Christmas Eve, Day, and day after were nice and rainy. If it had only been ten degrees colder maybe we would’ve had a white Christmas. Christmas Eve we attended church, which was a lovely musical program– most of the pieces were composed by Sally DeFord. Her daughter was the accompanist and choir director. They did a phenomenal job. It was quite chilly, so I took advantage of the weather and wore my amazing but ridiculous fur coat. I walked into church and my friend, Loini came up to me and told me (in the nicest way, and coming from her was probably a compliment) that I looked very “extra.” I’m not an extra person, though I think I suppress that “extra” version of me, because she is there and once in a while I let her out. I told Loini I agreed, but that it was too big of a shame to not use such an amazing coat and I only got to about once a year since we live in Georgia. When we got home from church, many other family members had to have their turn in the coat. The coat has a good story, but it’s one best told in person. Sunday evening we had a few families over for our annual Christmas Eve party. We had appetizers and dessert and everyone walked away VERY full, with too much food leftover. We had a great time with the Rogers, Woods, and Raymonds. Unfortunately, the Raymonds will be leaving us at the end of January, beginning of February. They just moved here early fall, so we feel a little cheated on our time with them. Loini Raymond and her husband met on their mission in Africa. Loini is from Namibia and she just has an amazing spirit about her.
I’m really bad at taking pictures while hosting, so this is the only photo I took! The rest of these pictures were captured by Loini. I made two different baked Brie’s, a charcuterie board, veggie tray, fruit bowl, bacon-wrapped jalapeños, bacon wrapped shrimp, pig in a blanket, calamari, cream cheese sausage dip, and coconut shrimp, but everyone else brought food too… pretty sure we could’ve had enough food with what I made alone, but it was a feast to remember!
Christmas morning the kids were up by 4:30. I told them to go back to bed… not sure if they did but they didn’t wake us up until 6:57 (we told them they could at 7… pretty sure my parents got woken up much earlier than that). It was a lovely morning and the kids loved giving each other gifts and opening their own. Harvey got all the things Ninja turtles. We try to stick to: Something to wear, something to do, something to learn, something to read, something they need, something they want and a Santa gift. I LOVE Christmas, so it is hard to stick to this number, but I did my best. Beverly said her favorite present was spending time with her family, but that the gel nail light she got from me was pretty awesome too– oh and the mermaid tail from Santa. Maverick said his favorite present was all the Star Wars things he got (his Santa gift was a light saber, his something to do was a lego set, and his something he wanted from us was a pack of Star Wars characters). Harvey said “Turtles,” which means Ninja Turtles, so basically all of his presents because they were pretty much all ninja turtle themed. Max said his favorite was his “beginner drone,” the apple home pod, and the mini microscope. Mine was truly watching everyone enjoy the gifts I picked out for them, but Andy got me a really nice wallet that I thought was super thoughtful because he noticed my old one was starting to wear on the edges. I think Mom Jackson won for his favorite present: a Mandalorian Helmet, but I may have taken a close second with the Star Wars themed scrubs.
I’m not sure who likes Andy’s present more… Maverick or Harvey… Beverly didn’t ask for much for Christmas. Grandma Jackson got her some spa items, since she really enjoys doing spa day with her mom. Her real gift was quality time with mom. We had a spa morning on Christmas Day. We did face masks and I painted her toenails. And then we spent the next morning doing art. I gave her her first art lesson… why is it so hard to teach your own children?? She loves doing art, so when I saw this easel on sale, I snagged it for her. One tradition our family has is opening up a present on Christmas Eve. the kids all picked a gift from Grandma Jackson. Harvey got Mikey’s mask and weapon and literally slept with them.
With the crazy cold/warm/wet/dry weather we had during the break, we got creative with activities. The first few days of the break we did a lot of crafts. We painted ornaments, did a lego nativity, did some sand art that Papa Jackson had bought for the kids, and more. Christmas Day we spent the majority of it helping the kids learn to use their new things (thus the quality time mentioned in the caption above). We decided maybe next year we’ll get things they don’t need quite so much assistance on… because mom and dad were spent. We took them to see Migration Christmas afternoon. We enjoyed the cute, family-friendly film. Tuesday we continued to explore the new toys and do-dads we got for Christmas, so by Wednesday, I was ready to get out of the house and take the kids with me. We were all a little stir-crazy. Andy was on nights for half the week so we left him behind to sleep. I took the kids to the gym, much to Harvey’s chagrin. Then we went to McDonald’s and I let them eat and play to their heart’s content. Thursday we took them to Zoo lights in the afternoon and decided to get dinner on the way home. We tried to eat at a Chinese restaurant, but after the second restaurant fail, we decided fast food was a safer bet and it was getting late and we needed to head home soon. We opted for KFC and the kids really enjoyed it. We ate in the restaurant, which seemed to be a treat for the workers there. They were very helpful and nice. Friday, Andy headed Doctor’s hospital for a day shift and I spent the ENTIRE day putting Christmas away. I didn’t even get a chance to shower until Andy was on his way home from work. BUT! Christmas is put away, and it feels clean and less cluttered, which clears my mind. Saturday we spent the morning cleaning and then took the kids to the new playground down the road. They LOVED it and it brought back so many memories from my childhood. It was about 46 degrees when we go there and barely warmed up to 50 (and we were in the woods– so shade) so I didn’t think we’d stay long. We ended up leaving over two hours later and by then the kids had shed their coats– they must’ve been running around A LOT because I was still freezing.
We spent a big chunk of Christmas break crafting. Here are two flowers I did for some friends. And another friend And another friend And another friend and Max’s friend And another friend and another friend and another friend and another friend and another friend… if you didn’t get one, it isn’t because I don’t love you… I just ran out of time. Let me know if I missed you and I’ll get you next year.
It was a lovely Christmas and made me very grateful for the family that I have. I feel truly blessed.