Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas weekend recap.

Christmas Eve was relatively quiet and relaxing, just the way I needed it to be. We visited with my mom's side of the family at her brother's house in South Jersey, which we visit only every couple of years. They recently redid their kitchen and it was beautiful. I should know, I spent plenty of time in there since all the "kids" still sit in the kitchen while the "adults" eat in the dining room. (In case you couldn't tell, I don't appreciate being almost 24 years old and still being relegated to a completely separate table.)

All the grandkids together, a rare occurrence.

My family with my grandparents.

Aside from that, we had a nice time. I chatted with my grandparents, we were able to maintain conversation during dinner at the kids' table (the last time we had Christmas Eve there, we sat in silence most of the time), and we took some perfectly awkward family photos. Before I knew it, we were on our way home to get ready for the following day.

After changing into my Santa pajamas, I got to work baking cupcakes, making mini cheesecakes, waiting for Firetruck Santa, and opening presents. Unfortunately, Firetruck Santa never turned up (he went down BOTH blocks on either side of us, but skipped our block. Rude!), but I did make out pretty well with gifts. I received a Wii Fit, a SYTYCD sweatshirt, Beauty & the Beast on DVD, the Jack Johnson To The Sea album, a pair of leggings, a cute top, and some Victoria's Secret body spray.

Christmas Day was a lot more exciting. I was up early setting the table, putting together appetizers, and doing any last-minute cleaning. We opened gifts soon after everyone arrived, which was an event. I made out with a new headband, clutch, two adorable shirts and a jewelry rack.

New clutch and headband from Lynds!

My cousins absolutely adored the bracelets I bought them - they were silver chain-link with a heart charm that I had engraved with the words 'olive you' on the back. It's an inside joke that my dad started, but Lynds and I always say it to each other. Needless to say, she got a little teary-eyed when she opened it. Considering that was my favorite gift to give this year, I'm so very glad it was well-received. Another hit gift? My brother's two-case pack of Guinness from my aunt. He was a happy, happy boy.

Her little face! I almost cried myself.

My brother's favorite gift pretty much ever.

The best gift of the night, however, had to my dad's. As I've mentioned several times, his favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story. He watches it every year and quotes in non-stop. So, around the time of Thanksgiving, my aunt decided to get him a miniature night-light version of the leg lamp. She and Lynds then took it a step further and wrapped it up in a large box and wrote FRAGILE on it, just like the movie, and, well, here's how it went down:

We snapped a handful of pictures before sitting down for dinner, which was delicious. I was feeling really good and anxiety free, which might have had something to do with the lovely cranberry-and-orange-juice-mixed-with-raspberry-vodka cocktail I was sipping all afternoon.

My girls and I, all dressed up for Pretty Girl Christmas.

My brother wasn't really having any of this picture-taking nonsense.

There, a smile!

Once upon a time, we used to fight over holding my cousin John as a baby. Now he's way taller than both of us.

Dinner table!

After handling dinner clean up, we sat down for a few games. There was a quick round of A Christmas Story trivia - the game didn't go over as well as I'd planned - and then we stuck to our traditional game of Outburst. More pictures were taken before we sat down to a jam-packed dessert table.

My cousin Clancy playing game show hostess.

Traditional stair picture, with the prompt that we should put on scary faces.

Height order Brady Bunch picture, complete with gang signs by the guys.

Charlie's Angels.

Once dessert was finished, I had to drive my cousin out to the parkway. When I returned, the parents were involved in some Serious Talk, so we played Wii and then Lynds and I iced cupcakes for the following day. Unfortunately, due to the snow, there was no party the next day. I was seriously bummed, but it was nice to have another day to sleep and recover from my exhausting (and fabulously fun) week.

The snow has been a relaxing little break for me. I should be plenty rested for New Year's Eve festivities.

How was your Christmas? Did you get anything good? Spill!