Christmas Day started with Uncle Lee and I sharing the better part of a pot of coffee. He and I have spent nearly all of my 40 early-morning Christmases together. It used to be so hard for me to sleep on Christmas Eve for all the excitement and I'd get up throughout the night and check the clock. At about 5 AM I'd tiptoe out and find Uncle Lee. He would tell us kids stories and quietly entertain us until the other adults were ready to roll. Somehow I didn't pass that early morning thing onto my kids, but I still get up early and so does Uncle Lee, so we sip coffee together and tell each other stories of the real-life variety.
Once everyone is up and/or has arrived we open stockings, something that is taken seriously around here. After stockings we break for brunch then get into the presents.
It was a small group this year. We lost my mom, brother and sister to in-laws so we "only" had twenty-one. It was so incredible to be feeling well enough to be a proper hostess. Funny...most of my family commented on how nice it was to see me working in the kitchen. :) Of course, I knew what they meant. Having my walls full of people and serving them is one of the things I most love to do and it feels so wonderful to be back at it. Naturally, everyone helped and contributed a ton also, so it made for a lovely time.
There were so many overwhelming blessings this Christmas, it was hard to take it all in. I'm just so very grateful to have been given another year to celebrate.
Amanda and my cousin Johnny (who lives in Southern CA) were longing for snow but it was dry and in the 60s so they got "snow" in their stockings. :)
These two opted to eat brunch on the front step.
After presents the new nerf football was put to good use in the yard. It was so fun to watch them having so much fun. And the weather! I would like to have it like this every year...I don't dream of white Christmases.
Appetizers are always a big hit and Aunt Bonnie knows how to pretty up just about anything.
I can't even take these two in their new pjs that they wore all day.
I've been living proof for the last 20 years that things don't have to be perfect to open your home. Our homes have been in a constant state of remodeling. This year we formally dined in a room with sheetrock mud patches on the walls and a filthy, fraying carpet. Perfect is so out and imperfect is the new black. :)
After dinner we did the adult gift swap, which is always good for some laughs.
The full talent show didn't come together this year but the two 9-year olds put on a mini show. Trevor danced and Amanda read a book she just wrote.
Happy Birthday, Jesus.