Our Many Christmases

Christmas was just perfect this year. We had several get-togethers, but everything was spread out so that we never felt overwhelmed or rushed.

First off was a casual Christmas party with my bestie and her kids. It was nice and low-key. Her kids have been in school this year so we are all really missing them. It was good to spend some time just catching up.

Next, was Christmas with my dad and siblings. We got together at his house, had a wonderful meal with way too much food, and opened gifts. My brother had drawn my name and gave me a really generous spa gift card that I cannot wait to use!

After that, we spent an evening with Paul and Amanda before they headed up to Indiana for Christmas break. We played board games and exchanged gifts. They gave me a cheese-grater attachment for the Kitchenaid mixer Ben was getting me for Christmas (that I was pretty sure I was getting anyway). So cool.

We did our annual Christmas Eve church service, dinner, and gift exchange with my MIL and BIL. It was a really nice evening. I was really blessed by everything I received, but one gift really topped them all.

[caption id="attachment_1739" align="aligncenter" width="300"]My Gift From Ben My Gift From Ben[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1740" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Close Up Close Up[/caption]

Ben has a hard time picking out meaningful gifts. In his defense, gift giving isn't something his family has put much emphasis on so he comes by it honestly. I was sure he had some help on this one, but he swears up and down that the idea was all his. He made the cards and had them laminated and everything. I'm so thrilled. Over the moon!

Here's a Christmas Eve pic with my mother-in-law and boys. Can you believe how great she looks? A true testament to healthy living!

[caption id="attachment_1741" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Grandma Karen and Boy Grandma Karen and Boy[/caption]

And the boys with their much-loved Uncle Tim.

[caption id="attachment_1742" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Uncle Tim and Boys Uncle Tim and Boys[/caption]


I didn't feel up to hosting Christmas this year, but Chels and Nate weren't available to go to Mom's so they came up to hang out on Christmas Day. Karen and Tim came over, too, and we played board games.

[caption id="attachment_1743" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Chelsea and Nate Chelsea and Nate[/caption]

You know that old saying about how we don't know what we have until it's gone? So true in this case. I hate that I didn't spend more time with Chels when she was in MO. Now that she lives 8 hours away I can't ever seem to get enough time with her. When they do make it up they are stretched so thin. They spend the majority of their time with her inlaws. I don't blame her a bit - he has a large family and they are very close - but I miss her so much!

The day after Christmas we went to my Mom's house. She moved back in October and I haven't been to her new place, which I hate. It's such a cute little house! And she hasn't wasted any time painting and decorating. So cute.

Here's my mom with her "baby" brother and her stepmom, whom we call Grandma Viv. I had no idea they were going to be there so it was a great surprise.

[caption id="attachment_1744" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mom, Uncle Dave, and Grandma Viv Mom, Uncle Dave, and Grandma Viv[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1745" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Anna and her sweet family. Anna and her sweet family.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1746" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Grams and Grandkids Grams and Grandkids[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1747" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Uncle Jacob and Boys Uncle Jacob and Boys[/caption]


After the party we hit the movie theater to meet up with another family for the third installment of the Hobbit movies. I was afraid it was going to be long and tedious like the other two, but it was non-stop action. Great way to end the series!

Chelsea and Nate came back up the next day and we hung out for a while. I really appreciated that they came to see us and really, really appreciated that they came bearing an entire bag of deer meat!

The day after that was Christmas with my grandparents. It was originally supposed to be held on Christmas day, but got pushed back which works out so much better. We weren't going to go otherwise. It was a small group, but we had a nice meal and a nice time. I need to be braver and take more pictures of that side of the family. I still feel like a bit of an outsider and it seems odd to go around shoving a camera in people's faces.

My favorite memory of that day is the joke book that my sister gave to my grandpa. Gabe latched onto that thing and read it almost the entire time. I guess I know where he gets his silly sense of humor from.

We also managed to squeeze in another playdate with my bestie and her kids, as well as a sleepover with the nieces!

And that was it! Our Merry Christmas break. We had lots of quality time with the people we love and plenty of downtime, too. I think we found a happy medium and I'm going to do what I can to follow this pattern in holiday seasons to come!










Popular Posts