Monday, December 28, 2015

Whirlwind Christmas Review

Friends, Christmas 2015 is in the books. I've said it many times this year, and I'll say it one more time, it just didn't FEEL like Christmas this year. The weather has been really warm, it rained SO much and we had thunderstorms and tornadoes nearby...IN DECEMBER?! What's going on?!

Nonetheless, we had a great holiday with our families!!

Wednesday night, church was cancelled due to thunderstorm and tornado threats so Stephen and I decided to go ahead an exchange gifts that night while we had plenty of time just us together at home. I had to laugh at this moment, we were both playing with our new "toys". Electronics for him and a new Erin Condren Life Planner for me. 

Every year we watch White Christmas together, we were going to watch it after church, but again, plans changed so we started the movie after we opened gifts. I just love this movie. This is a little tradition that I hope we're still doing when we have kids and grandkids one day!

The next morning, Christmas Eve, we were up early and headed to Jamestown for lunch with Stephen's mom's family. 

We got home from Jamestown Thursday afternoon, took a little nap, got the next set of food dishes ready and then headed to my cousin's house for my dad's side of the family's get-together. For my entire life, plus many more before my time, Christmas Eve night is the Flatt family tradition. This year, we had several family members who could not make it, but we still had a room full. When we're all together, there's about 50 of us. 

Christmas morning, it rained. And rained. And rained MORE. It was such a messy day, but no one seemed to mind and everyone's spirits were bright! 

We were on our way at 7am to start our busy day!! I posted this pic on IG, all of my pretty wrapped presents were soaked, my casserole dishes were soaked, we were soaked...and we had just loaded car. HA. We had 4 stops to  make in 9 hours and we were READY!

First stop, Stephen's mom and dad's house for presents with his parents, grandmother and brother.

And his mom's dogs...we can't forget them. These sisters racked up, although they didn't seem to care much at the time. 

Next up, we moved two doors down the road to breakfast and presents at Stephen's grandparents' house. 

Stephen's dad and uncle ended up getting the same jackets. I guess a mother's love for her sons to match never fades. 

Next, we went to my grandparents' house. Everyone was almost done with breakfast when we got there, but I just love seeing all my family spread across their house sharing a meal together. Our family sure has grown. Growing up, all the adults fit at the dining room table, and the kids all fit a card table that we set up. Now, we're spread out in three rooms. 

The grands and great-grands were anxiously ready to start passing out presents. Gone are the days when everyone got everybody something. These days, we draw names, everyone gets our grandparents something and everyone gets the little kids something. I have to say, for me, I could care less if I got even that one present. I just LOVE us ALL being together in this house that holds so many special memories for our family.  

Like most kids in America, according to my FB and IG feeds this weekend, my nephews got the game Pie Face. I tried it one time. As you can see, one time was enough. 

My sister and our uncle rocking their Christmas plaid. 

Later in the afternoon on Christmas Day, Stephen's parents host a meal for both sides of their family, and my parents typically come as well. Stephen's dad grills the VERY BEST steaks you've ever had in your entire life and his mom fixes the most amazing baked potatoes! Gosh, my mouth is watering again just thinking about it. Throw in a salad, homemade rolls, fancy Christmas dishes, and you've got the meal that everyone looks forward to every year!

Stephen's uncle Ben, was able to come and bring his little son. Little Clay was quite the star of the show and I was able to snag quite a bit of snuggle time while everyone arrived and filled their plates. I will gladly be the last to sit down and eat if it means I get to hold a little one. 

After we eat, the room is cleared, we we play Dirty Santa with $10 gifts. This bunch is NOT afraid to do some stealing from each other. 

After everyone left, Stephen's aunt, uncle and cousins stayed behind and we played games and cards. 

We ended up back home around 10 pm that night, and I'm not sure if our bed has ever felt so good before! 

For several years now, we have been celebrating Christmas at my mom and dad's the morning after Christmas. For us, it works out perfectly! No one has anywhere to rush off to, and we just ENJOY the day together. Mom and Dad fix a great breakfast, we open presents, our nephews play with their new toys, at some point, most of us end up taking a nap at various places around the house. We'll snack on leftovers for lunch and eventually we go home later in the afternoon. December 26th is seriously one of my favorite days of the year!

The boys had spent the night at my parents, hence their comfy pj's look. 

Last year, my dad started this game after we opened our gifts. We all enjoyed it so much and have talked about it often during the year. We all pretty much begged him to do something like that again; and he did not disappoint. 

For this year's game, he gave us all fifty $1 bills. He had 24 items in a tote, one by one those items were auctioned off to the highest bidder. We didn't know the items we were bidding on until they were "sold". Colin didn't quite get the concept of an auction. To him, outbidding everyone was the most important. He didn't quite get the point that he had only $50 and there were several items up for grabs. Needless to say, he was out of money about 5 items into the game. 

Some items were good, some were jokes. He had gift cards, board games, movies, food items, germ-x (which Colin paid $11 for, HAHA), bird feeders, cough drops, etc. 

Me and my sweet Mama. She always knows exactly what to get us each year, and fills our stockings with the most useful things! And yes, my shirt is a nod to the movie Elf and does say "son of a nutcracker". 'Tis the season!

Stephen taught Colin how to play Battleship. Colin taught Stephen how to lose BIG in Monopoly Jr. Kid beat him BAD twice. 

Later that night, my mom's family got together at my aunt and uncle's house to play games and you guessed it, eat again. I swear we are still in food comas two days later. 

And because any good blog post, needs a picture of laughing baby, let me introduce you to our cousin, Arabelle. She enjoyed Christmas BIG this year. 

I counted up and over the three days of festivities, we spent that time with 65 family members! It was hectic and busy, but we are fortunate and blessed. Many people don't have families to celebrate with. They don't have multiple places to go. The day may come when our families cut back on some of the gatherings, but until then we will be thankful and enjoy these sweet times and memories. 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas weekend making memories with those you love the most!

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