We spent both Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day at my parents' house. We went to Mass with my mom and sister while my dad went to his church service where he attends church. Afterwards we headed over for heavy appetizers, games and just spending time with the family. We had a good time and the kids got to open a gift that my great-aunt sent over to them since she and her family decided not to spend Christmas Eve with our family this year. We were able to get some very good photos of the kids together. Last year and the year before it wasn't such a great experience but as they're getting older, they seem to be getting a little more cooperative. My parents were very pleased with the outcome of the photos. Maybe this spring we'll try to get some good outdoor shots of the 3 grandkids together.
Christmas morning the kids thankfully not up at the crack of dawn. They got up at 8 am and I got up 30 minutes later. I was up until around 1 stuffing stockings and required a few more minutes of sleep. It took several hours to get through our gifts. The kids took time to look at their gifts and we also opened gifts from Lane's parents and Lane's sister's family that she had sent for the kids. The kids enjoyed their gifts but have yet to play with some of them. We didn't get them that much but they got a lot from everyone else. Eriks still has boxes that haven't been opened yet. Much of Em's stuff was put away because it was stuff we asked for that went with other stuff she already had (ie more stuff for her American.Girl Bitty.Baby doll, furniture for her Loving.Family dollhouse, etc).
Lane did well this year when it came to getting me gifts even though I yelled at him for procrastinating. I procrastinated a bit this year too which I never do and I regretted it. It will not happen again. I'm just going to start picking up stuff on clearance for all the kids I know if I think they'll like it through the year and stash it away. I was miserable and completely exhausted by Christmas Eve and although as I said it was relaxing, I didn't enjoy it as much if I hadn't been out running errands earlier that day trying to finish up. So back to the 2 really cool gifts he got me. He and I are going to go see Shen.Yun the Chinese Performing Arts show. I have friends who have seen it and say that the majority of the show is beautiful but there is one very controversial part that they wish was not included. I still want to see it for myself. We are also seeing Ron.White perform too. We are huge comedy junkies. We love it, especially good comedians. Unfortunately with kids and the fact that it can be expensive, we don't do it as often as we'd like. Granted we could go to our local comedy club and see stand-up instead of the big name comics. Both performances occur during Lane's spring break in March so we'll have a busy week.
Christmas Day afternoon we headed back to my parents' house for dinner and opening gifts from my parents and siblings. My mom and dad are so generous and honestly should've not gotten everything they did. I got a bunch of the Rachael.Ray stuff I wanted since some of my cookware is starting to become unusable as I've worn it thin. I actually had to throw away a beloved non-stick pan a few months ago. I also got my badly wanted blue Colts sweatshirt. The kids got more stuff than they know what to do with. The dinner was fabulous as always. I was blessed with a mother who is a fantastic cook and has done a very good job teaching me. For dinner we had beef tenderloin, hassleback potatoes, Caesar salad with homemade dressing, roasted asparagus and rolls. I was stuffed but managed to eat a piece of to-die-for Red Velvet cheesecake.
It was a very good Christmas this year. Albeit a little weird since this is the first time we spent it with family without having to travel more than 8 hours to spend it with them. One of these days we would like to get back to San Antonio to spend Christmas with Lane's parents but driving is not an option as with my health I don't do well in cars for long periods of time anymore (edema aka swelling in my legs and very poor circulation) and Emi hates being strapped in a car seat for more than 3 or 4 hours. Currently the drive between here and there where they live is about 20 hrs. While Lane is in law school, we just can't afford to put 4 people on a plane. I'm hoping that the year he graduates we'll be able to do it because I fell bad that we can't do it anytime soon and I'd like to visit with family and friends down that way.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah depending on which you celebrate! I still can't believe it's 2012!