This is the Way We Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas season this year!  Visiting, eating, playing, eating.  Curtis was on-call this Christmas which worked out ok.  He didn't get called out on Christmas day or Boxing day but he said he couldn't quite relax, it was always in the back of his mind that he could get a call.  He had two ridiculously crazy days after Christmas because the oil patch (in Alberta atleast) never stops.  Following that he got 5 days off in a row, yippie!

Our first day of Christmas was on December 22nd at the Buchan's.  There are 12 of us now 7 adults and 5 kids.  The kids were amped and ready to play (as they should be).  We enjoyed supper, wine, and presents.  Before supper we all open Christmas crackers and then we wear our paper crowns, show off our cheesy gift and tell our jokes, its becoming a fun tradition and is something I've never done before. Marilyn cooked the whole spread for dinner and it was delicious and oh so Christmasy.  After supper was presents, mostly about the kids, the adults draw names so everyone gets one gift. It was all wonderful.

The next day was Wavy's 1st Birthday and we had the crew (Grandmas, Grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins) over for a Birthday supper and cake.

Christmas Eve was at Grandma and Grandpa Martins.  Courtney organized it letting every one know what to bring.  It worked well but there was still so much food, I guess that's just Christmas.  The kids now go up to the loft and play for the most part.  We ate, we drank, and of course the kids needed to go for a quick walk out to see the chickens and check for eggs.  Grandma had been busy and knit each of the little girls a Santa doll.  Curt didn't make it there since he was busy with work but we met him at home after supper and the girls got to open a present before bed.  I had got them each a new pair of jammies and much to my surprise Curt got me a new pair too.  We all got in our pjs left a note for Santa and read a couple Christmas stories before going to bed.

Christmas morning Luca came to our room at 5:30am and figured it was time to get up.  She didn't remember that it was Christmas, just thought it was morning time and this is unusual, she usually sleeps in until 7:30 or 8:00.  She came to lay in our bed and would not go back to sleep, just kept chatting and so Wavy got woken up too.  Finally at 7:00 we went to get Nollie up and start the show.  They ran out and found their Lego table first.  We all sat down and played Lego for quite a while before I decided to make some Coffee and then mentioned the stockings.  Nollie finding an orange and a chocolate in her stocking said that Santa must know the rules that we have to have a fruit before a treat and so she ate her orange first and then her chocolate.  Luca I'm sure went right for the chocolate.  We then opened our wrapped presents to each other and played.  Nollie was so excited to see her hockey helmet that she was shaking, "just what I wanted".  The living room when we were done looked like this:

We played a bit and got dressed.  Since Wavy got woken up too early she cried through most of the present opening and then fell asleep in Curt's arms as we sat around.  He was so happy holding her and didn't want to wake her up to go.  We then went to my Mom and Dad's for breakfast and opened presents there.  We were able to spent the whole rest of the day there it was great.  We ate, we drank, we visited and even got a board game in, yay!  Jesse didn't make it out this year but he called to wish a Merry Christmas and I also got to talk to Grandma and Papa Hutch which was nice.  They had Mom and Dad eyeing up each of us to see who was keeping secrets and had everyone running to look for "The Apron."

Boxing Day was at Grandma and Grandpa Graves.  Grandma puts on a mean feast and we all sit down in the basement at one big long table and eat together.  You could hear and see the 4 little kids giggling and playing at their table before we sent them off to play. We ate, we visited, we ate and then we snuck out just before the girls broke down.

The next couple days Curt had to work and the girls and I just hung out around the house cleaning up a little but mostly just hanging out and playing.  On the 29th we were planning on going for a cross country ski as a family but since the weather got cold we headed in to the city.  We went to Costco for a meat run and then took the girls to Toys-r-us and let them each spend their $20 from Grandma and Grandpa Graves.  We set up the rules for ourselves before we went: we would let them buy whatever they wanted, we would not try to influence their decision and we would not top up their money.  We had fun and in the end Luca chose a stuffy (just what she said she was going to get) and Nollie chose a new Barbie.  On the way home we went to the Tri-leasure Center for a family swim.  My swimsuit got forgotten in the craziness of getting out of the house that morning so I got a new (expensive) swimsuit so that I could come too.

The 30th was another take it easy day.  I took the girls into town for eye appointments and then we just hung out.

New Years Eve we headed out to our friends cabin for a sleepover.  We exchanged home made gifts, the kids played and played, the men put on a fire works show on the lake, we had a dance party followed by an early countdown for the kids complete with sparkling juice and a cheers.  Magically 5 kids went right to sleep all in the same room. The adults then got to stay up and play games.

On Sunday we finished the holidays off with a sledding and skating party at our house.  We had the family over and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside complete with a campfire, hot dogs and hot chocolate.  It was so much fun and we couldn't believe the kids lasted outside for three hours.  The best part, I got to sled and sled and sled.

So there it is, our holidays in a nutshell.  I'm not quite ready to take down the Christmas decorations yet, I think I'll leave them up for another week.
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