As always, our Grandma Pat Christmas party came and went much faster than we would have liked! This weekend really is our only full-family reunion, and I look forward to it every year!
We do pretty much the same thing every year, and I think that’s one of the reasons we look forward to it—we know what’s going to happen, we know what we’re going to be doing, and we are ready to love every minute of it.
Everyone comes into town on Friday night; some make it in time for dinner, and the rest make it at some point. Saturday morning, we start with breakfast (the Gardners are in charge of breakfast, and we always do the same thing—cold cereal for the kids; homemade granola, yogurt, and berries; and breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, homemade salsa, ham, bacon, and cheese). The rest of the day is spent snacking (healthy and not-so-healthy!), visiting, playing games, and crafting. The kids have a project they work on, and the women always have something too—this year we took along some projects for leadership conference as well, and we enlisted extra hands to help us.
In the early afternoon we gather together for a kids’ gift exchange and then later for a Christmas program. We start by watching a five-minute nativity video, and the kids dress up in nativity clothing and act out the Christmas story. Then we do some caroling, each family shares a talent, and we end with a slideshow (this year we included a few video clips). The slideshow captures everybody’s attention, with people cheering when they see themselves or their favorite cousins on the screen.
We also exchange our “Year-in-Review” scrapbook pages, so everyone can see in photo form some of the year’s highlights in everybody’s families. We have dinner and dessert, and things wind down with more visiting.
This morning, we got up and went to church with those family members who hadn’t left yet, had an “eat-everything-that-is-leftover” brunch, and then headed home. Traveling was uneventful—a little snow on the way down, no snow on the way home. What a wonderful way to start off Christmas week!