Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas recap {FINALLY!}

We have been so crazy—like everyone else I’m sure—this December that it seems to all run together! I am so glad we were able to spend our first Christmas in our new house with no major disasters. We went to Brumby and White’s Tree Farm and picked out a gorgeous Frasier fir. We always stick our tree in the corner of a room, so we find the bargain trees that have big gaps in them and turn them to the corner. We got this 8 1/2’ beauty for $25! It was really fun to take Jeb with us this year.
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Later that week, we got our tree strung with lights and added our ornaments. I love the personalized ornaments we buy each year. We ended up with one of our whole family including Jeb since it’s his first Christmas, one for Wyatt, and one for our new house.
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It was nice to have a big fat mantle with a fire going all the time. Have I mentioned that I need to stop relying on my iPhone to capture our precious memories?IMG_2945 IMG_3131
Aunt Faye brought Wyatt an old Christmas train set. She just knew he would love it. The track is so large, he and Justin can sit in the middle of it! I can’t wait until we can figure out a way to put it around the base of our tree next year!
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Because Justin worked on Christmas day at the fire department, we decided Santa needed to come the day before, on Christmas Eve morning so we didn’t have to rush Wyatt. I know it was so much easier to use just one kind of paper, but I think we’re going to look back one day at that blue paper and really wonder what in the world we were thinking! Wyatt was so cute getting ready for Santa. He decided to leave him chocolate milk and one of the sugar cookies he decorated with his cousins earlier that week.
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Santa did good! Wyatt asked for three things: a “Go Dawgs!” hat, tractors, and candy. He got that and then some! Santa even set up some of his stuffed bears from his playroom for a makeshift party at his new table he brought him. He was probably most excited about the Skittles and Rolos in his stocking.
Justin did good this year. He got me a huge set of Rachel Ray pots and pans and bake ware. I love them! Our old stuff was getting scratched and was losing its non-stick factor, despite our rule to never use metal utensils in the pans.
I got Justin some swanky shaving stuff, a Garth Brooks CD set, and a new edger for our yard.
After that, we headed to Justin’s Granny and PaPa’s house to do our Christmas fun with the Cooks. It was nice to have the kids open their presents with their Granny and PawPaw. I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.
I got that awesome sign with southern sayings on it from Amanda and Michael and new Correlle dishes from Mr. Sheldon and Mrs. Desiree (exactly what I asked for!). I told Justin with new pots, pans, bakeware, and dishes, it was like a conspiracy to get me to cook more!
Later that afternoon, our tree was reloaded again for Mama and Daddy, Sami, Suzi, David, and Liam to come over and swap Mastrario family presents. I think Sami’s mustache wrapping kept the boys occupied the most! My favorite gift was the cat tapestry vest I gave David last year with a gift card! He was kind enough to return the favor this year. I see a fun tradition starting up for sure! Mama and Daddy, Sami, Suzi, and David definitely spoiled us. We all got more than we needed—even a new programmable crock pot I have been wanting to try out some crock pot meals!
After we got done with the present exchanges, Mama, Suzi, Sami, and I got busy setting up for our Christmas Eve party. Amanda and Mrs. Desiree brought a ton of stuff too.
Every year for as long as I can remember, Mama and Daddy have hosted a Christmas Eve open house for all of our family and friends. It was especially important the first few years we were in Georgia because we had no family down here. We had to make our own. They invited everyone they knew. Of course now those people are the very same ones that I consider family now.
I jokingly mentioned that since we have a big enough house, we could host Christmas Eve open house at our house. Mama agreed. I don’t think she realizes it but I choked up later that night when I realized the enormity of that agreement. It meant that the responsibility was mine to host our friends and family. She had enough faith that I could get the job done that she passed the torch to me. I know she enjoyed hosting everyone for almost 30 years and that was probably a lot to give up. With everyone’s help and enough food to feed a small army, we were able to host a great event and no one left hungry or it was their own fault. I’m glad she taught me so well.
(My very first pecan pie ever!)
Christmas Day was probably the most relaxing I have ever had. It was probably because we got our running around done the day before. I was able to enjoy visiting with Justin’s side of the family for lunch, with my parents and sisters for dinner, and then to see my Nanny that night. I wish Justin had been able to be with us, but that is part of his job. Someone has to protect the masses. We adapt and work things out for us and make it work!

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