I wasn't really excited about Christmas this year - the Bah, Humbugs sorta bit me at the last moment. But we've had a wonderful time the past couple of days.
Monday, all seven of Mom's children were together at my sister's home. We usually all get together once or twice a year, so it's something special. There was lots of wonderful food, everyone got to visit, and we had a very interesting gift exchange, thanks to Ryan's Mimi! Everyone laughed so hard and got confused, but in the end, we all got really great gifts. The brothers brought their instruments, as did a couple of the grands. We all sat in a big circle and sang Christmas carols before opening gifts, which is nice. I video'd part of it. I have to remember not to sing next year, though! LOL
Yesterday, the newlyweds opened their home to us for the McCleskey Annual Christmas gathering. We did a non-traditional Christmas lunch of lasagna & salad. We prepared the food, then had our gift exchange. For the first time, we drew names, which was a hit.
After lunch, we played games and Poppi, his Queen and his offspring came down and spent the evening. It was really nice to see them on Christmas - first time in a long time! Peter had to work, but came to pick me up and brought me home in the early evening and I fell asleep in my comfy chair for a couple of hours.
I got wonderful gifts this year!
I got the coolest popcorn bowl set from Amy - they're stoneware and look similar to the popcorn buckets at the movies. There's a large bowl and 4 smaller ones. She included popcorn, butter flavored oil, Lawry's salt and two popcorn seasonings. What a great gift!
For several years, my sisters and I have made a tradition of giving each other "sister gifts". It's so much fun to put thought into something unique to give them. Beth gave me the cutest wristlet bag and a yummy candle. Kathryn gave us all beautiful dark red hurricane vases. Lori gave us the cutest notepad cubes with matching pencils.
At our gathering yesterday, Flora gave me a gown that was on my wish list and the coolest Maxine mini calendar.
Faith & David gave me the coolest ornaments. One's a silver cross with blue jewels and the other is mercury glass. Now I need to find the perfect place for them. Who needs a tree? LOL
Lori gave me a really neat perpetual calendar to go on my desk.
Mom gave me some MUCH needed cookie sheets and two cookbooks, one is from the Mast side of her family - I absolutely love Amish cookbooks, so I can't wait to sit down and read it from cover to cover. She also passed out wall calendars from the Mast General Store in Asheville, NC. They're really awesome, as they're not just a calendar, but are also an almanac!!
My sweet darling gave me 3 lovely gowns and an awesome MP3 player!! Needless to say, I've been loading music on my laptop today, and am going to load the MP3 player later on today. :) I'm so excited! I've been wanting one for several years now, so I'm tickled pink.
Meg, Greg & Hannah gave me a gift certificate for an online scrappy store, so I'm looking forward to shopping while they've got their Holiday sales going on.
So this year has been a really good one. All the gatherings were peaceful, happy ones, and we've got memories that will last through the year!!
How was YOUR Christmas??