Wednesday, January 4, 2012

oops! i almost forgot to share my family christmas..

i had decided that this year i was not going to post much about my family for fear it seems a little unprofessional but hey! my kids made me do it... let's just backtrack and pretend it is still 2010...

i was scrolling through my camera last night and realized I never posted any pics from christmas, so before i share new year's resolutions, i want share these pics.  
i'm warning you there are a lot of pics but you might get bored or you might get a laugh or two...
if you don't want to see family photos sign off..

still there?  ok, here goes...

my mom was martha stewart, before martha stewart was martha stewart!  christmas at our house has always been a cross between norman rockwell and christmas vacation.  lots of beauty and lots of family all smashed into a day full of food, presents and crazy fun.  i have three brothers and sister, who all have at least three children in their families.  now the children's children are having children of their own.  this year there were 42 of us on Christmas Day for lunch at my parent's house.  in many ways it is a typical american family christmas in many ways it is not... 

my mom spends the month before Christmas decorating her house from top to bottom, then she cooks like a mad women for the hungry crowd that gathers to devour her meal.  my youngest son, " t" says he thinks granny should open a restaurant.  when I told her this, she laughed and said, "like I have time!"  

ok, back to Christmas...

unfortunately, we were late to the meal, so the pictures were taken after they had eaten.  disregard the occasional cup, bottle water or crumbled napkin on the table.  (mom's going to die when she sees this!  sorry mom, if ya'll had only waited for us, it would be picture perfect!  i know, it's my fault!  (that darn three hour drive is hard on christmas morning & tearing kids away from santa gifts while clearing a path to the door by 10 a.m. is not my strong suit!) what's the saying, "better late than never?" not here, if you "snooze you might lose!"  they subscribe to "the early bird gets the worm" or at least gets to eat with the rest of the family! 
oh well, we did the best we could!

arriving at my parents, st nick is the first to greet you, 
everyone else is busy talking...

 bountiful of food! basically every dish known to man and served during the holidays is here and beautifully displayed in the kitchen.  (yes of course we were late and it's half gone at this point, but there was still enough to stuff our bellies! )
 the silver trees in the corner were my favorite of all her decorations this year.  they looked so pretty with her granite!  it looked like a snowy day in vail in that corner of her kitchen!

on the opposite side of the kitchen next to the fireplace were delicious salads and fruits.

of course there are always plenty of desserts, this was just 
one of the tables filled with goodies...

 mom always has fresh flowers all over the house like these camellias she grew in her yard.  
(daddy was complaining because she kept the temperature in the house lower than normal the week before christmas so her flowers would be fresh on christmas morning but don't tell her he told me that , it can be our little secret!  shhhh!) 

 when you have a family as big as ours you set up tables all over the house!  here is the music room with fresh flowers on the piano.

 the centerpiece on the music room table had red and 
white roses with christmas greenery.  
  if mom had her way, we would be drinking out of 
crystal but the dishwashers vetoed
that years ago...

there are always a variety of flowers and vases to make each table's arrangement unique.  this sunroom table arrangement has red roses, white mums, pink, red sparkles mixed with greenery.  
(Another pic with styrofoam cups and unwrapped boxes, yep we were late!!!)

 another table in the sunroom with red roses, silver leaves, pine and whatever mom cuts out of her yard.  she always drapes the tables with some type of fabric or runner and each place has a charger with a gift in the center.  the china is on the buffet, so once you get your plate you can put it on the charger.  with the chargers and gifts in place her table looks set without the china before the meal.

the main dining room table seats 12, it is the largest table of people.  the dining room is open to the sunroom so whoever sits at those three tables can chat with the people at the big table.
there were three arrangements on this table because it is so long.  here is a close up of the center arrangement.  every year the centerpiece and theme is different.  so fun to see what she chooses each year.  always so creative and so pretty.  

here is a view of the entire table.  everyone typically sits after the meal and talks a little. (my sister in law, my sister & her hubby) 

 you can see how the room opens to the sunroom

 Ok, sorry for the dark photo but this is the buffet.  

as i said before, tables everywhere... here are m and j plopped in the middle of the living room.  you know the fun thing about this pic..
that's m in the family photo on the wall on the left when she was here she is as a new bride on her first christmas as a married woman!

one of the most fun traditions at my parent's house is our gift of a new christopher radio ornament each year.  mom uses these as part of her table decorations so each box is carefully wrapped by her.   it's so pretty to walk in the rooms with all the gifts at each place.  there are no place cards so everyone sits where ever and receives whatever is in the box at that place.   

here are the ornaments my family got this year...

 mine was this precious little angel bell...

r got this for her pickle gift.  do you know what a pickle gift is?
mom hides a glass pickle on her tree each year and the one who finds the pickle gets the pickle gift.  i think it is an old german tradition.  we aren't german, but the kids and adults get a kick out of this! when you have a group of type a personalities like my family, it is fun to see who fights finds it first...

 after lunch, the kids try to pry the adults away from the table and up to the playroom full of presents.  can you say "total bedlam!"  mom and dad  are handing out gifts and everyone else is scrambling to give out the gifts of the names they drew.  gift wrap is flying around the room in every direction.  almost always something gets lost in the confusion.  it's never any of the children though!
granny and papa always give the kids a fun toy they can play with on christmas day.  this christmas they even gave toys to the older children like "r"(age 21) below who is opening her remote car. 

here are t and t, (our family version of darryl and darryl, remember them from the newhardt show?)  just kidding they aren't brothers just cousins with the same first name.  
they were  named for their grand dads!
 See the smiles....

and of course there are always gag gifts...

"m" got a picture of her cousin's husband as he posed as "mr walmart".  how could she not love this gift?  she said she was going to hang it in her office!  it was a hoot!  
i highly suggest this as a future gag gift for someone you love. (haha!) 
(of course it helps if you have a professional photographer as a sister in law to take the photos for you.)

my question about this photo shoot was, "what were the onlookers saying?"  then i was reminded  it was taken in front walmart so no one thought it was odd!  i was told the onlookers were more
concerned about how fat the baby was...

even the little kids in the family knew this was funny!

 hugs are abundant even if sometimes forced...

my two nieces below are first cousins who became sister-in-laws this year.  i won't even try to explain that one..
(actually they married brothers which brings new meaning to "keeping it all in the family")

after a fun filled day, the little ones get so tired they resort to hiding in closets to get away from the noise and the hugs.  lucky for "d" fur vest are "all the rage" in fashion so he snatched up one for snuggie time and found himself a closet..

some of the other children never get tired and become the floor show...  wonder what "L" is trying to convince "am" to do???

looks like she is trying to make a deal for the bunny...

papa steals hugs and kisses from all the kids

granny still smiling after all the work..

now it's play time!   since all the kids got remote cars, my brother "d" who was the mastermind behind this gift idea, 
built a track at the family farm.  everyone went out to "porktona"
(a take on daytona but since the family is in the pork industry the name is appropriately adjusted) for family races...

oops, it took a while to figure out that crashing into each other would result in your car needing a pit crew...

this went on for hours and hours...

they played til dark...

 (sorry for the red eyes, my photography skills leave much to be desired & i didn't take time to clean up).  it was dark, ok?

 the onlooker are toast and ready for the sofa,
and it's getting darker and darker...

and the fun just keeps coming!  
the adults are exhausted but the kids are just getting started....

needless to say, christmas 2010 was a holiday to remember!
thanks for allowing me to share it with you!
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  1. I love that little girls' bedhead! Cutest thing I've seen since Hobbs got up 20 years cute! Don'tcha just wanna squeeze 'em!

  2. What fun! Celebrating Christmas with your family through beautiful photos! Everything looked gorgeous with lots of love all around. I know everyone cherishes these memories. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I don't think your family Christmas photos are unprofessional..I think they're perfect!
    I really enjoyed seeing all your family photos. Your mom is wonder woman! Love all her special touches, especialy the fresh flower arrangements. Two thumbs up for your mom!!
    Thanks for visiting and commenting,and thanks for sharing your family Christmas.


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