Our Christmas celebrations have finally come to an end today, after a weekend spent across the state at my parents’ house. My parents moved to the La Crosse area about seven years ago, and every year since then my sister and my niece along with myself and Terry have been heading to their house the weekend after Christmas for our Christmas celebration. It’s fun to spend the entire weekend together, and over the years we’ve developed quite an arsenal of special traditions!
There were tons of presents, of course ~ I think this year everyone really outdid themselves; there was just so much piled up under the tree and everyone picked out really thoughtful gifts. This year, we also added a new tradition ~ a white elephant gift exchange! We picked the letter Z as a theme, which meant that all gifts had to start with the letter Z. Since there are only five of us adults, we had to be sneaky so that no one would know who brought which gift. Terry and I had to be especially so since we brought our gifts together on a four hour drive! There were some great ideas, including zinnia seeds, ziplocs, and a bug zapper, and check out my Dad’s creative Z wrapping!
We always have tons of fun, playing games and even having contests! This year, Terry and I got Jenga for our 7-year-old niece Hailey, and it was a big hit with the whole family. Dad and Terry find time to head out into my parents’ yard and play wiffle golf every time that Terry and I visit; usually at Christmas their course is covered in snowy obstacles, but this year it was green! This year we also had an Elf trivia contest, put together by Terry, and the goof put 100 questions on it!! It was an intense battle between me and Jaime, and I kicked her butt!
Terry and I got my Dad the game Blokus this year, and we had to bust it out and play a couple rounds. Last year, Jaime and Hailey brought their Wii along, and it was such a hit that they brought it again this year! There were many, many rounds of bowling, and some Just Dance happening as well. Our longstanding tradition at my parents house is to play hours of cards after dinner each night, and I was much too busy kicking butt to get any pictures of that!
We also had tons of incredible food, and that deserves a whole post of its own!
The weekend flew by way too fast; we usually spend four nights there for Christmas, but we stayed home this year for Dan and Nicki’s wedding, so we were only there for two nights instead. On top of that, we had to get up super early this morning to hit the road, because Terry went to the Packer game at noon!
I don’t know what I was thinking, but it really didn’t occur to me that we would be leaving while it was still dark out… It was SO early!
Caribou Coffee is our traditional stop on our way out of town when we leave Mom and Dad’s, and it was especially
welcome needed this morning! Guess which one is mine?
Even with all the rushing, we still managed to squeeze in tons of fun! I’m incredibly blessed to have a family that chooses to spend time together, and that really enjoys it. I treasure the memories that we’ve made each year, and look forward to tons of new ones!