Our family has the same Christmas Day traditions each year. We do breakfast and stockings at home then load up to spend the rest of the day down the road at my parents’ house. All of my family is together every Christmas day. (We had a wonderful evening celebration with my in-laws a few days earlier, and they spoiled us rotten with a lovely dinner and piles of gifts!)
I tried to take a few pictures before the rest of the crew arrived. Lola was being difficult, as two year olds can be.
Ben and Shannon walked over from next door with the best Christmas present ever (who, even though itty bitty, did not fit in the doll cradle my dad made for us when we were little).
Holly and Casey and kids arrived with the prime rib (which Casey cooked on his Traeger grill) and baby Jesus.
We finally settled in the living room to open gifts. We open packages one at a time, youngest to oldest. The adults draw names at Thanksgiving, and gifts are simple and thoughtful.
Aunt Shannon found the sweetest vintage books for each of the nieces and nephews. Luke spent time between gifts reading his. I’m so excited about the vintage Chitty Chitty Bang Bang she bought for Leif.
Bambi and Poppy gave Levi arrows and a fabulous quiver to go with the bow he received from his other grandparents. Bambi also made beautiful aprons for Luke and Leif who love to help me in the kitchen. The boys also received Playmobil sets from Bambi and Aunt Holly.
Holly gave us a dozen eggs from their chickens and jars full of dried apple slices which my boys look forward to every year. Ivy made each of us personalized book marks.
One of my most favorite gifts was the first installment of the book Ilex is writing for the boys, The Chronicles of the Realm of WilloWood During the Age of Macer Queen Simylene. They each have characters in an ongoing fantasy world (WilloWood) that they “play” when Ilex comes to spend time with them, and she is turning it into a written story.
I have an awesome family. So awesome it brings me to tears.
After gifts, the living room is cleaned up, furniture moved, and the room transformed into a dining room to fit our whole crew at “one” table.
While the last minute dinner prep was going on, the little people were getting some baby-holding time. On our short drive that morning, Leif (who hadn’t seen baby Rilla yet) had sweetly been talking about how he was going to hold her. “Oh, I hope she holds my finger!” (He was so sweet, it almost made up for his terrible attitude while opening gifts—just so you know it isn’t all perfection.)
Dinner was next on the agenda: prime rib (thanks to Casey), bread dressing (Mom’s tasty creation), cheese potatoes, homemade bread, and our traditional jello salad (my contributions), green salad, and sparkling cider. (We gave Shannon the holiday off, considering she had major surgery just five days prior and was caring for a newborn.)
Since the weather cleared for a short time right after dinner, we snuck outside to snap a few pictures. We had to get one of all the ladies of the family.
I was glad Lola was feeling more cooperative.
After cleaning up the dinner mess, the boys played Poppy’s new WWII Monopoly, we watched Take Peace - A Corgi Cottage Christmas with Tasha Tudor, and everyone ate delicious pie (my mom made gluten free apple and chocolate pecan pies, I made Greek walnut pie and brought a Costco pumpkin pie, and Holly brought cupcakes for their traditional birthday cake for Jesus).
Then we packed up and drove the two miles home to fall into our beds.