One of the first weekends in December, our Sunday School had a Christmas progressive dinner. We started at one house for appetizers and drinks, the main course was at our house, and then we traveled to another house for dessert and games. It was SO much fun! I hope we make it an annual thing. Because we were hosting the entree, I set our tables with festive place settings. I didn't have enough of any one thing for all the guests we'd be having, so each table had a completely different look. Eclectic is cool, right?
I also lit candles in these luminaries on our front steps. I've had these for YEARS and was so glad to finally have an excuse to use them.
In the living room, we once again put up and decorated our 12-foot tree (an all-day activity) and had our forest of twinkle trees on the mantel.
I added some new Christmas decor around the house this year but forgot to take pictures of most of it. One of my favorite things that I added, though, were mini Santa and Elf hats to the decor in each of the kid's rooms. Aren't they cute?!
And since I mentioned us hosting part of our Sunday School party, here's a picture that I took that night of most of the group. We really love this group of people!
Moving on to other Christmas events, we wore our matching Christmas jammies to see Santa Claus at a friend's house. Yes, we wore this to a party with friends. No shame in our game.
And then we donned our jammies again with Wyatt and Anna on the morning of Christmas Eve.
Later that day, we attended the Christmas Eve service at church. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that the candles during Silent Night are always my favorite part (especially when I don't catch my hair on fire).
Just like every other year, we gathered at my parents' house after church for dinner and presents. Mom shooed us into the living room to take pictures while she finished up dinner. Behold...7 grandkids and one new granddog, all eyes open and somewhat looking at the camera, and no tears. A Christmas miracle!
Stella is the newest granddog, and she was a gift to Parker, Ramer, and Lilli Greer from their parents. They received her for Christmas right when they got out of school for break and she's just the tiniest, cutest little thing!
For the kids, Christmas morning was great. For me, it was awful. Possibly the worst one yet. I can't even write all the details because I am still not over it, but basically I shot up from where I was sleeping on the couch (not sleeping, rather) before 6am with the realization that when I had filled the kids' stockings, I hadn't put in the green yo-yo that Thomas specifically requested from every Santa he talked to. I dug through the box I'd brought all the Santa gifts in and couldn't find it. I threw on my house shoes and hopped in the car to grab it before the kids woke up. Couldn't find it at home. Drove to three truck stop gas stations looking for one. No luck. Finally found an orange one at Walgreens. (Also, I had on no bra, or coat, or makeup, or brushed hair. Didn't have my phone. Just shopping on Christmas morning in a panic.) I did make it back to the house with the not-green yo-yo right before they woke up and snuck it into his stocking. He was happy. I fought back tears. It was one of the first gifts purchased and I failed to deliver it. I did finally find the green yo-yo when cleaning up the Christmas decor...at the bottom of a shopping bag.
The rest of the day was great. We had breakfast at Nick and Beth's and dinner at my Aunt Vicki's house. The kids played with ALL their new toys and were exhausted by the end of the night.
Matt's sister, Jill, and her boys didn't come into town until later in the week and then we all gathered at Lala and Poppa's house to have Christmas with them. We opened gifts that morning and had a big, delicious lunch. In between the two, I brought all the supplies to play Minute-To-Win-It games. We divided up into two teams - this group was Team Awesome.
And these goofballs were Team Not Aweome. (Spoiler: they were actually more awesome.)
Everyone had a blast playing the silly games - everything from transferring M&M's with a straw to stacking pennies, pulling out kleenexes, building cup towers, knocking over water bottles and more.
Despite the Christmas morning snafu, we really had a great holiday. We are so lucky to get to celebrate Jesus's birth with so many of our friends and family. And our kids were completely spoiled, as always. Now we have to find homes for all these new toys!