This year we went to my brother’s house for Christmas Eve. Originally Amanda was supposed to work until 4 p.m., so we were going to go early to help get dinner ready for when she got home. Unfortunately/fortunately, she hurt her knee and had to take a few days off of work.
I randomly found this blog post about some simple ornaments and thought they would be fun to make. My mom had all of the supplies so she brought them over. Steph wasn’t really into it, but we had fun making ornaments with Jess. Oh, but Steph did like to wear them as earrings.
My brother made homemade eggnog for the first time. I’m not a huge eggnog fan, but I really liked the eggnog he made. It was much lighter than the stuff you buy in the store. We also had some spiced cider and many different kinds of beer. There was one that was spruce flavored and it was not good. Even so, Milo wanted a taste of it!
Even though Amanda was going to be home because of her injury, we still got dinner ready. Dallas and I slow cooked some pork and brought that down. My mom made coleslaw and beans. And we had a ton of sweets that everyone made as well as cheese and crackers that we snacked on all day.
This year my parents gave us each a set of china. They each had one set so my brother and I each took one. My set is smaller with a black and white pattern. My brother’s set had many more pieces, which was good because they also had inherited a china cabinet to display a larger set in, where our storage space is much more limited. Also, when I looked online, it looked like you could get replacement pieces for the set my brother has, so that is good if they plan to use it more. Anyway, the china came out for Christmas dinner and this is the first time it was ever used in 40 years! I was so nervous that I was going to drop a plate or something, but everything went fine.
After dinner we opened gifts. Stephanie and Jessica opened gifts from me and Dallas and my parents first. We got Steph a few small things and a couple gift certificates to shop for clothes at H&M and Forever 21. Stephanie’s big gift was an iPod Touch. She was so shocked!
Jessica got lots of clothes and a games that she dug into right away. Jessica got a lot of Hello Kitty things. She told us that she loved Hello Kitty, so I hope she really loves it, because she’s all decked out now!
There were three gifts that were from Jessica to me, my parents and Amanda. These were all handmade things that Jessica did. Jess made a ton of Christmas snowflakes and drawings for my parents. For me, she made this long wooden stick that was painted like a snowman and wearing a fabric scarf. For Amanda she made a reindeer out of a hanger and pantyhose. So cute! I have a lot of things that Stephanie made when she was younger, but not a lot of things that Jessica has made, so it was fun to get a keepsake.
We each also had a gift from Amanda. Inside were spcial-edition Sports Illustrated Packers books. Dallas didn’t like this gift, but everyone else did!
Next we did our adult gift exchange. We draw names and have a $40 limit, so it doesn’t get too crazy. This year I had Amanda’s name. She has started getting into drinking tea, so I got her a tea infuser mug, some Argo tea and Tazo tea, biscuits and a book. Amanda got Dallas some Christmas Story pint glasses and a bunch of microbrews and a subscription to Wired Magazine. Dallas got my dad two Packers shirts. My dad gave me several books, an oven thermometer, and some Hawaiian treats. Richard gave my mom a Christmas tree made of Lindor Truffles and a gift card. Finally, my mom gave my brother a Packers t-shirt, a video game and a gift card.
Finally, this year was Richard and Amanda’s 10th wedding anniversary. My mom gave them a personalized Christmas tree ornament to remember the year. And she gave Dallas and I an ornament for our first Christmas after getting married. Here’s what it looks like:
I like how the guy is doing a shaka and the girl has a camera! Also, here’s a photo of the snowman ornament Jessica made: