Sunday, December 03, 2006

Family Christmas Weekend

I drove to Lexington, NC ( 2 hrs away) on Friday where my daughter in law Sharon hopped into the van to drive me the rest of the way (4 hrs) while my stepson Ray and grandson Wayne followed in their car. It was nice not having to drive and just enjoy the scenery. Megan and family were all ready for us with the house all decorated and food enough for the whole neighborhood! We did a little last minute shopping and came back to a huge pot of homemade chili cooked by my son in law Brian. He was in Iraq and Ray was on the road last year so they were excited to start this years celebration. Melody and her family came for supper. She is always the one to get all the childhood stories going. We had fun laughing and remembering things till they left to pick up my grandson Woody who had his first ever school dance. The rest of us snacked on all the wonderful desserts and hot chocolate till bedtime. Bright and early the next morning Megan, Sharon and I started cooking a big country breakfast that the men were suppose to cook. Maggie and her family along with Melody and hers showed up and so did the girls cousin that lives across the road from Megan. Another morning of food, stories and laughter with a few can we open presents now thrown in by the kids. After breakfast we made a convoy with Brian leading us to the tree farm to choose a tree and cut it down. Each child picked out a tree and then everyone voted on the best one. That was the tree we would cut and bring back to make homemade decorations for. Well Raigun's favorite color is orange and she found a orange (dead) tree that she really really wanted so Uncle Brian came to her rescue and cut it down to decorate for the birds. Then some of the grandkids wanted a Charlie Brown tree to put in their rooms at home so we had to find little trees that met their requirements. Megan and Brian also had to cut a tree for their church. The back of Brians truck was loaded with trees and the convoy started back home. The grandchildren started making ornaments while we fixed a quick lunch. After lunch they decorated the tree while started cooking our Christmas dinner for the evening. It was Ray's birthday so of course we had to stop and sing happy birthday and eat some good chocolate cake! With the tree decorated it was finally time to open presents. The kids presents were in the den so that room was packed with excited children wanting to dive into presents. Maggie handed out a present to each one and the fun was on! Paper was flying everywhere! Each child magically got exactly what they had been wanting forever! Justine got the army men he had been dreaming of of with a few extra tanks and a missile shooting truck thrown in. Raigun got cat books, stuffed kittens, rubber boots that she just really really needed. Julie got a barbie house and barbie van along with the Junie B Jones books she really really wanted. Zack got enough camping gear to be able to live outdoors and never come inside. Think that smile is still on his face. Gabby got her barbie house with lots of furniture and a barbie car. She was ready to stop unwrapping and just play with that. Quintin got the horseshoes he had been dying for along with movies from the 80's that he just had to see. Hope got her set of books by Picket along with lots of monkey stuff so she was one happy lady. Kristine was in heaven with her monkey jewelry, vintage books and games. PopPop and Grandma are now Woody's favorite people since he got his disco ball and lava lamp he had been dreaming of for his 70's style bedroom. Wayne was ready to go out in the freezing cold to set up his new tent and try out his canvas canteen. These were just the presents from William and I. The paper was flying so fast I couldn't tell you what else they got from everyone else but I do know that there were lots of happy kids in that den that night! With the kids all settled down with their gifts the adults (acting like kids) moved to the livingroom to open their gifts. Megan said it was about time she got a sesame street game and I didn't have to throw that one in the fire! She loved her walnut jewelry box I had a friend make for her and the handmade jewelry. Brian was happy with his handcrank radio and flashlight and his memory blanket. Maggie loved her pillows (thank you Lisa(oceandreamer) and her vintage oriental pictures. Brannon laughed at his Elvis gift (running joke with he and I) and was pleased with his Irish book and memory blanket. Melody loved the photo of Nannie (my mother) in a dress and the dress I had made just like it for her along with her birdhouse stuff for her kitchen. Joseph was very happy with his bibbed overalls and memory blanket. Ray loved his handcranked radio and flashlight, teeshirt and fishing reel windchime. Sharon seemed to be the happiest of all with her handpainted pendant of her dog Taz. Don't think she even remembers opening other presents after that one. Those are the gifts we gave them and I was so busy opening all my many gifts that I didn't see what they got from everyone else! Needless to say our handmade or secondhand gift rule was a success. With gifts out of the way it was time for a wonderful Christmas ham dinner. The counters were loaded with food and we were ready to make it disappear. We ate so much we decided to hold dessert until after the hayride caroling. With a mini flashlight and song sheets in everyone's hand we hop on the trailer that Megan decorated with lights and garland. Brian and Brannon were inside the nice warm truck while the rest of us dressed in long johns, warm clothes, hats, scarves and gloves were snuggling together while singing to stay warm. In the country the houses are far apart but we sang the whole time as it seemed to keep us from freezing. Several families came out on their porches while we stopped to "sing" a carol or two for them. A couple hours later we were ready for hot chocolate and dessert in front of the fire! Then it was time for stockings! Everyone seemed to be happy with the items that filled up their stocking and was ready to settle down to watch the Christmas Story movie before turning in for the night. It was a late night but more memories were made and lots stories and laughs shared. Bright and early Sunday morning everyone packed their cars and started their journey home. Another successful family Christmas weekend was over. Plans were started for next years weekend, goodbyes were said and it was back home for this tired but happy grandma. I will make a slideshow of the photos to share with everyone tomorrow as I am waiting for some from the tree outing. I had forgotten my camera and Sharon is sending me some that she took.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful family time. The telling of family stories with the young members present helps them develop s sense of belonging as part of an historical family. I would have enjoyed listening in!

Jeanne said...

Blessings to you my sweet friend.
Love Jeanne

Marian said...

I so enjoyed sharing in your wonderful family Christmas celebration. Reading about it made me feel as though I were there.

Now I'm going to share your story with my own family in hopes that we, too, can find an alternative to being together on December 25th.

As always, you are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sound like you all had fun.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!

PEA said...

Now THAT'S what Christmas is all about...being with family and just plain having fun!! I so enjoyed reading about your Christmas weekend...gosh, I can just imagine all the gifts being opened! lol I'm so glad you shared this with us, makes me smile when I think of big families getting together like this:-)