07 January 2007
Post-Christmas Christmas Post
Well, once again, we've done all of the shopping and the decorating and the visiting that the Christmas season entails, and I wanted to jot down a few highlights. . .
First of all, if there was one word I'd use to sum up this season, it would be busy. All tolled, we celebrated Christmas 6 times, with different cross-sections of our families. It is always so nice to see family you haven't seen in a while (in some cases, last Christmas), and the yummy food that usually accompanies the visiting is a nice bonus (even if it does mean our clothes don't fit until February).
This year, our first celebration was on Christmas Eve Eve with Abe's immediate family. That one is always a fun time, mostly because there are four children--Charis, Judah, Gideon, and Elise--to watch and enjoy. Charis (age 2.5) and Gideon (nearly 2) are at the stage where every present is theirs--and even if it isn't, they unwrap it anyway. Judah and Elise don't seem to mind. Pardon me if I think the kids typically enjoy the unwrapping more than the actual present. The first picture above is Charis and Gideon enjoying Uncle Jed's wild ride in Great-Grandma's walker. Charis is a little bit of a drama queen, as you can clearly see. Judah is pulling himself up to stand and cruise along furniture quite a bit these days, so it was particularly fun to be able to let him go and explore. We don't usually have the chance to celebrate with Abe's family so close to Christmas--or on a weekend, for that matter, so it was great to be able to do a Christmas breakfast (complete with the traditional sticky rolls, of course) and spend a long day playing with the kids, watching White Christmas, and making good use of all of our gifts.
A few days later, we headed to my parents' house to celebrate the second and third Christmases with my side of the family. I love this particular picture because c'mon--Judah looks a little bit sauced, Charis looks...um, frightened? surprised? and Grandma just looks happy to see her grandkids. Christmas was very full--breakfast in the morning with Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Aunt Connie, followed by the first (and LARGEST EVER) round of present-opening of the day. Charis and Judah got lots of neat stuff and were, of course, spoiled. With Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Aunt Connie living so far away and getting this yearly opportunity to lavish gifts upon the munchkins, the kids didn't have a fighting chance! Charis had her fill of paper-ripping. But then, it was on to Charis and Judah's Great-Great Aunt Gee's house to visit with my mom's extended family and gorge ourselves on delicious food...and of course, open more presents!
Our fourth Christmas celebration was with Abe's mom's extended family, on New Year's Eve Eve. We gathered at his grandma's assisted living home, in a huge room perfect for the little kids to run around in. There are five kids under six, and a seven- and nine-year-old, so room to run is imperative. We did a sort of potluck with sandwiches and lots of dishes to pass--everyone went home with lots of leftovers, as usual. And again, the kids got lots of presents. Charis' favorite seemed to be a chunky kids' version of a barrel of monkeys--ah, the simple things in life.
In the middle there, we went to a New Year's party with our friends Tim and Tanya and Jake and Julia, and all of their kids, and it was great fun. The kids are actually getting old enough to play with each other, which left time for the adults to play a hilarious game of Balderdash. What a luxury!
(This picture of Judah with a Cheerio stuck to his lip has nothing to do with Christmas, but I just get a kick out of it. If you must know, it was firmly attached with some nose goo, and stayed put for quite some time. He never even seemed to notice...)
The fifth Christmas celebration was no less raucous or gluttonous, but thankfully resulted in fewer gifts for us to find homes for. It was with Abe's dad's extended family. The kids mostly received money or gift cards, so we'll get to decide what to use them on. The highlight of the event was something that has become an annual occurrence--the Great Paper Toss. This involves the adults chucking wads of paper at a ceiling fan set on high. It started last year when my husband casually tossed a crumpled piece of tissue at the fan, and everyone was apparently thrilled with the result (We are a simple people.). Now, it's a new tradition. Some things you just can't make up.
The sixth celebration was--finally--our own. We didn't get to do it until New Year's day, which I hope will not always be the case. Abe went hunting in the morning, but when he returned at about 11:30, we pretended it was the first thing in the morning and had breakfast and opened the presents. The kids are still so little that we haven't really come up with (yet) what will constitute a "traditional" Christmas for us. But I really do think that this was my favorite celebration of all. Not that we don't enjoy celebrating with our extended family; we do. But there's something about sitting in your home, in your pajamas, opening gifts and having fun with your kids...it's just pretty cool.
I know this was not the most entertaining post, and I promise you that I will have more posts soon with funny kid stories, but I knew if I didn't get this down soon, it'd be gone.
I hope your Christmases were a blessing to you as ours was to us!
Posted by Charis & Judah's Mom