Usually a day or two before Christmas Eve we head to the city for ice skating, to watch the play A Christmas Carol, and see the lights. All was lots of fun, even if our seats were in what we call the “nosebleed section” because they were so high. My dad wants to write a book called Watching Vertical which would be all about ways to save money and getting these seats not only adhered to the model but left me seeing vertical as well. Oh well, the play was still great.
Macy's at Union Square...a Christmas Classic
It may be Christmas, but we are still in California
The Christmas tree at Union Square
The Cheesecake Factory overlooking Union Square.
Kevin may be my little brother, but he is not so little.
Brian was sure he could eat this whole burrito
as his afternoon snack...and he did!We usually ice skate at the Embarcadero rink since it is the largest in the city. It was a bit tricky navigating on the chopped up ice between novice skaters and daredevil teenagers, but we managed!
Moms never abandon their purses, even when skating, and dads always sport the same brown trench coat.
Christmas Eve involves Christmas Eve church, a “sleigh ride” around town to see the lights, cookie decorating, a turkey dinner and a Christmas movie. Getting ready for church is always a bit of a fire drill between my mom making sure everyone looks presentable and my dad worrying that we won’t get a parking spot or a seat. However, every year we always end up looking presentable with a parking spot and a seat and the wonderful service reminds us that sometimes we worry about the insignificant things and forget the true meaning of the holiday season – God’s gift to us in sending Jesus.
Our favorite holiday house...their electrical bill is $5000 a month during the holidays. Also, the "DITTO" in their neighbor's house with the arrow pointing to their house is classic!
Then comes Christmas morning! When we were little we woke up at the crack of dawn and would jump in bed with my grandparents and talk of how we all heard Santa. Even if we didn’t hear him we still pretended that we did to not be outdone by the others. Now my brothers all sleep until 10 or 11 but I am awake by 7:30 and usually quite bored by 8:30 so this year I took my dog Amber for a walk.
Around 10:30, according to tradition, we all line up at the top of the stairs, youngest to oldest, and then run down the steps as my dad video tapes and Bing Crosby sings in the background. We spend the morning opening presents, having egg strata and cinnamon rolls for breakfast and finally opening stockings. I must say, I did pretty well with choosing presents for my family this year. A running watch for my dad who just picked up running again, pretty earrings and reusable hand warmers for my always cold mom, the Guinness Book of World Records for Kevin (14), a fancy torch lighter for my pyromaniac brother Brian (17), and tickets to the Casey Donahue concert at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth for J.J. (20) and his girlfriend. Our Christmas pictures always turn out terrible but here are a few of the bunch.
J.J. got Dad the Justin Beiber Christmas CD which he LOVED....as in he played it all morning long. Looks like Bing Crosby has been replaced.
To finish up the day we have dinner with my dad’s youngest sister and family. This year my grandparents on my dad’s side joined as well. The little cousins were still on a Christmas high and could not stop talking about the dolls, skateboards, and action figures that Santa brought! We all enjoyed a nice dinner and exchanging gifts.
Brian teaching Caroline some video editing tricks.
Coco and her Christmas energy!
Grandma and Caroline
My dad and his mom
The kid's table, but we put it right next
to the adult table so no one felt left out.
Me, Grandpa, and my dad's sister Laurie.
Christmas 2011 was another success and I am so thankful for the wonderful family I have been blessed with.