This week we had round 2 and 3 of our Christmas celebrating. Round 2 started on Christmas Eve and was spent with Jeremy’s side of the family. The festivities began with a candlelight service at church and then a family gift exchange to follow. Owen didn’t get a candle this year at church, but I’m sure he’ll be ready for one next year. Okay… maybe not! He was fascinated by the candles though. The Christmas gathering took place at Jeremy’s aunt and uncle’s house. Family members all brought yummy goodies to share and a $15 gift card for an exchange. As usual, it wouldn’t be a family gathering without a game. This year, Jeremy’s uncle came up with one where we couldn’t say the words “I” or “No”. Everyone had three cards and if you got caught saying one of the words you had to give one to the person who caught you. There were prizes for the top three cardholders as well as who had the best poker hand with the cards. Jeremy was up in the top contenders and walked away with a McDonald’s gift card. I know you’re jealous! Actually, we already used the gift card to get breakfast on the 26th, but more about that later! I quickly gave away my cards to Jeremy since the game was too hard on my brain. It’s very difficult to not use the word “I”. You could say things like “Me really likes this dip” or “Amy thinks this game is hard”. Either way it sounded strange! The other activity of the night was phone caroling to a few relatives that couldn’t make it to the large gathering. There were some humorous moments to the caroling. I’m not a huge fan of public singing… I gave that up in high school with my choir days, but I sang along for the sake of the family. We even had a carol off with the Carroll branch of the family. We sang to them and then they sang to us. This went back and forth until the Carrolls finally stopped. This year’s gift exchange took on a fast food twist. There were lots of gift cards to places like Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, etc. Jeremy walked away with the Wendy’s gift card and I brought home my own gift – a Kit Kat and a Target card. The only downside to the night was the house was super warm and Owen got overheated. He is such a hot baby. There were a couple meltdown moments from the kiddo, but overall, he did great. He certainly had a lot of new sights to take in as well as some new family members to meet. Jeremy’s cousin did a great job of calming Owen and putting him to sleep. That’s always a good thing!
Round 3 was Christmas Day spent up in South Hill with my family. Things didn’t start at my Grandma’s house until noon so that meant that Owen got the sleep he needed to recover from the big day before. We made it up a few minutes behind schedule, but we weren’t the last to arrive so I considered that a win. This year, the kids all exchanged presents. It was a lot of fun to have Owen participate! He was super spoiled and even got a few extra presents from other family members. Just like the day before, there was a $15 gift exchange for the adults. I got a Starbucks card and Jeremy got movie tickets! Not a bad deal. The funny thing was my mom and dad brought the gifts that Jeremy and I contributed this year, so I had to ask my mom if I liked what I brought. The day was mostly spent chatting and eating. Owen finally got to meet the whole family since there were a few that he didn’t see at Thanksgiving. My Uncle Jim did a good job of snuggling him to sleep for the first part of the afternoon. Once again, the curse of the overheated baby played out and Owen was super warm and not so cuddly as the day went on. We eventually had to bid my family good bye so we could release Toby from his crate after a long day. After Toby had a little time with us, we took off to say a quick hi to Jeremy’s parents. Owen wanted to wish Nana and Papa “Merry Christmas” in person.
In post-Christmas tradition, Jeremy and I took all our Christmas gift cards and cash down to Oregon for some good sales on the 26th. We didn’t go crazy, but we got some good deals that we are very happy about. We used our McDonald’s gift card for breakfast and a Red Robin gift card for lunch. At lunch, we realized that Owen learned something new. He can now grab things and take them to his mouth. This resulted him munching on a washcloth. Yum! It was a great day to spent time with just Owen and Jeremy after two big days full of people. Because most of the stores get crazy after noon, we were up and out the door before the sun was up and home by mid-afternoon. We take our post-Christmas shopping sales seriously!
Tomorrow is the last day of the Christmas festivities. Jeremy’s immediate family will all gather to celebrate together. I’m very curious to see what Nana & Papa’s house will be like with three infants. Not too mention a 3 year old and 1 year old. It will be the first time all 5 grandkids will be together at the same time. I’m sure there will be much chaos, but the good kind! I can’t wait to see what the day has in store! Merry Christmas! Again!