I should have done this during the days between Christmas and New Years, but I was so busy doing nothing I was unable to find the time in which to do it. :)
Our family had a very nice Christmas (you’ll remember that I told you that John-Heath thought it was AWESOME) and I hope yours did, too.
We first got in the spirit of things during our town's annual Christmas parade. Ren enjoyed one of her last hurrahs as water girl by riding on the football team's float and throwing out water bottles, candy and small footballs. John-Heath made sure he was prepared to be on the receiving end of such giveaways and brought a plastic sack for all his loot.
Christmas celebrations in our family begin early in the month with the gathering of my dad’s side of the family. You never know what will happen when this group gets together. One year, we might have the children put on a Nativity play, while the next year might just find us judging a womanless beauty pageant (we have some mighty pretty men in our family). Every year, there are games galore. This year, one game got a little hairy for the germaphobes among us. Let’s just say John was glad no one had a communicable disease.
The younger ones playing the annual game of musical chairs. I wish you could see John-Heath's face in this one better. He was ready to go.
There. I had to enlarge it. Mr. Musical Chairs came in 2nd.
A cousin and her nephew racing to hang their ornament.
We get all funky like that at our get-togethers.
My dad and his baby sister, Aunt Susie.
The best grandkids in the world...my cousins and me - minus one who was absent, one who had already left, and one we lost several years ago.
My dad and some of his family.
Some of Pa and Mammie's great-grandchildren.
The OUTlaws. No blood relation, I promise.
The second weekend of the month it was time to meet with everyone on my mom’s side of the family. This gathering always brings out lots of great food. It’s like another Thanksgiving all over. I don’t know about you but I can never get too much turkey and cornbread dressing.
My mom (in the middle) and some of her family.
My cousins and me...minus four of us who were out of town or at home sick.
Now that's an excited group of kids!
Most years the youth of our church will reenact the Nativity. This year, Ren was Mary and John-Heath was an angel (even if I did have his wings attached upside down). Ren also played a baby doll, Bonnie Bright Eyes, in a second play.
Ren as Mary
My sweet angel...upside down wings and all.
Miss Bonnie Bright Eyes doll
The last day of school before our break began was party day for John-Heath and his classmates. This day is second only to the last day of school as everyone's favorite day to be at school.
Why so glum on party day? He wasn't...just pretending to be serious.
Each student was to create an ornament at home to hang on the class tree. John-Heath and I made the star (at top) out of birch branches, glue, and gold spray paint.
Getting ready to play Pass the Present with the other boys in class.
Three silly buddies.
John’s immediate family, which is small like mine, always gets together on Christmas Eve night. When his grandmother was still living it was always at her house and she did all the cooking. Like most southern women of her day she was a wonderful cook and since she’s been gone I have not eaten any skillet-fried corn to even come close to matching hers. Nowadays, we all share in the cooking and take turns hosting (this year was our turn).
John-Heath loved the John Wayne Western Set Paula and Mark gave him.
McKayla opens a gift.
I have three different sets of perfectly good China and I bring out the Hefty plates and red Solo cups. I must say I am a bit embarrassed.
My brother-n-law Mark, sister-n-law Paula, Ren, and my mother-n-law Shirley
My sister-n-law DeAnn and niece McKayla
John's mom and sisters. L-R Paula, his mom, and DeAnn.
The yearly in-front-of-the-Christmas-tree-wearing-our-new-pajamas-on-Christmas-Eve-night photo.
Christmas morning brings the excitement of finding presents from Santa. In his letter to the man in red, John-Heath asked for many toy things (all preceded with the word “Army”) and a T.V.
Santa did good!!!
Not on the list, but still a hit!
Quiet and still for a moment before opening his presents.
Please, no clothes. Please, no clothes.
Ren’s letter to Santa (yes, she’s 17 - but if she wants the goods she must write the letter) was quite short this year. She only asked for movies and a couple seasons from two of her favorite shows (Dallas and Law and Order: SVU). She’s been pretty good this year, so Santa brought her a lot of movies and a few other things, too. It was movie-mania at our house over Christmas break, and thanks to an oversight on my part we were able to watch one completely in French. Thank goodness for the English subtitles.
Ren getting ready to rip into some presents.
Please, nothing educational. Please, nothing educational.
Yay! C3P0 earbuds!!!
(I have no idea what John-Heath is doing)
Finally, my family always tries to get together Christmas afternoon. This year, we were minus two due to the flu. We use to always meet at my parents’ house, but since John and I have been in our current home (2007) we have it here. We have an open floor plan and a little more room in which John-Heath and my nephews can play, though we do still have to rearrange the furniture when it’s time to pass out the presents.
John-Heath getting in on Dylan's game, while Jonathan relaxes in my hundred year old recliner (not really, but close enough).
My mom and her new Wildcat p.j.'s . Mom is a huge Kentucky fan, while my Aunt Shirley, mom's sister (sitting beside her) is a huge Tennessee fan.
It was John's turn to play Santa. Ho! Ho! Ho!
My dad looking all dapper in Ren's new hat.
The Verizon bars...otherwise known as Ren, my niece Megan, my sister Shelia, and my mom.
Ren doing her Madea impersonation...a must at any family gathering.
Looks like someone is photo bombing Megan and Jacob's picture. Guess who?
Well, that’s the lowdown on our Christmas 2012. Don’t blink. Christmas 2013 will be here before you know it.