Friday, December 25, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Every year the Christmas holiday comes in a bit differently.  When the kids were little it was always a hectic time of gifts that had to be hidden...usually Jack stored them at the office so no peeking was involved! Santa visits, church and school programs and packages mailed in and out.  Christmas cards had pictures of the kids so relatives far away could see how they had grown and we didn't go to Chicago back then because they always celebrated on Christmas Eve and it just wasn't going to work with our crew.  Then the boys got older and were involved in basketball that made it impossible to leave town because of practices and games...a big deal in high school!  Now the Santa visits were replaced with school activities and dances and girlfriends and all the hoopla that teens have in their lives.  The boys grew up and now have families of their own.  We always celebrated Christmas day with Jack's parents at the farm.  His Mom passed away in February of 2000, and his Dad in February of 2001.  Now the family gathers with us and we have carried on the tradition like they did it.  His Mom always had a scented mixture on the stove that was cinnamon and spices so when you walked in it sure smelled like Christmas.  The first year we lived here I remember my oldest son walking in and saying how it smelled just like Grandma's on Christmas...yep, I steeped the spices then and still do.  Some things don't change I guess.  The one thing that does change are the ages of the players.  Time flies and kids grow up way too fast...although it seemed forever when they were young!  I capture what seems to be the same things every year...the faces, the food, the gifts, the smiles...but I know in years from now, perhaps when someone else is hosting this special day, they will look back and wonder where the time went and remark on how young they were and hopefully they won't forget to have that special cinnamon smell and perhaps say that it reminds them of YaYa and PawPaw's at Christmas...and hopefully it will still be the most wonderful time of the year.
Christmas Eve had the sun shining and air a balmy 60de!
Chubbs and I took a nice hike in the woods.  I  hope he's not licking his lips because of a deer poop snack!
Usually these guys are put away before the first snow but since we haven't had any snow they are dressed for the holiday instead!
The gang starts to assemble this afternoon....Jackie is holding his daughter's new dog. His name is Happy and he and Chubbs got along just great.
Phil found his seat.  Comfy?
Tree was ready!
Family gathered..
Gifts opened and examined before dinner.
Ham anyone?
Belly up to the island for some grubb.
Cousins being silly at the kiddo table. Cameron and Lexi.
Adults being silly at the big folk table!  After eating. the kids played inside and out. The weather was really nice today too so it was fun to watch them play with new toys and ride around the pines on the Gator.  But soon it was time for them to head home or to other spots to celebrate with other relatives.  Last good-byes for the day.
Jackie and Evelyn.
Summer with her new pal, Happy.
Summer with her sweet boyfriend we just love..Brett.
Evelyn's daughter Megan just chillin' .
Jordan minus Eddy....Eddy our granddog had to stay home because our Grandson Cameron is allergic to him.  Thankfully Chubbs doesn't shed so we're good there.
Anthony is smiling because he's officially taller than YaYa!  Much taller! He still has a way to go before topping PawPaw however.  The day was fun and I can't believe another year has come and gone.  Tomorrow I can sing "Happy Birthday" to my year old and all's well! Yep, this gal is hanging up her Christmas apron and thinking it was the most wonderful time of the year.
Merry Christmas from the Pines to one and all!


joeh said...

Good times!

selvageedge said...

Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. So nice that you had so many gathered. I can't believe how grown up everyone is. I remember Anthony being spoon fed yogurt during Sacrament meeting to keep him still. No way is he already taller than you!!! Good to hear that Cameron can be around Chubbs without allergy problems. Poor Eddy. Hopefully he got a good treat too.

Merry Christmas!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, dear YaYa!

Thank you for sharing highlights of Christmas 2015 at the Pines. We hear a lot about the sights and sounds of the season, but you reminded us of the delightful smells that fill the air at Christmas time. By now I know your wonderful family pretty well, and the changes in the kiddos are noticeable from year to year. I'm happy to see all the happy, smiling, loving faces that surrounded you. You are very lucky to have such a large and close knit clan. If you have family, you have everything. I'm glad that Chubbs found a new dog buddy in Happy. I'm beginning to wonder if Chubbs and Eddy will ever meet. I hope so!

Merry Christmas to you and your entire lovely family, dear friend YaYa!

betty said...

Wow, i cant believe its been a year already with your knee surgery! Time flies! Looked like you all had a wonderful time and day together :)


Julia said...

Your house reminds me of my house at Christmas time. What a blessing to have family gathering. Such a hub of activity. It's so important that you keep up with some great traditions for the next generation.
Happy Birthday to your knees Yaya. I hope that they last you a very long time.
Merry Christmas

John Edwards said...

What lovely pictures - and a super time it looked to be sure!

gin said...

Wonderful!! I love when the dog-relatives get to go to the family gatherings. We have plenty grand dogs who attend also.

Laurie said...

I love your traditions. Ours changed this year and I don't do good with changes, but we had a great Christmas, none-the-less.

Kay G. said...

What a great time you have shown us!
HAPPY, that is a great name for a dog, he looks like he is smiling at us in the photo!!

Kerri said...

Merry Christmas YaYa! Christmas' do change through the years...but I believe certain traditions within our families are what makes things special. Happy...what a great name for a cute little dog!

acorn hollow said...

Another great Christmas. You do wonder what traditions that the kids will carry on. I know my daughter has captured a few of them already.
Looks like a great time was had by all and happy birthday to your knees.


thanks for sharing your holiday. It reminded me of our traditions over the years. It's different now with r gone but still the kids come and bring Christmas with them. They are what Christmas really is. Gifts, food, laughter, all of it in the mix. But the kids and their kiddies makes all the difference. Hugs Yaya.

Hilary said...

Glad you had such a lovely time. Everything looks just beautiful. Wishing you and yours a very Happy 2016!

Sweet Tea said...

Wonderful Christmas traditions. Isn't this weather crazy?!
Glad all went well and glad that Chubbs is feeling good once more.
btw, Your Mom looks great!

Susan Anderson said...

What a great family you have!
Somehow, Christmas memories always seem to be my best ones…


CatieAn said...

what a lovely post and lovely family traditions