Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Sorry for my temporary disappearance off the face of the earth.

At our family gathering on the 22nd, Beanie’s baby cousin (or second cousin-third removed, or something like that…We call her a “cousin!”) threw up. The next night, both the Bean and Rob woke up with the stomach flu. Beanie was doing her finest projectile vomiting so frequently, that we thought we would be eating hospital food for Christmas. (Not that our hospital has bad food…but still…). She hung in there, but the next day of my home and family boot camp consisted of cleaning and decluttering the home, while the rest of my family watched cartoons in bed.

Christmas was great, but last night, I was the one to wake up with the upset stomach. After sleeping all day, I finally felt normal today!

So, I thought I would share some pictures from our *much simpler* Christmas. It was fun, low-stress, and great in every way we thought it would be!

Our first party was with my grandma and cousins. Instead of making a mess out of her house, we reserve the fellowship hall at her church. The kids enjoyed dancing on the stage, and had lots of room to run around. Unfortunately, my camera battery died as soon as we got there, so I don’t have pictures.

Next, it was time to Rob’s family’s celebration on the 21st.

All decked out with my sister-in-law, Kelly! We all brought goofy stocking stuffer gifts.

For this celebration, projectiles are a must. Dad put them in stockings, and I wrapped them under the tree!

We couldnt decide on a Christmas movie, so we watched "Indiana Jones." It is about Jesus, after all!

Rob got some interesting stocking stuffers.

Kelly enjoyed our great thrift store find--a Buffet piccolo!

On the 22nd, we all headed up near our place, to make merry with Rob’s aunt, uncle, and cousins.

Hanging out with her baby cousin.

Helping the littler one open her presents...

Uncle Steve's first Christmas as a grandpa!

The high point of the evening is the White Elephant auction. You never know what you're going to get!

Some people are happy with their finds...(until someone else steals them!)

Who knows? You might even get a Snuggy--with legs!

And then there's "The Swamp." Years ago, Rob's grandma brought it to the White Elephant auction. It has been returning every year since. with new "decorations" added onto it. I picked a box that was not the right shape, but I didn't see that, underneath, was written "part 1..." I do have to say it's previous steward let some parts fall off, so we'll have to take the hot glue gun to it for next year.

We had a few days to recover, then it was Christmas morning at our house!

Presents (and green confetti) from Santa!

And the stockings were hung...

Beanie is NOT a morning person--and Christmas cant change that!

The Beans fishing game (another thrift store find) gave her reason to wake up!

Then, in the afternoon, it was time to visit my parents!

Our fancy lunch spread...Good and low-pressure!

From my parents--a new chair, just her size!

From her great-grandma Eileen, a new scarf and hat!

Beanie loved her wooden treehouse set, which will be perfect on the boat!

Snuggling with Grandpa.

So, our experiment with simplifying, paring down, and keeping only the traditions that we REALLY wanted worked wonderfully well. I hope you enjoyed your holiday too!

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