We had Christmas in stages this year.
We met up Tuesday night with two of my sisters who live about 40 minutes away at a Mexican restaurant between our locations.
Jason left Christmas Eve afternoon to spend a few days with his fiancee and her family, so we opened his presents to and from us as well as our stockings earlier that day.
Christmas morning we brought Grandma over. While I finished up a few things, Jesse played his piano recital piece, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”
(All of these picture, by the way, were taken by Jeremy except the one later on of him.)
Then Jim read the Christmas story.
Then we opened presents. See that big box right in front? It’s mine. 🙂
I had thought these were really neat and been wanting one, but thought they were way too expensive. But my husband found a great deal on one.
Grandma had a great time.
Living alone and then with a daughter who did not want to celebrate Christmas at all, I think it was a nice change for her to experience a family Christmas again.
We did have a little bit of frustration, though…We used to open one gift at a time while everyone watched and then we talked about it, but that took all morning, so now we kind of go by rounds. Jesse passes out a present to everyone, and we each open that one gift at the same time before we move on, and that gives us a chance to explain or tell the story behind the gift. Grandma, at this stage, can’t seem to wait for anything (I’m wondering if this is true for others elderly parents with some degree of dementia?), so she would be wanting help with her present while Jim was trying to talk to one of the boys about theirs — no waiting patiently in between. But overall that was a relatively minor blip in the day though it was frustrating at the time.
Jim here is opening a globe from Jeremy with constellations on it (astronomy is one of Jim’s interests, plus he likes interesting things on his desk).
Jesse playing one of his new DS games:
For the past several years I have made these for Christmas breakfast:
Sister Shubert’s (or Schubert?) sausage wraps and cinnamon rolls. In the frozen section of the grocery store, only 15 minutes or so in the oven. In the past the boys didn’t want to have breakfast first, but I have low blood sugar and couldn’t wait til mid-morning, so these were a nice compromise. I could heat them up before we got started, and then people could wander in and out of the kitchen as desired. I also opened a can of sliced apples and added sugar and cinnamon and warmed them up.
Jeremy waiting for Christmas dinner…
Which usually consists of a spiral-sliced brown sugar glazed ham that our local grocery store always has on sale for Christmas, plus Cheesy Potatoes, Vegetable Medley, and brown and serve rolls. Later on we had pumpkin pie and apple pie.
We took Grandma home after the pies, then crashed for the rest of the day. I heated up a plate of leftovers for dinner while Jim and Jeremy made ham sandwiches and Jesse ate leftover Mexican food.
Then Friday we all pitched in for a cleaning marathon. One of Jim’s nephews with his wife and five children, who used to live near Grandma in ID but moved to TN, were coming up for a surprise visit to Grandma. They arrived late in the afternoon while Jim was out picking up Grandma.
They just stayed over one night, but we had an enjoyable visit. It was good to catch up with them. Their kids range in age from 4 to 12, and I don’t think I had seen them since the oldest was about 4. It had been a long time since we had young kids in the house, and I was expecting a lot of noise and commotion. but they were very quiet and exceptionally well-behaved.
After they left on Saturday we again crashed except for laundry and had pizza for dinner. It was nice to have the house all clean! Usually it takes a few days after Christmas to get things in order.
Yesterday was a fairly normal Sunday. Jason gets back this afternoon, and I have an inkling he’ll bring a couple more presents with him. We’ll probably take the tree down later this week, then it will be “back to normal.” Though in many ways getting back into routine is nice, I often miss the Christmas festivities, lights, gatherings, etc.
Updated to add: I saw after I posted this that 5 Minutes For Moms was hosting a Christmas Photo Carnival, so I linked this post to that.