Wow... it's been quite a busy Christmas this year.
For us, it began on the 17th with a White Elephant Party at some friends'. We had a great time exchanging wacky gifts (which included an enormous pair of pants which could easily fit three people inside, a Daffy Duck hair dryer, a large naked doll that everyone tried to keep covered up that evening, and magical oatmeal that was supposed to guide the reindeer to your house on Christmas Eve). We also played a version of charades (I still think my team did the best wedding scene) and wax museum (where you have to stay absolutely still else you get caught by the person who is "it". Seth is a master at this game). It was a very enjoyable evening, but it would have repercussions for the next Tuesday night.
The next day (December 18th), we four (Seth had to work that day) went over to Grandpa Mike's house for Christmas with him. Some of our relatives from Greenville came down, and we had a nice time. We had a nice surprise in that Grandpa had converted some of the old videos from the 70's to DVD format, and we were able to watch two of them. It was humorous to see Dad and Uncle Jason (Uncle Josh was either not born or just a baby at that time) in some of their fighting matches and even play dirty in them. We also had a chance to see my great-great-grandparents' farm in Greenville, to see their horses, the tractor, the chickens, and also a chance to see other relatives that I have never met before.
Tuesday the 21st was supposed to be a Christmas program at the church. However, the party the Friday night previous meant that several people who had been there came down with colds, particularly among the party's hosts and who are the strongest choir singers. It was providential, though, as Mandy was indisposed that day, and they cancelled the program that morning. It has been re-scheduled for New Year's Eve, though there are still some sick folk among us and there is a chance Dad and Seth might not be able to make it. Still, I am planning on recording snippets of the show like I did for the talent show back in September; I've already got my mind made up on recording all of "Carol of the Bells", as I've fallen in love with the choir's version.
On the 23rd, we drove up to the Cumming area of town to deliver Christmas cookies to various families and to stop and chat for a few minutes. It was a nice time, and we had Zaxby's for dinner afterwards.
On the 24th, Mandy didn't wake up feeling well and was a bit out of it for the rest of the day. However, she was well enough to go with us to Uncle Jason's that night for the clan Christmas celebration. We ate dinner, and we sampled the mocha punch (it was delicious, but it made me quite jittery, which is one reason I don't drink coffee). Then we opened presents. I got purple boots to wear around the house (they are sooo warm, and I wear them all the time), a pretty shawl, some earrings, a bag from Bath and Body Works (love that store), socks (I'm always on the hunt for new socks), a photo album with pictures of me as a baby, and some hair thingies. Mandy got boots similar to mine as well as a scarf and hat (not sure what else she got), and Seth got new clothes (which Mandy and I were thankful for). After that, we had the white elephant gift exchange. Seth got a shirt that glows (no kidding), I got two owls (I thought they were cute, so I took them from Mandy), I forgot what Mandy got, Mom got a cat tray, and Dad got a set of dishes. After singing some Christmas carols and listening to Gabe, Noah, and Hannah play the piano (or violin), we went home. We have a tradition to open one present on Christmas Eve, and this year Mom and Dad had a specific one to give us: new cell phones that are absolutely gorgeous and were insanely cheap because of an instant rebate at the story.
On Christmas morning, Mandy generally gets up fairly early and does not let the rest of us sleep for long. This year, I woke up before she started calling me, and poor Seth had to be dragged out of bed. We had a good Christmas this year. Gifts included two kindles, a wok for cooking, clothes, Loreena McKennitt's new CD, Anuna's "Invocation of Ireland DVD" and much more. We spent the day enjoying our new Wii controller and game and just relaxing. We had nice visits with Grandma Linda and then Grandpa Mike and Marsha that afternoon. And then, it started to snow! Yes, snow on Christmas Day in Georgia. It was we kids' first white Christmas, and Mandy and I got some pictures. However, the temperature was not cold enough, and the snow started melting that night. The elders had to cancel church the next morning because the parking lot and sidewalks were completely iced over (not to mention some of the other roads were bad), so we listened to a sermon at home instead.
It was a very busy Christmas this year, but it was a good one too. The only sad thing is now that Christmas is over, I have only a week and a half left of my break from school and then it'll be back to the grind. Still, it was nice to have a break from college, and I shall savor every moment of it.
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