I don't know that we really planned it this way, but we've naturally formed some Christmas traditions.
One is to make cookies and chocolate covered pretzels to give to friends and neighbors. I didn't catch any photos of the pretzels because I spent most of my time trying to keep Chandler's hands out of the hot melted chocolate! But once he went down for a nap, Chance, Charlie and I decorated some cookies...
By the time I got the camera out though, Chance was bored with it and went to play. But Charlie amazes me with his long attention span now that he's older. I love it!
A glimpse at the handiwork.
On to Christmas Eve... We had a relaxing morning. The boys even got some wrestling time in with Daddy.
This year we decided to give the boys a chance to buy gifts for each other. Charlie said to Chance, "I hope you get me an air guitar." LOL So then we actually found a guitar for Charlie. As soon as we were reunited with Charlie, Chance says, "Guess what I got you Charlie? A guitar!!"
Here's the guitar.
Then Chance gets his present from Charlie, a container of Army Men. Which Charlie promptly asks if he can have some. LOL.
Then Charlie helped Chandler open his gift. Chan still doesn't quite get the gifts thing yet.
So that's our new tradition. Then came our old traditions: we attended the Christmas Eve service at church, followed by a party at my Aunt Cindy's out in Driftwood (and all of my dad's side of the family). Aunt Cindy's party is really a big white elephant gift exchange and my sides usually hurt from laughing so much by the end of it! This year did not disappoint. I think we had 53 adults, in addition to the kids' exchange. That's a lot of stealing, if you know what I mean. It was so fun.
Big Daddy with Chandler and Charlie.
Nana with Chandler and his cousin William.
I LOVE this photo of my great-aunt Meme, who was so excited to get a bottle of Crown Royal. She is a hoot!!
And here's my sister Desi giving Chandler some smooches...
And here's the big family...My grandmother with her 10 children (and one niece in there).
Clearly, we aren't very serious when we're together. And yes, that'd be my dad down front. ;)
Christmas morning Santa brought gifts! At 4:30 AM we heard "Ahhwesome! Choo choo! Ahhwesome CHOO CHOO!!" from the living room, where Chandler had stumbled in the night to see his gift from Santa. He rode it for a little bit and thankfully I managed to get him back to bed. Later Charlie and Chance awoke to find Santa had gotten them leapsters (handheld game systems) and games.
Here are Chance and Chandler riding the Choo Choo.
This was our second time in the 5 Christmases we've lived here that we were home Christmas morning. We've usually been at Chuck's parents' home in Austin. But this year they sold their home and are living in an RV. So it was a special treat that they drove down for the day to be with us!
Chuck BBQ'ed for us for lunch. It was SO good it deserved a picture.
You know it's good when it's followed by a nap (Chuck and his dad).
The next day we headed to Austin to spend some time with the Thier family. Tammy, Chuck's sister, and her husband had driven in from Nashville TN.
We (well, "they", since I'm not musically inclined...) played Beatles Rock band. But I sang along. Well, more like, hummed. ;)
This is Chuck's parents with Kaylie, their youngest granddaughter.
The boys played in Meesh and Ryan's backyard.
Then we ate dinner and had a gift exchange. Charlie was just slightly excited about getting legos.
Elijah was excited to be thrown up by his daddy. Don't you just love this age? Charlie and Chance are already past this point...
Hendrix is thinking about getting mobile.
Kaleb enjoyed passing out gifts.
And Kaylie enjoyed her tutu.
The next day we went to church and then out to eat, followed by cupcakes made by Aunt Melanie, for Chance's birthday.
Then we spent more time with Aunt Tammy and Uncle Brandon. At one point, Chance got hurt and only wanted Aunt Tammy. Then, as we were walking back from the lake, he insisted Aunt Tammy carry him.
Then they got to play with Charlie's toy helicopter. So fun.
We are so blessed to have the large and loving families that we do!! It makes every Christmas, and every tradition, special!