My parents announced this year that they won't be hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays anymore, so it's up to us kids to take turns. This year, my oldest brother hosted both holidays. I missed Thanksgiving due to being sick, but made it for Christmas.
It was a lot of fun. :) Much to my surprise, I was able to get my ENTIRE family involved in playing a game where participants had to use a crayon to draw a Christmas picture according to my verbal directions. Easy enough, right? Well... the trick was that they could NOT look at their papers while doing so!
We decided to draw names this year... adults drew adult names and kids (cousins) drew kids names. We all sat in a circle and took turns opening our gifts. My oldest brother couldn't wait until our niece (who is going to be 20 soon) got to the house so she could be the "featured gift opener". He made a point of telling her that basically he felt sorry for her over the years because she always got crappy gifts (lol), so he got her something really good. As she was opening her gift, one of the youngest cousins squealed in delight when she saw the box: a zhu zhu pet! (If you don't know what a zhu zhu pet is, click HERE.) She excitedly told her cousin how she had one JUST like it, and proceeded to ask if she had the zhu zhu pet cities... LOL! My niece opened the box to find....
I'm talking at least 4x6x1". It was way too funny. The good sport that she was, she suggested my youngest brother (her step-dad) use his high pressure tools and turn it into a diamond for her. Someone else suggested she put it under a stack of books, and in a few million years she'd have a great diamond.
She did get a real present, though. My brother finally handed over a gift card which technically was from her cousin.
And now, the family photos:
Aside from a wedding or funeral, this is about as dressed up as you will ever see my Dad. And yes, his shirt is *always* unbuttoned! My Mom, on the other hand, she always wears something fushia and sparkly for the holidays.
This is the featured gift opener, my oldest niece, along with the newest niece in the family. The baby slept through most of Christmas. She was sleeping when everyone got there, and when she woke up there were TONS of people. The look on her face was precious... kind of like: 'Holy Crap. Where did all these people come from?'
My nephew and his Dad decided to travel by snowmobile to the Christmas celebration. On the way, he crashed his sled and smashed his thumb. Obviously, the injury didn't hinder his video game playing ability!
Two more nieces. The older one has moved away from home and goes to college. The younger one complained that she doesn't know how to smile for photos, lol.
This is another of my oldest nieces, along with her BF. Both are sporting Christmas presents -- hers, a pink plaid hoodie, and his the 49er's cap.
My niece, the princess. She was excited to tell everyone she got a Princess Ariel Styling Salon from Santa. Then when she opened her Christmas gifts, she got a Princess Ariel crown and jewelry, and a Princess Baby Ariel who also had a crown!
I've been using the Gingerbread House as my travel stitching for quite awhile. It's almost finished, so I decided I'd get this one finished up by the end of this year. I did a bit more stitching on it after finishing TMQ:
Both Nancy and Vickie have been prodding me to get moving on JG. In 2011, I will be devoting more time to it.
ON A SAD NOTE...
Rene of Rene la Frog's Ramblings is one of my online buddies and co-moderator of the i-love-cross-stitch group. We have "known" each other for the past 6 years. I recently found out she is gravely ill, and may not be with us much longer.
A virtual candle lighting has been started for her at Greatfulness.org. Please send good thoughts for her and her family. In addition, many stitchers have been participating in a week-long SAL dedicated to Rene.
Also, I am dedicating my TMQ finish to Rene. ((Hugs)) to you, my friend. You are in my thoughts.
Nina at Between Crosses with Nina is hosting a New Year's Giveaway. Go check out her beautiful stitching and the details about the giveaway.