One Down, Two To Go! #CoffeeTalk

Our first of three Christmas celebrations was a quiet family affair.

christmas-eve

Tomorrow is the big one. I’m hosting 22 family members plus four dogs for our annual Shane Family Christmas Exchange. I don’t mind hosting. I’m taking it easy and preparing a big crockpot of pulled pork. Everyone is bringing sides so it shouldn’t be too much prep work. The house is already in pretty good shape.

Our third celebration will take place with my family in Virginia on New Year’s Day. I am SO looking forward to that. Whether we dine out or eat in, the food is always good, and there’s nothing quite like being “home” for the holidays . . . even when you’re 42 and your current home is actually in another state.

Christmas Eve was also my daughter’s 12th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Caroline!

Happy Birthday, Caroline!

We had her presents and then went out for sushi before heading over to a friend’s house for a small Christmas Eve sing-a-long and devotional with other church families. It was a nice, quiet evening, and I enjoyed having time to sing and focus on the real purpose to our celebration before delving into presents and Christmas cookies.

I was too tired to play Santa when we got back, so I went to bed. This is the benefit of having older kids. I knew they wouldn’t be up too early, and even if they were, they’d stay in their rooms if I told them to.

Sure enough, at 6:30, I woke up and no one else was stirring, not even a mouse . . .

So I drug myself out of bed and hobbled downstairs with stocking stuffers and “Santa gifts” to set up the tree.

santa-was-here

We don’t wrap out Santa gifts, and with older kids, there aren’t usually any intricate toys to assemble so it didn’t take long. David is quite the little drummer, and he was requesting a set of cymbals to add to the drum set that he got for Christmas a few years ago. Rebecca has been coveting her sister’s RipStik so we got her one of her own. And Caroline was coveting Rebecca’s white board, so we got HER one of HER own! LOL!!

They don’t really believe in Santa, but they play along. Well, Rebecca plays along. She WANTS to believe, but Caroline doesn’t cut her any slack. She thinks the whole tradition is riconkulous, and doesn’t mind saying so. I’ve schooled her about not sharing her sentiments with the kids in the neighborhood, but unfortunately I think that ship has sailed.

Speaking of playing along, Rebecca wanted to set out cookies for Santa. She made these with a friend earlier in the day.

cookies-for-santa

They all eventually woke up and enjoyed their presents.

merry christmas

Later in the day, we went to Paul’s brother’s house for Christmas dinner. They always do a nice job, and it was fun to hang out with family and have a leisurely afternoon. Well, it was leisurely for me. They worked pretty hard to get a feast for 18 on the table.

We came home and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation because we can’t put Christmas 2014 to rest without our favorite Christmas movie. There are very few movies I care to watch more than once, but that one cracks me up every time.

Yesterday we were able to relax and recover, but today we’re off to a play and then I’ll need to start prepping the house for dinner tomorrow.

It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is sick or injured so I sincerely hope those of you who celebrate were able to have a restful and joyous Christmas celebration!