.

We celebrated my dad's birthday on the 18th with a dinner at my sister's house.  It is really fun to get together with everyone these days because the kids are all old enough to play together, and they are all really cute together.  Of course, taking a picture of all six kids is an impossibility!

A couple of nights before Christmas, we had to finish up our shopping, so Brad and I took the kids out for a night on the town to shop, eat dinner, and pick out gifts for each other.  Brad is usually not one for shopping, but we all had a great time together, and he said that he would love to make that a yearly thing.  I was shocked!

On Christmas Eve we went to our church's evening service which is one of my top two favorite services of the year.  It always puts me in the Christmas spirit if I am not already.  Usually we go to my Aunt Lea's house for dinner after church, but this year we decided to come on home instead.  I hated to say that we weren't going to Aunt Lea's.  I have been going to Aunt Lea's house after the Christmas Eve service for over twenty years, so it is Christmas Eve to me.  However, it is a late night for the kids, and they always fall asleep in the car before we get home, so we decided against it this year.

And, except for missing my cousin's engagement, I ended up being really happy with our decision.  There is so much that we have missed out on over the years by dragging the kids all over the place on Christmas Eve.  We got to put out reindeer food and cookies to Santa.  We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  The kids couldn't wait to get in bed.  We got to see the kids excitement over Santa's impending arrival -- seriously, all things we haven't experienced before because they have always been asleep when we have gotten home!  Brad and I were more excited than ever for Christmas this year, too!

And by the next morning, Santa had come!

After opening presents at our house, we went to YaYa and O'Daddy's house to have breakfast.  We then headed down to my parents' house to open presents with my family, then went to my aunt's house for our big family meal.  After we had stuffed ourselves and had a short time to rest and play with our cousins, it was time to go celebrate with Brad's dad's side of the family and stuff ourselves again.

We spent the night at the beach house with Brad's family and opened presents with them the next morning.

But, wait!  The celebrations were not over yet!  That next day was also my sister's Big 3-0, so we ate dinner at my mom's house that evening to celebrate.

And NOW I can officially go on a diet.

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