This was 1 of the few gifts I actually wrapped with paper and ribbon. I think its beautiful but it was really time-consuming.
Most of the gifts this year where wrapped in tissue paper and went into reusable shopping bags. Without really planning it, we ended up with this shopping bag concept which worked well and saved a lot of time.
I made 4 pans of magic cookie bars. The 2 in the foreground are the original recipe with coconut flakes on top. The other 2 were variations; 1 with crushed candy canes and the other with peanut butter chips.
I made them in these aluminum pans with lids so they would stack easily for transport to VA. We had them both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and they were a big hit! I made so many that I wound up bringing some home, which is definitely NOT a bad thing. I also made 2 pans of breakfast casserole (not pictured) to take with us too.
On Fri our former neighbors dropped off a gift and card while I we were at work. They have 2 young boys whom we love and who were so sweet to our dogs. The envelope of the card touched me!
Their card was added to our growing collection which I staple to wide ribbons hung from the top of the molding with push pins. I love displaying cards this way and incorporating them into our holiday decorations.
Spouse & I both came home from work early (unexpectedly) so we decided to have a very early dinner out, then packed our bags, loaded the car, and hit the road. We arrived at Spouse's sister's house at 9:30.
Sat we hung out with Spouse's sister and her family all day. But that evening I drove back to DE to perform in the last holiday LEGENDS show, then drove back to VA afterward.
Sun Spouse & I drove out to my cousin Nez & Steve's house.
They live in a 250 year old stone house that's really cool. Its been our tradition to spend some time together on Christmas eve. We had lunch and a lovely visit together.
When we returned to Spouse's sister's house they were leaving for Christmas Eve mass, so we helped set up while they were gone. Shortly after they returned, the rest of the family began showing up.
|Our niece Anna's daughter Gabby with her dad Randy|
|My handsome husband|
|Our nephews Tommy and Eric|
To be honest I was a more than a little concerned with how Christmas Eve would turn out. As long as I've been a part of this family (20+ years) we have always celebrated Spouse's mom's birthday on Christmas Eve. With her passing last April, this was our 1st Christmas Eve without her and I hoped it wouldn't be a sad time. But her 4 living children were all there, with their spouses and their children, and everyone ate and drank and visited just like before. I really think Spouse's mom would have been supremely happy about this.
Christmas day was very relaxed and fun. The boys & I enjoyed coffee in the quiet before the rest of the family was up.
We had breakfast casserole and then opened our gifts.
It was a nice day spent hanging out and enjoying each other's company.
|Our brother-in-law and 2 nephews chilling|
|Mary with Marvin|
On Tues Spouse's sister and her husband joined Spouse & me as we met up with our dear friends Kerry & Hugh, Kelly, Lisa, Carl, Kim & Danny, Pat, and Alex for our annual hippie roll and pizza luncheon.
|The infamous hippie rolls|
|Alex and Kerry|
|Spouse's sister, Kim, Pat, Danny, Spouse's brother-in-law|
|Me and Lisa|