Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!! (a little late...)

Since I've been married, Christmas time has always been extremely BUSY. 
Let me explain:
Because my parents are the only ones of their families that live here (mom's family is in Utah/Idaho, and dad's family is in the Netherlands), I never really understood the whole family get-together business...and so although I missed seeing all of them during the holidays, I never really had anything to desire since I'd never had it anyway. So in a way, even though I never knew it, my Christmas' were always very low-key and...quiet.

WELL...during the month of December, because most ALL of Jeff's family, on both parent's sides, live here in the Valley, we have LOTS of parties to go to...
...and it was kind of an adjustment at first, to be so busy every weekend with a different family party, but it really is a blessing to have so many loved ones around. Jeff absolutely loves having all his family nearby, and I'm jealous that mine aren't closer. We had so much fun this year, like every year, and you'll have to excuse the fact that I didn't take any pictures. I was way too busy having a good time, you know ;)

So as tradition dictates, we usually have just the immediate Downs family (Mom, Dad, brothers and sister) party sometime mid-December...and we usually go out for a nice dinner and have a gift exchange/Secret Santa...that's what we did the night of the Rockin' R Ranch...

Then...the Sunday before Christmas, the whole Downs' clan (that is, aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandma and Grandpa) get together for dinner, usually at someone's house, and we sing, and tell stories, and spend time getting to know each other better...
This is Grandma and Grandpa Downs with most of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren:

Christmas Eve is always the D'Amico family Christmas party...we eat homemade pizza (courtesy of Jeff's dad), have a gift exchange between the cousins/kids, and a White Elephant exchange between the adults. Santa usually always makes a quick stop to visit all the kids, and drops off a few gifts for everyone...
Grandma and Grandpa D'Amico with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren:
(Proof that I really was there...)

Wyatt wasn't really all that interested to sit on Santa's lap this year...
 ...but at least it was better than last year's attempt!!
As soon as Santa came into the room though, he pointed and said, "Ho, ho ho!!"

I don't have any pictures from Christmas Day, but it was fabulous. We woke up early and read the story of Christ's birth in the bible, and then went downstairs to open presents as a family--we literally only got Wyatt 2 gifts, and it was a good thing too! He was SO spoiled this year and got presents GALORE from both sides! AND, he didn't even really care about what we got him...he still prefers the actual wrapping paper. ANYWAY, after Jeff and I opened our gifts to each other, we had to get ready really quick to make it to church on time with my parents (at 9 o'clock!!). We then headed back to their house to spend the day with my brothers and sisters and their spouses. We exchanged/opened gifts and had lots of fun watching movies and playing Just Dance on the Wii. I love Christmas time so much, and it really bums me out that it goes by so quickly...I feel like Christmas should have it's own season and a last all winter long--a good three months would do it ;) I'm so thankful for my families and the love we all share for each other. I love my friends, my own little family, my Savior, and the blessings we've been given this year...I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and remembered to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior...!

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