White Christmas

I’m super behind in my blogging (I have about five drafts half-written), but I don’t want to get bogged down by trying to post in order. Here is what happened for Christmas… you know… yesterday.

This was my first holiday back home since Christmas of 2004. We’ve heard horror stories about family holidays and have built some fun traditions of our own, so we were a little bit nervous diving in head-first. Buying gifts on our limited budget was a bit stressful, especially as it came right before our trip, but in the end, all of the chaos and stress was worth every second.

Half-way into the month, my sister came up with her husband and three kids from Nevada. We enjoyed a couple of meals, ice skating at The Village in Meridian, and some present-opening before she had to make the trip back home before Christmas.

Throughout the month, our schedules were jam-packed with dinner and lunch dates. We met with high school friends, cousins, aunts, nieces and nephews, and Grandma. It was so nice to finally have the time to catch up with everyone. We always feel like our time in Boise is way too short to visit with everyone, so we made sure to take advantage of our extended visit.

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On Christmas Eve, Tammy took us a out for an amazing brunch at 13th Street Grill. It snowed for most of the day and night, ensuring a white Christmas. For dinner, we all went over to Dad and Martina’s house. We sat around a long table and enjoyed some delicious prime rib along with the homemade horseradish sauce I always look forward to when I come to visit.

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We woke up a little earlier than usual on Christmas day, had some cookies and coffee for breakfast, then broke into the presents. Mom joined us on Skype and watched me win $15 on the scratch tickets from my stocking. Tammy heard I was a present-shaker, so she trick-wrapped all of the presents using multiple boxes and decoy items. It made each gift a little more exciting to open.

We all went over to Dad and Martina’s for Christmas supper. It was a full house with both my step-siblings and their families. We had various sausages and potato salads for dinner. I tried a little piece of each and decided the chicken sausage was my favorite.

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After supper, we played games and opened presents. Josh and I had a lot of fun watching the chaos of five kids collecting and opening their gifts. It was a storm of wrapping paper, amazon boxes, and tissue paper. There was some light chatter, but the bulk of the noise came from the seemingly random shouts of “Thank you, Oma and Opa!” from every corner of the room and the occasional, “Does anyone see the baby?”

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I found her!

It was a wonderful Christmas. We got all the perfect gifts (nothing bigger than 3 inches square) and had an amazing time with our families. This is the perfect send-off before we head out for our next big adventure, and something to look forward to when we come home next year.

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