Christmas Gatherings 2014

Well, it’s on into 2015 now, so I might as well do a few little Christmas roundup posts…

Our family holiday celebration officially lasted for exactly a month. It was…intense. Good! But that’s a lot of Christmas.

We kicked off with JC’s family. His parents rented a cabin at Massanutten the weekend after Thanksgiving. We did this last year, and it was a great way to minimize the stress at the actual holiday.

Cousins, not looking at the camera.

Cousins, not looking at the camera.

The night before that,  Mom and I took the kids to Fredericksburg to see my friend’s ballet school do Clara’s Tale, which is the music of The Nutcracker, but a very different story. I was excited to see my friend, whom I rarely see, and I admired her work. I had wanted the kids to see a ballet this Christmas, but I wasn’t sure I could sit through another friggin Nutcracker. This was different enough that I enjoyed it and found surprises in it. The kids had seen a puppet show a few weeks earlier at Wonderment Puppet Theater, called The Nutty Nutty Nutcracker.

 

Petra at Wonderment

Petra at Wonderment

Two moppets and two muppets

Two moppets and two muppets

Theater is magic.

Theater is magic.

They were thrilled to recognize some of the music. Silas and Petra were super excited that they got to go to a thing and stay up wayyyy past their bed time. Both of the kids are now completely obsessed with Clara and pretending to be ballet dancers.

Playing at the cabin

Playing at the cabin

The kids had an awesome time playing with Olivia, and I was happy to reconnect with family I don’t get to see very often, especially my mother-in-law (let’s just say, I’m blessed to not get MIL jokes at all…) and sisters-in-law. JC was raised by some good women, and even though we’re all different, in every possible way, there’s a lot of love and connection between us.

Climbing on Uncle Bonkers

Climbing on Uncle Bonkers (photo by Katie Smith)

OB.SESSED. with Olivia's Frozen Barbies

OB.SESSED. with Olivia’s Frozen Barbies

The highlight, for Silas and Petra, was getting to FINALLY watch Frozen. Olivia brought her copy to share. I was surprised to find that I loved it, too. I may or may not listen to the soundtrack (which I bought like…12 hours after seeing the movie) when the kids aren’t around. So the kids have been playing “Frozen” pretty much all day, every day, for the past several weeks. Petra gets to be Anna, Silas is Elsa, and I am Olaf. Type casting all the way.

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At the Handley Library. Photo by Wendy Werner.

 

Then we had a little lull, before Christmas with my mom, step-dad, brother, and Granny, the weekend before Christmas. We decorated her Christmas tree and had eggnog and all the Christmas things.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

 

My aunt had sent the kids a gingerbread house kit, which they excitedly made (it was not a disaster! I was worried that they might be too little for it, but they did it). They loved it.

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Gingerbread house photos by Wendy Werner.

One unfortunate thing that happened, not long after we left there, was that my Granny slipped on the stairs and broke her hip. She had to go to the hospital, of course, and had surgery. She’s presently in a rehab facility. When I saw her last week, she seemed to be doing pretty well (just angry about having to be there). She has ups and downs…It’s a process.

Petra with G.G. Photo by Wendy Werner.

Petra with G.G. Photo by Wendy Werner.

We were at my dad’s house in WV for Christmas day. My brother and his dog showed up, too. I mention this only because the kids really like his dog. We don’t get to spend much time with my dad, so I was happy to have some time to just hang out with him.

Uncle Austin assists with Amazing Sand

Uncle Austin assists with Amazing Sand

We shared a lovely meal and then JC and I took the children up the road to “hippie Christmas,” where all the people who raised me assemble, eat heartily, and laugh loudly. Granny, Mom, and Gary had planned to be there, but of course, events took a different turn. I was touched by how everyone asked after her and sent her little presents and told me to tell her that they were thinking about her.

And then Christmas ended at home, with our Twelfth Night celebration. It wasn’t much of a big deal, but we gave the children their presents from us, lit some candles, and enjoyed being together.

More soon, on presents made and received…

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One response to “Christmas Gatherings 2014

  1. Pingback: Gifts bought and made, given and received | Cinnamon&Sassafras·

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