Julie's Family Christmas
2009 was so big this year that we had to devote an entire and separate page to it. This year the party was hosted by Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike (Muck). We started around 1:00 and the party did not really stop until well into the evening. Kathy and Mike were great hosts and everyone was very appreciative of their efforts. The net result was a wonderful time for all who could make it.
The highlight of Christmas this year was being blessed by the presence of Great Grandma Agnes. She is 98 years young and is doing great. Everyone was thankful that she could be with us to help celebrate. We appreciate the efforts of Uncle Bill and Aunt Nancy who brought her all the way from Racine for the weekend. Maddy and Gabriel really enjoyed seeing Great Grandma and there are some really nice pictures with her that we will cherish forever. It turned out to be a double celebration, as not only did we get a chance to celebrate Christmas, but we also had a chance to celebrate her birthday as she turned 98. Follow this link to see pictures of her cake and birthday celebration.
It was very nice to see Bridget again, it was the first time since we had our journey to China (Wow one month home already!). We also were lucky to have all the out of town kids home, Justin and Megan made it up from St. Louis and Kyle came home from Ames (he is at Iowa State). In total we maxed out at 28 people who made to this edition of the family Christmas Celebration. .
Food of course is a focal point to the celebration. As always, we had much more than we could eat in probably a week. This year, there was some thought to just going with appetizers. Lets just say those plans never really came to fruition as a full roast was served with all the fixings. Then there were tons of desserts and of course cake for Great Grandma.
This year as always, the kids had their unwrapathon. This year was faster than most, as the number of younger kids is starting to dwindle. The family tradition is that once a kid is graduated from high school, they no longer participate in the gift exchange. So we are down to Maddy, Gabriel, Rachel, Jacob and Ben. It is always fun to watch the kids open up their gifts - the aunts and uncles really know how to shop. After the kids gift opening, it is time for the dice game. This year each adult (or as Maddy would say EE-dult) has an ornament and a $10 gift card of their choosing. Then we have a number of dice and you roll until you get doubles. Then you get to pick a gift. In the second round, you get to steal and their is a time limit. Lets just say by the second round things get spirited and boisterous. There is a bit of competitive nature amongst the family. After dinner, the stockings come out as Santa has made special arrangements to deliver for the family even if it is a little after Christmas..
Slowly, the guests begin to depart and things slow down just a bit. A few stay on just a little longer for some WII games and final "family bonding". This is generally the time that Uncle Muck disappears and starts cleaning the house in earnest. If you are looking for pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day follow this link to the Christmas 2009 page.