This was the first Christmas that I can remember spending away from Fort Lauderdale. I think I probably spent a Christmas or two in Chicago when I was young, but this is the first, in the last fifteen years or so, that we have not been in South Florida.
It was a bit strange to not be with the Kit. family for the holidays. I spoke with them after we opened gifts and asked Mom K. who gave us the chocolate milk shirt (as the tag had fallen off the bag). She stops and starts yelling over the cacophony of sounds in the Kit. home to try and be heard! WHO SENT THE CHOCOLATE MILK SHIRT TO JOHN AND WENDI?!? Aaaaaaaaah, now that is how we are used to spending Christmas morning -- amidst well over a dozen souls, with orange cinnamon rolls, and Mom's scrambled eggs, yelling louder when the need to be heard becomes imperative.
That's not to say our Christmas morning wasn't wonderful in its own way. It was nice to establish some of our own family traditions. JB made some awesome french toast, bacon, and sausage for breakfast, and we opened our stockings the evening before. Isaac surprised us all and stayed awake for all of the festivities. He even got into opening a few of his gifts. Scrubs waited patiently for a gift that smelled like something for him. Leave it to Aunt AD (whose parents own a pet shop) to remember our four-legged family member at Christmas.
The entire Kit. also tried something new this year. Instead of exchanging gifts with all six siblings, five spouses, two parents, and three grandchildren, the siblings pulled three names a piece. It made for fewer gifts to open but did result in some very nice gifts. While the knife block (shown in the photos above) was one of JB's only gifts from his siblings, he was thrilled with it, and was loading it in the kitchen as soon as we were finished opening gifts. I got some wonderful gifts as well including some post-baby-delivery robes and pajamas, earrings, gift certificates, and an awesome "Story People" print from Ray & Gabbi that I loveeeddddd!
So while Christmas was different this year, it wasn't necessarily better or worse. It was just different. It was very relaxing to not travel this year and to take things easy and celebrate with our boy and my parents. We missed JB's family and seeing them open the gifts we bought them, but it was a great day nonetheless.
I hope everyone had an equally great day. More posts to come this morning, including how we spent our Christmas evening: eating JB's food with great company!