Saturday's Christmas Eve followed a very intense, busy week at work and it took me a little while to unwind and realize I actually have 10 DAYS OFF! HURRAY!
One of the great dilemmas this year was when/where to go to church on Christmas Eve. We love our church, but our services were at 5:30, 7:30 and 11pm, none of which really fit into the Christmas Eve plans of getting to Aunt Mary and Uncle Peter's in a reasonable time for their annual family party, which started anytime after 8pm. Sure, the 5:30 service would have worked for us, but...OH ALL THOSE KIDS. If we attended the 7:30 service, we would not have gotten to the gathering until after 9, and 11pm - forget it. We considered going to our old church which had a 6pm service, but it's a little too contemporary for our taste. So, for the first time that I can ever remember we did not go to Christmas Eve service. This bothered me a lot, and I decided next year we would most likely go to our 7:30pm service since the party didn't really get started until close to 9pm anyway. I really missed going this year as I enjoy the hymns, pastor's message, and the generally "all is calm, all is bright" feeling about Christmas Eve.
Moving on...we went to Mary and Pete's and had a great time with our Versprille relatives, especially cousins Sarah and Otto, who are indie musicians that nowadays we only see once a year, at holiday time. (They play, or have played with the band Vetiver, and Sarah and her boyfriend Dan are currently developing their own project, Pure Bathing Culture). By 11pm, we were whipped so we headed home where I had to prep the baked french toast and stuff stockings for Christmas morning before hitting the sack around midnight (which is about three hours past my usual bedtime).
I got up around 7am on Christmas morning, did all my chores (made a kuchen, baked the french toast, fed and walked Jasper, turned on all the lights) and waited and waited for the sugarplums to awaken. They finally 'roused around 8am (my, how things have changed) and we proceeded to open our stockings and presents. Much fun all around! Cameron, probably to his dismay, ended up with a lot of much-needed clothes this year. Being on the debate team, he received a nice dress shirt, t-shirts, and socks, along with some RIT sweat pants and his RIT Crew shell/jacket. He also received a raquetball racquet as he's taken that up at school.
Annalisse received a lot of clothes as well, but she likes that stuff. She also got a cute wallet thingy, and had fun with her "big" gift, the upscale camera we helped her buy earlier in the month.
After presents, we got dressed and headed over to Lena and Ken's for our Shiao family breakfast, which was also a lot of fun. We had a mid-afternoon break before heading to Grandma Pat's for a ham dinner and more presents. WHEW!! Grandma was incredibly generous, as always!
Our great day finished with us watching a couple of episodes of Boardwalk Empire, which I'm not sure we'll really get into. We'll give it a couple more episodes before we decide.
Exhausted, we ended our day, looking forward to a leisurely, unstructured, lay-around kind of week!!! It was a great Christmas - we have so much to be thankful for!!
|Never a truer word was spoken|
|Cool wallet thingy|
|Bad picture but awesome new iPad case|
|Our Golden Christmas Wish|
|Breakfast at Lena & Ken's. Cameron looks thrilled.|
|Christmas morning. The calm before the storm.|
|Cam's "big" present|
|He's watching you!|