Don we now our gay apparel
Fa La La, La La La, La La La
Running out the door to Auntie Seen's for Christmas dinner
I employed my Thanksgiving strategy of Get-The-Group-Picture-Done-First-Thing-So-It's-Out-Of-The-Way-And-People-Are-Still-Fresh-And-Thus-Less-Grumbly, and people, this is the way to do it. I made an (obnoxious) announcement forewarning everyone that there will be a group photo before dinner, and everyone quickly corralled together, snippity snap and we were done, and everyone was genuinely happy in this photo (or at least, not 100% annoyed). Christmas Win!
Nacky and Papa brought Santa hats for the kiddos
This picture makes me giggle
Here's where I should stop and mention the extra layer of significance spread over this Christmas Day.
B home. Here with us. After enduring months of radiation treatment.
No one said anything too specific about it on Christmas Day - I think we all just reveled in the together-again-ness of the day. Reveled in B's strength and endurance, in life set right by being reunited, in the normalcy after months of abnormal. Abnormal that we had all accepted in words and day-to-day but that, in the few scattered moments of reflection we are afforded from time to time, still left us shocked and bewildered, left us wondering what just happened? B went through radiation treatment? For a tumor? Whaaaaat?
I can't say that much has changed in that regard yet.
But it was a warm and merry Christmas day "awl togethah", as BB would say.
After dinner, we all settled in the living room for our family Secret Santa gift exchange. Uncle Matt chooses not to participate in the gift exchange, so this year Auntie Seen decided to play a joke on him. Once we were all comfortable, I started off the gift exchange, and I announced, "This year for Secret Santa, I had.....Matt!" Matt snapped to attention, and, shocked, protested, "But I didn't do it!"
And I, slightly confused, said "Well, I had you!"
Matt looked confused and worried, and then Serene said, "Well, wait, I had Matt!" and then each family member chimed in "No, I had Matt!", "No, I had him!" and then we all threw gift-wrapped, silly socks at him that Serene had bought for him. It was fun to surprise him and force him to participate in the gift exchange against his will - mwah ha ha. Merry Christmas :)
After our little scheme was completed, we had our actual gift exchange.
Auntie Seen got shark adult-sized footie jammas. That she wears every night.
And BB got a a new pair of cowboy boots from Auntie Shawna and Jeff! Being that BB asks to wear his old cowboy boots that he has outgrown nearly every day, there was no more perfect gift for him. Shawna also gave him her cowboy hat, which he had worn when he was Woody for Halloween.
We got the girls these matching hats, one of my favorite gift finds of the season.
And a science book for B and a drawing and painting book for Tada.
BB opening his magnet block set from Auntie Seen (wearing his rescue pack from Auntie Jen, which he didn't want to take off for days and days).
Relaxing by the fire with pie
It was a lovely, full Christmas day. And it ended on a perfect note, when, as we pulled into the driveway that night I spotted a glittery something dangling down the center of our front door wreath.
Yes, we were gnomed again on Christmas Night.
Oh, Holy Night!
It wasn't until the next morning that we realized that we had not only adopted a gnome ornament, but our tree was also sprinkled with sparkling mushrooms and snails and gnomes.
It was a Christmas miracle of gnomic proportions.
And we are this close to installing video surveillance.