I had a really, really great Christmas this year (besides that darn car accident thing).
On December 23rd, I worked all day and went to the Shrine with my parents, sister, and Pete. Going to the Shrine is a long-time tradition with my family. On Christmas Eve, the four of us would go to the Shrine, drive through the Nativity story, and then come home and order pizza and eat fried chicken. Then we would watch a movie and act out the Nativity story before my parents ushered Emme and I to sleep for Santa to come.
We would wake up the next morning, open presents, eat breakfast, and then get on the road to head up to Chicago, which is where my whole family lives.
However, since this was my first Christmas away from home, we had to move things around a bit. We decided to just shift everything back a day, so we went to the Shrine on the 23rd. We all took turns reading the Nativity story and then drove back to St. Louis, where we watched Christmas Vacation (a Hoffman favorite) and ate fried chicken. We all went to bed around midnight-ish and THEN SANTA CAME!
Santa was good to me this year. I got some sweet stuff:
(one month unlimited yoga card for Marbles Yoga)
So. That was a good time! Then, after opening presents at my house with the parents and sister and Pete, we had scrambled eggs and croissants and then headed down to Cairo.
Then the car thing happened but I already told you about that.
We got to Cairo around 4:30, and hung around for a bit before we headed off to church in Mounds City at 5:30 with Steve, Mary, and Mary Helen. Those three had been cooking and wrapping presents all day so when we got home, we ate potato soup and sausage balls (soooooooo good) and then eventually opened presents. It kills me how generous Pete's family is - they welcomed me into the family immediately, after we had started dating, and this year and last year I was in the family Christmas draw, and...it's just so nice. To be welcomed.
So, Mary Helen was just wonderful and picked out some of the best gifts for me this year:
"The Secret" print
She also got me this really pretty Audrey Hepburn journal (which is perfect, because I'm about to run out of room with my current journal) and a pretty pink necklace that says "Peace Love & Cupcakes). I would take pictures but I don't have my new camera up-and-running yet.
Steve and Mary bought me some Moleskine notebooks - which is perfect, because I'm almost through my current one of those, too. And they're pink. Good call!
The next morning, we went over to Grandma Ann's house - Pete's grandma, Jeffie's mom. It was nice because she lives only a few blocks away. Up in Chicago, when we go from family to family, we have to drive usually an hour between each house. So the commute was nice and easy.
There were SO MANY PEOPLE there. And I actually knew most of their names! It was pretty impressive. So it was here that we did one of the name draws and Pete's cousin (?) Nikki gave me a Visa giftcard, which was great. And of course I already spent it, on this:
So besides my giftcard, Grandma Ann got me two books that I've had my eye on for some time:
We left Grandma Ann's pretty quickly - after getting everyone outside to take a huge family picture on Grandma Ann's rickety old porch - so that Mary Helen could head back to her house because she was making dinner (which is really lunch) for her whole side of the family. So we rushed back over there, continued to bake and cook and clean and get ready for everyone else to show up, and then they came and we ate and opened presents.
Bridgett, Mike, and their adorable kids came down from St. Louis too, and got there right in time for dinner. They gave me such a thoughtful gift. I need to take a picture to post it, but Bridgett went through the blog and found three pictures that I had taken at the City Museum and had turned it into a poster! It's so cool. I opened it and looked at the picture and I was like - huh. Those pictures look SO familiar. And Bridgett said, "well...they're taken from your blog!" And THEN it all made sense.
Christy gave me a beautiful Vera Bradley bag (my first Vera Bradley!), which is perfect, because I need a new bag.
So, anyways. I realized that this post seems really superficial, which is not a characteristic that I consider myself to be - but I won't lie. I DO get really excited about receiving presents, but I actually get more exciting about buying them. I take pride in my buying skills. I try to really, really find something that the person will LOVE beyond words. I think Pete and I did pretty good this year (I hope).
So - please don't think I'm materialistic with this post. I just get excited :)
I hope you all had a good holiday, too! What did you get?