Merry Christmas! Hope your day was merry and bright. Our day was strange in that we went absolutely nowhere for perhaps only the second time ever on Christmas! Every last one of us is at some stage of this cold/cough/sore throat business. I SO hope we feel better soon. Meanwhile, here's a bit of our Christmas with the Richards/Rouse clan.
Day 22 - This was the smaller of the Richards gathering with just us, the Jones family, and Brent's parents. After a health scare with Bill the night before (and month before) we were all ready to celebrate being together. Marilyn had designed an elf theme for the evening. There were elf ornaments, elf hats, an elf hunt, elf stockings, and to end the evening "elf-nog," which is made from lime sherbert and ginger ale.
Here are our elves opening the haul from the elf hunt and opening presents together. M's favorite gift was a life-sized Raggedy Ann doll. B loved his nerf gun and skylander's castle. E, of course, was most enamored by the new chew toys, which are his theme this Christmas.
The next morning, we returned for the bigger family gathering. There were more presents, a lot more food, and plenty of fun together. There were also presents from Great-Granddaddy (who sadly could not come at the last minute) and from Gary and Suzi. B was over the moon excited about his Skylanders backpack, figures, and book. M had great fun with her Cinderella ballerina barbie and pink barbie car. E... well, E slept through the exciting times in the day and eventually at about 7, his siblings gave up and opened his present for him. This was also the gathering I cooked the most for this year. I made: a mozzarella and salami appetizer, brought some spiced nuts, made Risotto, and also brought some tasty, but not that cute looking, buckeyes. The main dish was Prime Rib from Suzi and it was tasty as always. The kids got to go on a pirate hunt with Granddaddy this time to everyone's great delight. Most guests departed fairly early. We hung around a bit though and the kids watched Polar Express with their Grandparents while our sick little E napped some more.
One big hit was the morning round of Creationary. It held all the kids' attention for a surprisingly long time while we were cooking. Uncle Brent is a LEGO Master and I suspect his tutelage helped greatly. In the lower picture, cousin John is helping M bling her doll's car with the included gems. As you can see, M found another occasion for her beautiful purple dress. She changed into something a bit less formal, but still with sequins, after the first couple of hours.
These gatherings are a blur of people, conversation, and kids laughing and running everywhere. I am so glad we had this opportunity to all share the joy of Christmas together.