We started a little early and exchanged gifts with Bill and Beth on Friday night. They loved what we got them and you could tell. (isn't that the greatest feeling? Knowing you did well with your gifting?) Anyway, Mark got some shells for hunting and I got a tropical smoothie gift card. Holla!!! Mango Magic Smoothie here I come! Somehow I managed not to take any pictures. I'm sure Bill and Beth don't care, but I do! : (
On Saturday we headed out for 2 grandparent stops and a stop at my sweet in-laws house. At Mark's grannies house, we ate a huge meal and played grannies version of dirty santa...which consisted of her buying random gifts, handing them out and then having us try and bargain with one another for them. It was adorable, and we had many many laughs.
Mark ended up with some pain patches and some heated neck wraps. If you could have seen the expression on his face when I held up the nutcracker (which I later traded for some sweet measuring cups) and the pain patches he somehow ended up with, you would have cried. I nearly did. I traded the pain patches for some ice cream scoops. I thought it was a pretty sweet deal myself. Mark initially opened a snow globe and ...wait for it.... a fanny pack. Like I said, we laughed ourselves silly.
Next we headed over to My grandmothers house. She was able to come home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a couple of hours! We were so glad to have her home!I was hoping she wouldn't grow tired of all the pictures we were taking, and she didn't! She just said, "let me hold Ryan and I will be fine!" Bless her. She is so sweet and adorable. My family is so blessed to have her with us! We had another huge dinner, supplied by my aunt Carolyn. It was AMAZING! Prime rib and veggies. Yum, yum!
After lots of eating and plenty of talking, we finally got around to opening presents. I swear I had more fun watching Ryan shred paper than anything else! He went nuts! Our family gathered in the living room like we always do and got to work. Little elf Ryan helped hand the gifts out, a tradition Holly is passing on to him, which I think is so cute! After everyone had their presents, Ryan said, "OK, everybody, let's Go!" We all laughed and he got busy. Very busy. He opened everything from a Spiderman Tent to a Cars toothbrush set and holder. The boy was on fire! We all sat around and watched him laughing. It was hilarious! He's shout out things Like, "Mommy! Look! I got this thing!" or "Hedda, look! This is mine!" I think it was largely in part to him that of Christmas was so fun this year. It's normally hectic or there's tension, but not this year. It was all about this....
That boy can SHRED some paper. : )
After we left Grandmother's house, we had yet another stop to make, but we were in good cheer and that always helps! We stopped off to exchange gifts and visit with Mark's parents. This is always our last stop on Christmas Eve. It's a small to do, no food, just good laughs and company and a few presents. Naturally, there's always a little booze, too.
Darlene tried on her new robe and Ken got a new Zip pullover. They were making a ham for the next day, so I caught Ken at the stove making his magic glaze! The ham turned out incredible! We always have such a good time when we visit with Mark's parents, and this year was no exception. We looked through some pictures, exchanged gifts and headed home with a boatload of ham. : ) When Mark and I got home, we put in Christmas Vacation. It's a yearly tradtion to watch it on Christmas Eve when we get home. I usually make it all the way through, but Mark is usually worn out from over eating and travel. This year we both made it through and went to bed just after midnight. We must have earned some serious Christmas karma this year, because that never happens! We went to bed and like I always do, I woke up at 4AM. I swear, I am still a kid at heart! I manged to fall back asleep, but got up again at 7AM and called it good. I decided to be a good wife and wait an hour before waking Mark up. I also made him coffee. He probably thought he was still sleeping when he woke to the smell of coffee! (I can be a good little wifey on Christmas!)
The house was quiet on Christmas morning this year. A huge change from years past when we've had friends and family all here with us on Christmas morning. I have to say, I really liked it. Blissful would be my exact words. There was no rush, no fuss and it was just us. The first time thats happened since we moved into this house! Mark got some serious warm stuff for hunting, jeans a new movie-Bad Teacher, a coozie for hunting and a lot of other clothes. I got books, new hunting gloves, lotions an awesome under armour jacket and underwear. Super happy couple!
We let the dogs open stockings too.... Bruiser didnt enjoy sharing... which makes me feel guilty because there's no picture of Magoo enjoying HIS stocking because she was all up in his buisness, SO to be fair, I won't post a picture of that. :) (I'm sure you're glad.. this post is long enough already and I'm not done yet!) After a fun morning alone, we head to Christmas Lunch with Mark's other grannie. This side of the family is always wild and fun. The babies have multiplied yet again this year. Grannie says she's lost track of how many grandchildren and great grandchildren there are, but I think combined, it's somewhere close to 16 or 17 and there's at least one more on the way. Grannie stays busy at Christmas! : )
So yes, the post is finally drawing to a close! Our Christmas was merry and bright. We enjoyed every single moment of holiday fun we had. We spent time with our wonderful friends and family. We rejoiced in the true meaning of the season. Without His love, none of this would be possible.
So from our home to yours,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night..
*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra