On Christmas Eve we went to my Grandma Neltner's house after mass. This is where all of the extended family crams into one room and watches the wrapping paper EXPLODE all over the place! Above is a picture of my cousin's son, Nolan, who is just the cutest thing ever. This is what happens to his face when you say, "Hey Nolan, SMILE!" I think that little vest, tie, and rolled-sleeve ensemble makes him look like a very young, very hip, Justin Timberlake.
Here is Sylvain opening his first gift from Grandma. I love the look on my Mom's face. She's all, "You totally married this goofball. Way to go." On the left is my cousin, Tyler, who wanted nothing but board games for Christmas and I believe the last thing on his list to Santa was "Whatever You Think Is Best." Adorable.
After the Christmas explosion at Grandma's, we spent the night at Mom's and headed out to Dad's on Christmas Day. Here are Dad and Sally opening their gifts from Jordan. His wrapping job was quite unique - brown paper bags with handmade painting ALL over them! Sally got a wooden bowl and Dad got a book about motorcycles. Well done, Jordo, well done. Wait a minute, though...do you see that giant box at Dad's feet that says "JOHN" on it? Yeah, that was for our 19 year old brother, who is, I admit, hard to shop for. I got him a sweater. It's always safe to go with a sweater, right? Jordan was a bit more ambitious and got him...
Now, as far as I know, John is not the type of person who would normally say, "Hey, I really want a SWORD for Christmas." But apparently, the gift was a hit. John loved it, although I'm not too sure what he's going to do with it. The brothers took turns playing with it and stabbing empty boxes for quite some time that evening.
Between presents and dinner, we played a game called "Left, Right, Center," that involved passing a pile of nickels around and rolling a set of dice until someone wins them all. Guess who won them all? Sylvain. Almost every hand, almost every time. And then he didn't shut up about it all night long. I wanted to take his stupid bag of nickles and beat him over the head with it, but I wouldn't do such a thing on Christmas.
We had a lovely dinner at Dad's house and then headed back to Mom's for dessert, presents with my siblings on her side of the family, and our yearly round of games, games and more fun games. This was the first year in a long time that we didn't play Charades. Instead we played "Mad Gab," which was really fun and would make a great classroom game, then we played "Catch Phrase," a classic favorite. The food, the company, and the games were delightful and I'm pretty sure everyone went to bed with visions of sugarplums (or cheesecake) dancing in their heads.
I didn't get many good pictures of Christmas at Mom's house. I think I was tired of snapping photos by that point, but here's a good one of my nephew Charlie, all decked out for the holidays!
We came home yesterday with our bags of goodies (my favorite presents being a pink, fluffy robe and a pillow that was probably assembled in heaven) and settled back into our own house and our own routine...only to leave yesterday evening to have dinner with Sylvain's Mom up in Indiana. It was nice to visit with her and Mike, and we enjoyed a nice, quiet evening at their house.
Today we're cleaning up, getting organized and preparing for our next big trip this week to the exotic and exciting HARRODSBURG, KY! We're staying at the Beaumont Inn for two big nights to celebrate our third anniversary. The last one for "just the two of us" before our little mistletoe arrives. I'll post all about it when we get back!
Here's to hoping you and your family had a pleasant and enjoyable Christmas! Happy Holidays!