Earlier this morning I posted this pic of Xandria. She was feeling the Christmas excitement in the air and singing "It's the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la" over and over again.
We went to my parents' house to meet with the rest of my family for dinner. Traditions are comforting - as soon as I walked in, I saw the same thing I see at every family gathering - the guys playing cards:
Over the years they've played Mille Borne, Cribbage, Stock Market game (they played that one for YEARS), and now it's Rook, which as far as I can tell is some variation of a four-player card game like Spades, but not using a traditional card deck.
Another thing you can pretty much count on happening is my Uncle Ray falling asleep in the middle of everything:
Last year it was while grandpa was reading the Bible.
And this is the same star my parents have used on top of the Christmas tree for as long as I can remember:
Kids are cute. Here's my cousin's kid Braden:
My nephew Jayden:
Tandra with my new niece, Jayden's little sister Sadie:
Here's the whole crew getting ready for the prayer before dinner:
My attempt at a pseudo-artsy shot of the goodies tray:
After dinner I got to hold Sadie for a while. I fed her, burped her, and then we took a nap.
After that we came home for a moment. We all opened a present each. I got cool-ass pajama pants, AGAIN. Tandra's mom is getting pretty good at that. They have a cool retro print:
After that we went for Tandra's family tradition - to go drive around looking at Christmas light displays.
One really cool display:
My shaky closeup:
One neighborhood apparently banded together to create a spider web of lights throughout the area. It's totally cool to drive through:
Finally the kids started getting sleepy, so we brought them home and put them to bed.
In front of the TV, of course.
Soon we'll go play Santa and go to bed ourselves.
I am really blessed and lucky to have such a wonderful family. I couldn't be more content right now. It's corny as hell, but I sincerely hope that all of you get to experience something this season that brings you peace and happiness.
Merry Christmas, everybody.