I hope everyone enjoyed their time with family and friends yesterday. Dan and I had a great time this year, despite the fact that he had to work Christmas Day. Christmas lasted three days for us, so I thought I'd break down what happened each day and share some pictures that I snapped on my phone along the way.
Christmas Eve Eve
Is that even a thing? Well, if not, I say it should be.
Like last year, we headed over to Dan's sister-in-law's house and decorated gingerbread men. Only, this time, they were made out of sugar cookies. Tracy found large cookie cutters on Amazon to make gingerbread men and women.
Once all of the cookies were decorated, we snapped photos of them and uploaded them onto Facebook for our friends to vote on their favorite. I'll share my (rather creepy) gingerbread woman and a mitten that I decorated.
I would share the other creations, but the boys thought it'd be funny to make the gingerbread men anatomically correct....
After Dan's nephew went to sleep, the adults played a game of Cards Against Humanity. The first time I had heard about this game was in a gift idea post from Young House. So, I clicked on over to the game's website and knew we had to add it to our collection of games. It's played very similarly to Apples to Apples, just not as PG. This game is definitely an "adult" game. Some cards will make you blush. Some cards are wrong in some many ways. You have been warned! :)
The next morning, Dan and I woke up and celebrated our Christmas a little early. Dan has had to work every holiday this year, and Christmas was no different. So, rather than waking up crazy early on Christmas to unwrap gifts, we figured opening them a day early wouldn't hurt. We did the same thing last year, so maybe this is becoming a tradition of ours?
I didn't do much decorating this year. Placed some small decorations on our buffet and hung the stockings. Besides that, I just wrote a holiday saying (inspired by this pin) on the chalkboard frame I finally got around to making (after mentioning the plans in this post).
Most of our gifts were wrapped in newspaper this year. Dan didn't think I'd actually go through with wrapping gifts in newspaper, so he stuck to the traditional route of wrapping paper. But I had way too much of it piling up in my classroom, so I figured I could recycle some of it. Newspaper, curling ribbon, and bows. I think they turned out pretty cute.
After opening gifts, we ate breakfast and had a lazy morning around the apartment. Dan loaded his new game onto the computer and I
researched looked around on Pinterest for instructions on how to season the cast iron pan that I had just unwrapped.
After a few hours, we showered, loaded up the car with gifts, and headed into Orlando. We dropped off gifts at my parent's house and talked with them for a bit. Then, we headed over to my in-laws for our traditional Christmas Eve gathering.
Although we live in Florida and it wasn't as cold as the rest of the nation, we still decided to light a small fire. My eagle scout was tasked with getting it started and making sure it stayed lit.
Dan's brother traveled down from Atlanta the weekend prior and stayed with us a couple nights. He, of course, remembered to pack his Grinch hat so that he could be the official carver of the "roast beast."
While snapping photos of Brian, I noticed this magnet with a picture of the Hubby from elementary school. Wasn't he cute?
As soon as the turkey and roast beef was carved, we sat around the table and ate dinner. Dan's nephew even took everyone's dishes to Grandma for her to wash. I think he was trying to speed up the process so he could open gifts.
After dinner it was time to gather around the tree, snap some more photos, and open presents.
It's crazy how much this kid has grown in a year!
After presents, it was time for dessert and coffee. Dan's nephew was glued to the computer the rest of the night tracking Santa. Every year he worries that he won't get home before Santa reaches his house, so we pull up the Santa Tracker to reassure him.
Then, Uncle Brian joined him on the couch. Uncle Brian was asked if his hair would grow. While the rest of us tried to stop laughing, Brian explained that hair would grow on only part of his head.
We headed home not too long after. Normally we'd stay in town overnight, but Dan had to work the next morning, so it made more sense to go home.
Wednesday morning, Dan woke up before dawn and headed into work for a 12 hour shift. I took my time getting ready before making the hour long trip back to Orlando to spend the afternoon with my side of the family.
My mom had caught some sort of bug, so she was feeling under the weather. Her brother and sisters came over along with my stepsister's family. We had pulled port and ham sandwiches for lunch. When you're sick, you go simple. :)
I didn't get many pictures at mom's, but I did make sure to snap a picture of my niece and nephew playing their new game of Monopoly so I could send it to Dan as an I-told-you-so.
Dan thought that the kids would never play Monopoly - especially since it was the original version and not one of the fancy new ones. But I loved the game as a kid and thought they would like it too. Plus, they love counting Grandma and Grandpa's money jar whenever they come over. And, I thought it might help my nephew who is struggling a little with adding and subtracting larger numbers; he can learn math without knowing he's learning. And what would you know? Monopoly was the first and only toy/game that they chose to open up and play with. #proudaunt
After lunch, I packed a to-go back of pulled pork and macaroni for the Hubby along with a plate of fudge and made the long drive out to his station. I met one of his supervisors and we opened presents out of the trunk of my car in front of the station (I'm sure people driving past thought we were more than a little odd). After about an hour, I headed on home and left Dan and his supervisor to finish watching Forrest Gump.
This year Christmas a little long and drawn out. But, it's better than it flying by. If you want more Christmas fun, you can check out photos from last year's Christmas and our first Christmas as newlyweds here and here. I'll be back tomorrow to share the gift we got my sister. Hint: It involves paint and Ikea.