Christmas went by in a blur! Leaving the country for a week in December really put me in the fast lane for getting things done. Luckily, a good friend reminded me to just let some of it go. And I did. The outside decorations were minimal. The Pinterest Projects I wanted to do, were shelved for next year. The 12 Days of Baking… didn’t happen.
But that’s all ok.
Because want to know what DID happen? I had all 3 kids here for Christmas! No distance, no packing away their gifts for another year, no need for Skype! It was wonderful!
Here’s how our little whirlwind time played out…
Wednesday, December 19th
Michael & his girlfriend, Kathya arrived. No problems with their flights – it was Kathya’s first time to fly and she did great!
Thursday, December 20th
The weather was a little chilly, so we had to scrounge around and find coats for all our travelers from warmer weather. Josh and Alyssa left after the lights – he had early work the next day. Kathya was worn out, so Michael went with me to meet Katie at the airport. She had had all kinds of trouble with her shuttle and then her baggage – but it was all forgotten when she found herself seated next to a head writer for the Bold and the Beautiful soap opera! They talked non-stop for the entire flight. Those flights from L.A. are fantastic networking opportunities! We made a little midnight detour on our way home: Kirby and his friends were at their usual Thursday night Karaoke Bar so Katie and Michael ran in to surprise them! They were able to be there just before Kirby went up to sing…
Friday, December 21st
Katie and I went dress shopping so she’d have something nice to wear to her boyfriend, Kirby’s, office party. His company, Blizzard, was hosting a fancy Christmas Party at one of the hotels downtown.
Saturday, December 22nd
Lots of chaos, last minute decorating, shopping and baking needed to be done! We ended up taking everyone to Sam Moon, where we stealthily (is that a word?) bought gifts for Kathya and helped her pick out items for her family. Then we were off to the Romanos’ annual Silly Santa Christmas Party!! As usual, this was a wild and raucous party with gift swapping and stealing. Her house was recently renovated, and it was a fabulous layout for a huge party! Kathya might have been a little overwhelmed, but Michael and Alyssa helped her walk away with some cute Christmas socks! Katie scored a Tshirt that showed a picture of a traffic light, yellow light brightly shining. The caption reads, “Challenge Accepted!” Pretty much sums up her driving!!
Sunday, December 23rd
My annual Cookie Exchange is my excuse for slowing down just a little to spend time with friends over the Christmas holidays. We had a lot of fun – and I finally got the hang of it after, what, 7 YEARS? Click this link to see more pictures and even a slide show of this year’s fun!
I’m not sure what the kids did that evening after helping me with tallying votes and handing out prizes (see the top picture in this blogpost). I think Michael and Kathya went Salsa dancing and the girls went off with some last minute Christmas shopping.
December 24th, Christmas Eve
We spent much of the day cooking and last minute shopping. Alyssa spent most of Christmas Eve celebrating with Josh’s family. Michael, Kathya and Grandma went to a Spanish Mass. Michael and Kathya went Ice Skating on the roof of Whole Foods!
Then we all got back together for the evening traditions. This year, we had Tex-Mex food for our theme – Ron bringing back homemade tamales from work, making our Christmas Eve Chili, everyone’s favorite bacon-wrapped jalapenos, Josh’s homemade salsa recipe, and tacos. We put on our annual Chevy Chase “Christmas Vacation” movie and then went out to look at neighborhood light displays.
December 25, Christmas Day
I don’t know why my pictures are always blurry on Christmas Day. Year after year, this happens to me. I guess even the camera is excited!!! Lucky for me, gone are the days of pre-dawn openings. We all got up around 9 a.m., finding filled stockings, presents sprawling across the floor, yummy breakfast parfaits, and coffee simmering.
And just as a little explanation of what some of these pictures are:
- Grandma & Katie (more Grandma than Katie) were laughing because Grandma gave Katie the photo of NYC that Katie gave to Gma last year! Grandma couldn’t remember buying it, but saw it in her apartment, associated New York with Katie, and thought…”Hey, I must have bought that for Kate!” I think we’re going to start a tradition of giving this same gift back and forth!!
- Alyssa is wincing because Michael is wielding a steak knife to help her open her laptop box
- Katie opening a great blouse from Nicaragua
- Michael opening presents from last year and this year
- Kathya with her new hat (behind Michael)
- The Popcorn popper at the bottom is by far, Ron’s favorite gift from the kids!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year! We did!
- 2012 Cookie Exchange
- My Cookie Exchanges
- Christmas 2011 (where we have to Skype with Michael!)
- Christmas Eve 2011
*I had a very exciting Nicaraguan trip in early December and Michael had a very exciting time between Christmas and New Year’s… those will both get their own blogposts soon! So stay tuned!!