Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas with Family (Part II)

We headed out on Christmas Eve just after sunrise to join our families in Minnesota.  We had a four-day whirlwind of cousins and grandparents, treats and gifts, and full-on Christmas celebrating.
 starting the 4 hour drive

cousins!

 Christmas Eve presents at Grandma and Grandpa's

snuggling Auntie C

In keeping with our theme of (mostly) homemade gift giving, Sylvia made each of her cousins a felt stuffed animal and Camille knit headbands, a bracelet, and a stuffed family for family members.  Together, we also gifted homemade lotion bars, lip balm, ginger-roasted cashews, and ornaments.

Every year, we make the grandparents a small photo album of the girls from throughout the year, and even though I lost most of the original pictures when my computer crashed, I pulled pics from the blog so that they wouldn't miss out on one this year. 

My mom set up an elaborate smoothie bar for Christmas morning, including frozen fruit, ground flax, nuts, fresh pomegranate seeds, coconut, dates, juice, yogurt, candied ginger and more.  Camille asked for spinach to add to hers, and everyone made up their own individual cup of goodness to start out the day. 

 Then, it was time for more presents!
Christmas morn
 
 From all of the various family members the girls mostly got craft kits, science kits, and clothes, plus a skateboard and scooter, as well as baked goods and a gift certificate.  They were totally thrilled!

Papa and I even snuck away for a couple of hours to see a movie (our first 'date' since Christmas three years ago when we brought little nursling Ayla along). 
playing with the cousins and a Kinect dance party


making rubberband bracelets with my cousins' kids

On the day after Christmas, we visited the cousins and Papa's brother and sister-in-law, and then went to my Grandma and Grandpa's for treats, drinks, and a rousing game of Taboo.

helping Great-Grandma open her presents

snuggling with Papa
with Tia Courtney and Fella
On the fourth day, after lunch out with my parents and brother and sister-in-law, we headed home, hearts and bellies full, to uncover the woodpile, pick up our pup from the doggie spa, and settle back in.
The beauty of Christmas (for me) lies in connecting with those we love and we did that in abundance this year!  More on that in the next post....

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