Christmas pretty much happened in four phases for us. Christmas: Phase One was spent at the N Homestead with Chris's parents and grandparents.
Brianna with her Meme and Papa:
Great-grandma, Brianna, and Great-Grandpa:
I think this is the only family photo we have from Christmas. I need to be better about remembering to take family photos.
Brianna loves this ride-along toy that she received from Meme and Papa. It's great because she can ride on it, as well as use it as a push toy.
She also loves this plush bird house that she received from Grandma and Grandpa!
Christmas: Phase Two took place on December 23rd. This was our small (just the three of us) celebration. We woke up, had breakfast, then dug into the gifts. Brianna was so excited to rip that paper!
She also loved playing in the paper once all the gifts were opened. She made a pretty good haul from Mom and Dad, even though we tried really, really hard to be in control about how many gifts we got her. She loves them all!
Christmas: Phase Three happened on Christmas Eve, and included a celebration with my parents, my brother, and his family. This was the first time that I've ever hosted Christmas for any of my family, so that was fun!
Mom and Dad:
My SIL and my brother:
The Christmas aftermath is always fun!
Christmas: Phase Four included a three hour trip to my grandparents house with all the participants of Christmas: Phase Three. We don't often make it up to my grandparents Christmas celebration, so it was wonderful to be able to do that this year.
I think there were between 35 and 40 of my aunts, uncles, and cousins there this year. We all gathered in the family room after a delicious dinner to do a few gifts and dig in the money bag. My grandparents began a tradition about 15 years ago that we all think is fantastic. They purchase a bag full of money (silver change), then give all the grandkids and great-grandkids a chance to get one "scoop" out of the bag. I usually get somewhere around the $30 range, although this year I only made out with $24. Of course, Granny wriggles the bag all around and tries to distract us from getting a good scoop, so it's a fun little game. We all love it!
Me and Kay, patiently awaiting our turn at the money bag:
I'm super sad that I don't have any photos of Brianna's first dig in the money bag. I was helping her dig, and someone else (read: Daddy) didn't think about taking pics. She was funny about it though. She was allowed to use two hands (only the littles get to use two hands... there are all sorts of rules that go along with this tradition :-), so she dug in the bag, grabbed one nickel and one quarter, and was good to go. Ha! I kept encouraging her to actually grab handfulls, and then Granny "accidentally" spilled some of the bag on the ground, so Brianna ended up with just over $9 in change. Not bad for her first time!
We spent the night with my grandparents, then headed home on the 26th. Brianna and Pappy had a great conversation for about 30 minutes before bed on Christmas night. Love it!
So yeah, our Christmas was very blessed this year. We certainly missed seeing my sister, but she plans to be at my parents house in about a week, so we plan to see her then.
I hope everyone had a wonderful day full of cherished time with loved ones like we did!