My family does Christmas the weekend before Christmas every year. It started when my brother's started getting involved with their girlfriend's/wive's families. By doing it this way, we can enjoy a whole day (sometimes longer) of Christmas together without everyone rushing off to the in-laws' homes. So, although it was a hard transition to begin with, it is a great thing now. This Christmas was even a bit different because we are usually at my parents' home, but because of lots of things - dad's back surgery on Tuesday being the main thing - we had Christmas at my older brother's home in Ashland. Here was our makeshift mantle so mom could hang all her hard handmade stockings:
Jeremy and I headed there on Friday night to join everyone except mom and dad and Luke (who had to work at the fire station). We had been there about 15 minutes when Paxon (one of the nephews) puked on the carpet. Well, he was pretty well quarentined after that for the remainder of the evening and the next day. We and all the kids kept our distance. It was nice to just hang out after all the little tykes went to bed that evening. On Saturday, mom, dad, and Luke joined us around 10am, and the Christmas festivities began. We read the Christmas story, passed out stockings, and let the little kids open gifts - one at a time, which is another tradition. After the gifts had been opened, we had a lunch of stromboli, salad, chips, jello, and desserts before sending the kids off to bed.
While the little kids slept and the older ones played downstairs, we did adult gift time. For mom and dad, we had designed 12 challenges in which they would compete against each other to unwrap gifts. Things like: mold the best reindeer out of play-doh, build the tallest tower, make the most baskets, answer the most trivia questions, and catch the most fish to name a few. You can see the concentration on their faces in the pictures. It was an intense competition :) In the end we had really given them cash to purchase a new couch for the living room. Hopefully, they won't put off that shopping trip too long! Mom and Dad had given us frames and pictures from the reunions this summer. Additionally, dad presented us with money from Grandpa's (his dad's) inheritance. In memory of Grandpa, he wants us to put some of it toward missions because that is who Grandpa was. Jeremy and I are thinking about who/what may benefit from Grandpa's desire to be the hands and feet of Christ.
We had a delicious meal - vareniky casserole, fried potatoes, sausage, ham, salad, zweibach, and desserts. I know some of you have no idea what those things are, but they are rich, delicious foods from my Russian Mennonite background. Yum! We headed home around 8ish that night. We traveled slowly because the side roads were ICY!! When we got onto 30 and then 71, the roads were good.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas in a few days time. We are hoping to trek back to the Wayne County area to attend the Bricker side Christmas. We'll see what the doctor says today and how baby Yoh is cooking!