This year's Christmas was a lot of fun. As usual we had Christmas Eve dinner with Mom's side of the family. It was nice this year because we had more space to spread out. This house is just much more conducive to gatherings. Rhiannon and Francesca enjoyed chasing each other and playing together. Francesca loved the Christmas bear that Gma Lois got her that sang "You better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm tellin' you why..." And that bear turned out to be one of her favorite gifts so we got to hear the song over and over and over again. Un(Fortunately) she left the bear at Grandpa Marr's house, so I haven't heard it since. I'm sure we'll rescue Christmas Bear soon though.
Adam is in his highchair behind me so he was cut from the picture.
Uncle Don has convinced Jason that he should register a web domain name for the family. Jason was intrigued by the idea and has since taken it a step further. Just today he registered http://www.bicyclefriends.com/ so that he can create a website where bike enthusiasts can share information and meet up for rides. What an idea! The website hasn't been created yet, but I'm sure that will be a fun project for Jason to work on this year. Jason has a tendency to find a hobby and then immerse himself in it full-tilt to a point that my ears grow somewhat deaf to listening about the same information over and over and over again. So it is always good when he finds a new direction for his hobbies or expands on an existing one so that I can listen to new information.
On Christmas morning Francesca got to see what Santa Claus brought her. It turned out she enjoyed what Santa brought for Adam (a truck) much more than what Santa brought for her (a princess dress). Who knew? She didn't have many presents to open because a certain 5'5'' elf was too tired to wrap presents so the elf just said "Forget it" and left them in the closet. (Francesca found her other Santa Claus gifts just yesterday.)
Here are some pictures of the kids from Dad's house.
After gift opening we headed over to Dad's house for breakfast and, of course, more gifts. Bryan and Stefanie got to join us which was very nice. I am hoping that next year Dad's house construction will be complete and the front bathroom will be usable and the guest room will be all pretty too. It is an interesting experience to use the back bathroom because football-sized Archie is back there and of course he has no sense to know that sitting down to use the restroom is NOT sitting down to play with Archie. Let's just say that when I went into the restroom I didn't have scraped knees. I'm sure Archie had a great Christmas what with everyone coming in every 20 mins or so to play with him.
The next stop was Doreen's house for Castillo gift festivities. We were joined by all the regulars (Grandpa Tom, Grandma Carol, Ryan, Jenny, Doreen, Angel, Nico, Catie) but we were also accompanied by Alex and her boyfriend Matt. And of course, there were a lot more presents. Everyone got some really nice things.
Unfortunately we didn't even think to take pictures at Doreen's. So in honor of our time there, here is a picture of Ryan we took two days before Christmas (at our house). :)
By this point I was Tired. But that's ok. That's just how Christmas is. It's a great holiday, but is it ever the perfect holiday? Is it ever possible to find that perfect balance between joy and festivities and quiet reflection and relaxation? I'm not so sure. Next year I'm sure we'll do it the same way. The ONLY thing I wish is that we were able to squeeze in church. After all, Jesus' birth IS the point of this holiday! I know that it has grown to be more than that, but the central purpose of the holiday should not be forgotten or ignored. We've got Christ the Savior here people! It's good to acknowledge that and celebrate that. So hopefully we'll be able to work that in. I don't want the kids to grow up not having church be part of their Christmas holiday.
So that was Christmas!! And here we are in 2008. Happy New Year!