We celebrated Christmas well this year, very well!
On Christmas Eve we had a ham and cheesy potato dinner with the Hess side of the family. Sariah joined us for the evening since the Nichols side of the family had to cancel our Christmas Eve get together due to illness. We watched a film about the nativity and then exchanged gifts. Grandma Nancy made each of the families a quilt this year and spoiled the grandkids with lots of presents.
Christmas morning the kids awoke to a living room full of presents. This year's haul was impressive! We set out with the intension to have a small Christmas, but that just didn't happen. With eight people for Santa to bring presents for (our family of six plus Grandma Nancy and Sariah) and some great deals, Christmas was the biggest our family has seen. A few highlights of this years gifting include Nancy receiving a canner, Sariah receiving all six Star Wars films on BluRay, Greg receiving a cordless drill, me opening a bunch of decorations for the new house, Palmer and Brody each receiving a DS2 and games, and the babies receiving a pair of Cozy Coupes. It was funny how all the kids reacted differently to Christmas morning: Palmer couldn't wait to open each present and had a hard time waiting on everyone else to be ready, Brody got tired of it and wanted to know when we were done, Archer didn't seem to care much about them, and Avonlea was crazy on a Christmas high of sorts ripping into everything and being really hyper.
That evening we got together with the Nichols side of the family for a dinner of fancy appetizers and birthday cake for Jesus. We also exchanged gifts. Pappy and Grandma Betty got the grandkids each a big toy and a bag of fun little toys and goodies, and gave the adults a gift card to Walmart. London, Sariah and I also exchanged our angel gifts that evening. Every year since our mother's passing we exchange a homemade gift in honor of her. Sariah made a plaque with her motto for 2014: "Live a brave life." I made homemade honey whole wheat bread and a variety of homemade jams. And London gave us a jar of memories of our mother that she had collected from friends. I read them all that night when I got home. They made me cry. My favorite thing about the memories was that almost everyone commented on how they remember her laugh; she had the best laugh!
I made our traditional steak pie a few days later for a special family dinner. I love that I can continue this tradition from my childhood memories of Christmas. I love Christmas and its emphasis on family. After all, Christmas started with a family - Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and I think it's fitting that it continue to revolve around family.