Sunday, December 27, 2015

It Was a Holly-Jolly Christmas of the Best Kind!

It couldn't have been better! Dan, Tim and I drove to Chris and Kelsey's house on Wednesday - Christmas Eve Eve - and got there around 1:30 p.m. Kelsey had taco soup in the crock pot, and Chris had baked some bread. The wonderful aromas teased us all afternoon, until we ate together that evening.

Although we were listening to "White Christmas" on the radio, it was the farthest thing from a white Christmas in Houston. It was in the mid- to high-80s, and the kids spent a good while playing outdoors. Finally, we were all too hot, and had to come inside.

Before dinner we had time to bake some Christmas sugar cookies. The kids really got into it this year, and stayed with it until every last cookie was baked, iced and decorated. Yum!

We ate a late dinner of steaming bowls of Kelsey's taco soup and slices of freshly-baked bread. It was really good!

The next day was Christmas Eve, and the excitement level was growing in leaps and bounds. After breakfast (prepared by Chris) the kids built and decorated their little gingerbread houses. They turned out really cute, and provided a good hour of fun for the kids.

The temperatures continued to be hot and humid -- I'm pretty sure it hit 90 degrees during the afternoon. The kids played outside again, which helped release some of the pent-up energy and excitement.

Even Max, our Welsh Corgi granddog, seemed to perk up for the holidays. Max is 15 years old, and every time we visit, we wonder if it will be the last time we see him. His senses of hearing, sight and smell are pretty impaired in his old age, and his hips and hind legs are weak and wobbly. But he's still a sweet-natured, special part of the family. it was good to see him enjoying all of the Christmas festivities. 

We all enjoyed our non-traditional, but delicious, main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve. Kelsey did almost all of the work, and it came together perfectly -- home-cooked pulled pork, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, and pumpkin pie.

Christmas Eve night we all gathered around the television and watched 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (the mouse family version). After the movie, the kids posed for a few pictures in front of the tree, said their good-nights and went to bed. Robert was sleeping in Clara's room, so that Uncle Tim could have his bedroom, so we wondered if it would be hard for them to fall asleep. But, amazingly, they were out like a light, just five minutes after going to bed!

Christmas began early, but the kids heeded their daddy's instruction of the night before - not to come downstairs until 7:00. At LAST, it was time! Santa had come, bringing Robert some Lego sets, as he had asked for, and surprising Clara with a marvelous snap-together electronics circuit set. Other favorite gifts included new bathrobes for both, roller skates for both, a Nerf ammo vest for Robert, and some new fashion scarves for Clara.

Robert coming down the stairs on Christmas morning.

There was an awesome Nerf gun war on Christmas afternoon!
The rest of Christmas Day was relaxed and enjoyable. Since our main meal had been on Christmas Eve, we were able to enjoy the leftovers all Christmas Day. It was really a wonderful Christmas, all centered around family.

Kelsey and Chris with Clara and Robert

Linda and Dan with the kids

Tim with the kids
The morning after Christmas, we all ate a farewell breakfast at a local restaurant, and then Dan, Tim and I headed back to Temple. The sunny weather had ended and storms were threatening, however the heavy rains held off until we made it home. When we first got into the car, we noticed this little hitchhiker on our roof!

There was a lot more traffic going home than there had been on our trip to Houston on Wednesday, but we made it just fine. Dan and I didn't last very long that evening. We were tired and both headed to bed by 8:30-ish, thanking the Lord for the great gift of FAMILY.

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