Whew! We're near the end of these updates!
Okay, so we're not your typical family, if you haven't guessed that yet. Most of our Christmas traditions (with my parents, anyway) are pretty much exactly opposite from your standard Christmas. For example, on Christmas Eve, we don't cook dinner. We order in dinner. The reason for this is back in the day, when I was in the first grade, we bought a house over the Christmas holidays, in order to get out of our travel trailer that we were living in (geez, does it seem like I live in trailers a lot??). The previous owner of the house said that they would be out of the house on Christmas Eve, and when we went to move in on Christmas Eve, they were still there. I guess they needed a few more hours. Well, not having anywhere else to go, we went to the local McDonald's to get dinner. When we got back, the owners were gone and we got to move in. My parents piled all the presents in a corner of the empty living room, and we had Christmas. Every year since then, we always go out to eat (or order in) on Christmas Eve. For awhile, it was McDonald's. Then we did Wendy's. Now we're on our like 4th or 5th year eating Papa Murphy's on Christmas Eve. Yummy.
The second strange tradition we have that is different than most is that we open all of our presents on Christmas Eve, and we each get one from Santa to open on Christmas Day overnight, plus our stockings. The third difference is that we eat our big Christmas dinner with the ham and the potatoes and the works, on Christmas Day. Pretty sweet right? I think it's because we wanted to stretch the Christmas fun over two days, but that's just me. :)
These mixed up traditions actually work out pretty well when you combine that with Thomas' family, who does Christmas the traditional way, meaning that we get the best of both worlds, on both days! His family does the big dinner on Christmas Eve, and opens presents on Christmas Day, and my family is opposite! I really like it that way. But you know, we are a little weird.
We like it that way.
(L-R: Kara, Kerstin, Devin. The three siblings. We've got three more siblings but they weren't there. I'm the baby, if you can't tell by the way I'm being treated...)
A little pre-event fun with my niece, Austyn, in a giant stocking. She's very photogenic and the closest niece/nephew around, so she's going to be in a lot of these pictures.
We can't help it, I'm sorry.
Four full grown adults shoved on one little couch. There was much love going around.
(L-R: Kara, Thomas, Kerstin, and Tommy (Kerstin's bf))
Thomas gave up on the couch and went to sit on the floor. He also got some much needed clothes! Thanks mom!
Grandpa and Austyn sorting out everybody's presents. She took to opening her presents in the other room because it took too long to carry them over to where we were all sitting. Lacking the spirit of the season? Perhaps. Highly efficient four year old? Definitely.
This little princess is spoiled beyond belief. By the time we were all done opening presents, she still had half of hers to go. These two dresses were her favorite.
As you can probably see, my brother, Devin, isn't in any of these pictures. That's because he didn't show up on Christmas Eve. But he did come on Christmas Day for the big dinner. Here he is with his girlfriend Sabrina, and her three kids, opening their presents.
Recently, Austyn has fallen in love with a TV channel called Sprout that I have never heard of before. Anyway, during the commercials between shows, they teach sign language. So here is Austyn teaching Great Grandma Sandy the signs for "create" and "garden".
She told us to take a picture of her "crazy face."
I wanted to show off one of my new Christmas presents -- new glasses! Yes, I bought them for myself, but they were desperately needed. I was still wearing my glasses from high school, which meant that the prescription was WAY out of date. I got this pair, and a second pair for under 70 bucks, including frames and lenses. Sweet! I bought them online from a place called EyeBuyDirect.com for super cheap. And I love them!
Well, that's all folks! Merry Christmas from the Clark/Jarvis/Snell/Petersen family!
(Yeah, we're a little bit of a mixed family...but we like it that way.)