Because of my Vanderbilt chemo schedule, we had to cram all of the family festivities into 2 days. And while two days are not nearly long enough for holiday festivities, it was certainly better than not getting to be together at all. We did all of the important things: played games (Speak Out was hilarious and Ticket to Ride Europe was a hit), ate all the food (appetizer night on Christmas Eve is still the best), attended a Christmas Eve service, ate Whitey's ice cream, and sang Christmas carols at bedtime. Work schedules got in the way of holiday travel for Michael and Micah, which stinks because it's not the same when we're not all together. I would say we had extra hugs but no extra tears this year.
Even though our family goes light on the gifts, I call 2016 the year of the gifts because, well, they were pretty spot on. In addition to my new iPhone 7 (because my 5 died right on time for Christmas), Brian gave me blue tooth headphones (for all of my podcast listening while I clean house), awesome Born booties, and an amazing LED light to add light to my indoor photos (the best $10 ever spent). Brian and I bought iPod nano shuffles for both kids, and they are spectacularly in love. (And, let's be honest - they think they've received access to a personal mobile device, but in reality all they've gotten is music so score one for the parents here.) Camden received a set of twin daggers (don't even ask) from his Uncle Michael and Aunt Liz that brought him to tears because he was so caught off guard.
(Would it be too cheesy to say that our best gift was being together?)
Becky is both a Norwex and Lipsense dealer so we all received cleaning products (this is actually more exciting than it seems) and lipstick (Rory and Addison especially loved experimenting with the lipstick), but the best gifts were the canvases my mom painted for all the grandkids. I know how much thought she put into choosing what to paint and what verse to use for each personality. Rory is especially looking forward to hanging hers up since we're painting and redecorating her room this year.
Brian and I left early Monday morning to return to Nashville for chemo on Tuesday. The kids stayed for an extra day. Becky and the boys drove to Nashville to spend an extra day and a half with us, and that helped make the short 2 days at Christmas feel a bit better. I had to miss the official Boxing Day shopping trip, but Becky and I made a quick mall trip where I found the matching black boots to her brown pair.
These last few days of Christmas break are pretty low-key. We're finishing up the last of the Christmas cookies, not cooking, wearing pj's all day, enjoying our gifts. Next week will be the first week with a work/school schedule in addition to chemo, and I am imagining that this new reality will take some adjustment. I am so grateful for Christmas break to help ease us into it.
Links to previous years: