Christmas Eve. As you may have read in my Christmas Eve post, my mom's side of the family has had a long-standing tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve. It has always meant a lot to me and I know it means a lot to my mom, too. There were 18 of us -- including my mom's brother (who looked great!) and his entire family were over along with my brother and his family and my mom and dad. Thankfully, everyone helps by bringing dishes, appetizers and....cookies!!!! My husband and I decided to break from our traditional ham dinner and instead grilled NY strip steaks with twice baked potatos and Michigan cherry salad along with rolls, mostaccoli and many other side dishes.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Detroit Lions had a very important game on Christmas Eve and we had a house full of Lions fans. A win would put the Lions in a guaranteed playoff spot. The game started at 4 pm and thankfully the Lions had a comfortable enough lead that we were able to eat dinner around the 4th quarter. The Lions ended by beating the San Diego Chargers 38-10, thus giving the men in our crowd even more reason to be merry and bright!
Lucas, our 3 1/2 year old cousin, was the star of the party! He is my cousin's little boy and is soooo cute and funny....and, as a bonus, he is not at all afraid of our giant goldendoodle, Lucky. Lucky has not seen very many people who he can kiss in the face without even having to jump up -- and he met his match with Lucas. Lucky was soooo tired after everyone left that we will have to have Lucas over again real soon! It is always so nice to see everyone, and I wish we all lived a little closer!
Later that night, my husband and I were up late cleaning up and making sure things were in order for Christmas Day. Things are definitely getting easier, as we were asleep before 2am, unlike the days when the kids were younger and
Christmas Day. The kids had promised us a 9 am wake up time, and I think we made it until 8:50 am. Not bad! Yes, Santa spoiled the kids again and so did we. Among some of their favorite gifts, Vera Bradley for the girls, Wipeout for Wii, and an iPod Touch for each of them! Oh, and check out the giant helium clownfish that Aunt Jill gave to Jacob (below)!!! Omg -- it's huge and I've never seen anything like it...especially in my house!! As for me, my husband gave me an iPad...even though he was not supposed to get me anything!! Of course, I love it!
Later in the day, my dad came over again to exchange gifts, but most of our Christmas Day was spent with just my immediate family relaxing and appreciating all that we have.
December 26th. On the 26th we got together with my husband's side of the family by making the 2.5 hour trip to Grand Rapids to my husband's sister's house where my mother-in-law (from Maine) and my husband's other sister (from Chicago) were staying. You may recall, they had stayed with us for the Thanksgiving holiday. As always, my kids had a great time with their four cousins, we ate, drank, and exchanged gifts and stories, picked up our Lucky dog from Camp Bow Wow day care, and then drove back. We had a really nice time. I did not take a single picture :(
With our Christmas celebrations winding down I always get a little sad with how quickly it seems to go by after all of the anticipation and preparation. So over here, we are going to try to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long -- the world would be a better place, wouldn't it??
Hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright!!
sparkly packages for special people
melted snowman cookies found on pinterest.com
melted snowmen can have flaws...I would have tried to perfect them
Christmas Eve, Megan and Kristin
Christmas Eve chaos
My brother's wife, Melissa and my niece Nicole
Cousins, Nicole and Kristin, both 11 years old
Danielle and Brian, my cousin (awwwww....)
As the night went on, Lucas couldn't wait to get on his pjs!!!!
Jacob Christmas morning with his iTouch
Kristin, Christmas morning with her iTouch
the giant helium clownfish!!!!!!!
if mr. clownfish knocks over my mantle...trouble!
kissing the clownfish?
the drive to Grand Rapids on the 26th, watching The Smurf Movie
my gift... ;)