Christmas is officially a wrap for 2018. This was my first year having my camera during Christmas, so I thought I’d share a quick recap of what we do for the holidays and a few favorite photos from each stop . . .
For “Our Christmas” which I define as the Christmas with just me and Chris, we have a tradition of going to a new restaurant every year that neither of us have been to before. This year we went to The Sycamore in German Village. It was good . . . I’d recommend! I didn’t have my camera on me on this particular night, nor did I have anyone take a photo of the two of us, but I did manage to snap a quick pic on my phone of the dessert — you know, priorities.
CHRISTMAS WITH MY MOM
We host my mom, grandma, and Michael at our house every year. I make dinner — which started as making everything from scratch years ago and has evolved to knowing my limits and now buying some more pre-made types of sides from Whole Foods and picking up turkey from Honeybaked Ham. The direction changed when my mom described my homemade cranberry sauce of 2015 as the most tart thing she has ever tasted. We listen to Christmas music, eat dinner, swap gifts, and mostly laugh at our own jokes. Chris made us fancy coffee in the French press too!
CHRIS’ GRANDMA’S CHRISTMAS
Next up, we head to Chris’ dad’s house where we celebrate with his extended family. Even though it’s technically at my father-in-law’s house, it’s still “Chris’ Grandma’s Christmas” in my mind since she’s the lady in charge of this large family. This party includes grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and babies . . . lots of babies! There’s about 30-45 of us on any given year. Chris’ grandma prays and then we eat and do a white elephant gift exchange. I always leave full of cookies and Chris’ aunt’s yummy whip cream caramel chocolate dessert thing that is a must-have!
CHRISTMAS WITH MY DAD
Christmas morning we head over to my Dad’s house. We open gifts in the morning with my dad, stepmom, and sister, and then my grandma and uncle join us at noon for more gifts, food, and games. It’s always a fun time since my dad loves Christmas! There’s lots of gifts and lots of chatting. This Christmas always includes my dad hiding gifts for us in the tree, and the tree proudly displaying an ornament I made with my photo in it from 1990 (see first photo below). I added the photo of the dog for my sister . . . I can feel my dad rolling his eyes to that through the screen.
CHRISTMAS WITH CHRIS’ DAD
Our last stop is my father-in-law’s where we celebrate with Chris’ immediate family. Joy always prepares a great meal, we spend time with Chris’ siblings, and we watch our nieces’ excitement as they open all their gifts. They provide a lot of entertainment, but this year also included a tiny nephew who just learned to walk! It’s a fun way to end Christmas day before we head back home.
We do some other stops along the way . . . Chris’ grandma’s church on Christmas eve and Chris’ aunts house where I eat half of her dessert table. And every year we get back home on Christmas night around 10 p.m. and talk about our favorite things from the holiday. Chris says the same thing every year, “getting to spend time with my family.” He’s right. I appreciate it more and more every year. I love picking out the perfect gifts for people, and I love all the traditions that are weaved into every house we spend time at, but at the end of the day it’s just fun to connect in person whether it’s an hour or a whole day with our family members. It can be a lot going to so many different places, but how blessed are we to have so many stops to make!
Cheers to our families!