I’ll start with our Christmas card for 2010, in case you didn’t get one, or you got one and threw it away and still want to see our beautiful faces every day of your life.
I think this picture turned out quite nice. I got a great deal on the sitting and the Christmas cards by buying them together from a friend. The picture was taken in Butterfield canyon, which was a first for us, and a very lovely place in the fall.
Our Christmas was very nice. My photos of Christmas, however, are something else. Some days I wish I was an amazing photographer. Maybe in my next life. We spent our Christmas Eve, as usual, with Robb’s family. We gave the camera to Ryan, so there were lots of self-portraits, and pictures of every bowl of candy in the house, which was frankly quite a significant amount. He also took candid shots of every member of the family, which are fun, but less than flattering most of the time! I have narrowed it down to a few fun pictures, though.
Before opening gifts, we used the handbells to ring some Christmas songs. It went a lot better this year than in past years, because we adopted the Roper plan of writing the songs on a large piece of paper that everyone can easily see. Even the little ones did well! We also had a brief talent show. The three girls sang some songs, and Sage recited some cute Christmas poems. This process was painstakingly slow for some of the kids, though. I think we heard the question, “When are we going to open presents?” about 35 times. Brooklyn got a reading pillow from Grandma. All the boys got nerf-style bows with big darts. Last year’s Nerf guns led to an epic nerf battle game, but the bows lent themselves more to target practice. It turns out siblings are great fun to hunt.
Christmas Day was spent with the Ropers. All the kids scored much needed new shoes, as well as cute clothes and other fun stuff. Matthew and Quinn had a good time putting together legos, an activity Quinn is becoming exceedingly skilled at. Practice makes perfect, and all. Last year, Quinn scored two Nerf swords, and this year he scored two Nerf maces. Most kids would prefer to take the second one back and trade for something else, but not Quinn. Two weapons are better than one in his book. Robb actually said the phrase, “Quinn, don’t hit your sister with a mace.” It’s a phrase we never thought we would hear, let alone say.
We also visited our Brown grandparents on Christmas Day, and we were treated to a gift-opening extravaganza that was reminiscent of days of yore. They are getting quite elderly, and my grandpa has a hard time standing and walking without falling, so it is nice to spend some time with them, and the other family members that we rarely see.
In recent months, some of my friends have expressed complaints about their family Christmas traditions. They dreamed of having a Christmas without extended family, or at least without the drama and problems that come with that. On the other hand, at our last Oleson Family Reunion, Amy mentioned that she was grateful to have so much close family, even if it made Christmas really busy. I thank Amy for that comment, and add my own sentiments. Our Christmas was, as usual, extremely full. There was lots of time spent with family during the week and a half the kids were out of school. I, for one, am extremely grateful to have so much close family near us that we can spend time with. I am grateful that they are the kind of people that I want to spend time with, and that they enjoy having my family around as well. I’ll take the busy Christmas season every time.