My family celebrates Christmas the weekend before the big day because it reduces the mad rush from house to house. Although I was reluctant to the change in dates when it first happened, I now see the logic and like it. (Mostly, I was opposed because I was single the longest and therefore, had nowhere else to be on Christmas day; so, it was all a bit awkward.) Anyways…. We gathered for presents in the morning at my parents’ house.
First, the grandkids got their grandparent presents.
Then, they traded their gift exchange presents. Ellie had Sam’s name. Sophie had Ellie’s name. Ellie got a Elmo dvd which she loved so much she broke it about 15 minutes later.
Madison had Sophie’s name. Megan had Madison’s name. Madison received “Barbie” dresses, which she was thrilled about.
There were some fantastic homemade gifts in the exchange – Steph M made Paxon his very own safety vest. (This is what I dream of being able to whip up, but I just don’t know if I have that bone in my body.) Dad made Sophie and Chloe shelves for their grocery store that will then convert to bookshelves when they tire of playing grocery store.
Then, we told them to go play, so we could have a little less noise in the room as we exchanged gift cards and opened presents from my mom and dad. We gifted mom and dad with a painting (kudos to Steph R. for making this out of the handprints of all the grandkids!). And some money (folded origami style and presented in a rebus story… yep, that is my artistic and creative talent. Are you all jealous?) that will be put toward a zip line for the backyard.
We had a delicious Christmas lunch – ham balls, cheesy potatoes, salad, broccoli and carrots, layered jello, and homemade zweibach. Then, we topped it off with a variety of pudding desserts. This was a smart choice since pudding can always be eaten no matter how full you are; after all, “It’s just pudding.” as my dad would say!
As we recovered from eating way too much, the grandkids opened the grand finale – their stockings! They contained a super surprise: their bathing suits. We were headed to Evergreen RV Park for a swimming extravaganza for the rest of the day. (I think Chloe’s face speaks volumes!)
The water was very warm – a bonus for me since I was in it to monitor Madison and not swim laps. Madison was the only one that stayed in without a break from 3:15-5:30, and then went back into the pool after eating.
Thankfully, my sister-in-law and my mom were pool buddies for her the second time around. The kids loved it! Ellie enjoyed the “race car” arcade game. She did not see any need to actually use quarters in it; it was plenty fun just spinning the wheel and pushing buttons. Nate crushed me at a game of checkers; Jeremy and Ellie tried it as well. We managed to win not one, but two stuffed animals from the claw machine! We had supper there – sloppy joes, shredded chicken, veggies, and snacks. It was a good time in a “beach” location in December.
(On a side note, in case you read this blog and get ideas, Evergreen RV Park is a great place to swim. It is not, however, worth renting “privately” as it is not really a private rental as we learned. Just go and enjoy it without paying the cost of renting it.)
I will work to get the other Christmas happenings posted in the next two days. We have Madison’s birthday coming up, as well. It is a busy blogging time!