Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas In Charlotte

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.
~Joyce Brothers

(Sara, Paul, Michael, and Ryan)

John and I were blessed to be able to spend the holiday with his family and mine. In mid-December, we went to Charlotte to see his parents, siblings, and children. We had a wonderful time together (see my post about Monkey Joe's) during our stay. It was wonderful to be able to catch up with John's brother and family. It had been over two years since we had last seen them.
The week was lively with all of our nephews together. It was fun to see Michael, Ryan, and Alex interact and play. Alex affectiontely referred to his cousins as his "buddies." They mostly played with trains, airplanes, and ran around together having fun.

(Julie and Michael)

During our visit, we decided that we should exchange presents since we would not all be together on December 25th for Christmas. We all bought gifts for the nephews and we watched them open up their gifts in order of age. It was fun to see them open each gift and the excitment that followed.

(Michael, Ryan, and Grandad Paul)

Once the kids were finished, we did the adult gift exhange. We decided to draw names only buying one present for each couple, not spending more than $30. We played games and laughed a lot while opening presents. John and I recieved a rosemary bush along with cash. To be funny, John said that we wanted cash, Trader Joe's gift card, or an Oscar award as our gift.

(Warren, Mary Catherine, and Michael)

In addition to opening Christmas presents, we also gave John's parents a gift that encompassed their Birthdays, Mother's, and Father's Day. We bought them a computer and gave it to them by presenting a skit where we spelled out the letters and had them guess the present. I do not have the pictures from our skit, but we had a blast acting the letters out. We all worked as a wonderful team!

(Ma Ma Karon, Pa Pa Ernie, Grandmom Gerry, Andrew, and Julie)

In the Christmas spirit, we also purchased and donated items to needy families in Charlotte. We all agreed that in addidion to giving each other gifts, it was important for us to recognize those in need during the holidays and throughout the year.

(Grandmom Gerry- a.k.a. -"Didums")

The week was so much fun and we are already looking forward to next year! Entire family visits are rare with John's brother being in the military and it is nice when we can all spend time together as a family. They are memories that we will have for a lifetime!

(Ryan, John, Amanda, and Michael)

1 comment:

affectioknit said...

Sweet pictures - Family times are the Best!