Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Four Christmases

Have you seen that movie, Four Christmases? It had Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, and they go to each of their parents' houses for separate Christmases. It's pretty funny.

Ever since I have been married, I have experienced something kind of the same. We do a Christmas Eve with Tim's sister and dad. Then early Christmas morning we get to my parents (details below). After that, we have a little bit to come home and regroup, then we head to his mom's for our final Christmas festivity.

This year:

Christmas #1: Christmas Eve with Mr. Thompson

Krissy and Jason hosted his dad's Christmas at her house which is super convenient for us seeing how they live across the street. She handled dinner, and I handled a simple desert of sugar cookies and brownie bites. Then we opened presents and sat and talked for a bit. Tim's dad got us and Hunter a gift card to Baby's First Furniture to help with the nursery fund. Awesome! We had fun talking for a bit, and Tim and Jason set up his duck blind.

Then my new nightly ritual (morning sickness) kicked in and I had to get home. I made it across the street in time to throw up..... nice.

Christmas #2: Low-key Christmas Eve

After I changed into comfy clothes and I felt a little better, Tim and I decided to exchange our gifts. I was kind of excited about what I got him (duck hunting supplies), but it turns out it all has to be exchanged. Boo. He was pretty excited about something he got me, so I was anxious to open it. I have a Brighton charm bracelet (Pandora-like) that my mom and I started. Well, my theme is kind of mostly these pretty charms that have a word on them that describes you, and to me they mean a lot more when given as a gift. He bought me one that says 'Sweetheart' because they were sold out of 'Wife' charms last year and mom got me 'Daughter' for my birthday. This year, he bought me one that says 'Mom' on it, and I am proud to wear it. He thought I needed to wait until this little guy makes an appearance, but I told him, "Hey, I am growing a baby in my belly... I am a mom". Very sweet. Next year, we will go back to our usual Christmas Eve tradition of just exchanging pajamas :)

Christmas #3: McLees Christmas

Christmas at my family's household is filled with traditions, big and small. I relish in every one of them. I truly love family time, and Christmas is pretty much a guaranteed day when all three of my brothers come into town. My oldest is married and lives in San Antonio, my middle is living in Austin, and my youngest is going to college in Hawaii. We weren't even all together for Thanksgiving :( Anyways, since I have been married, Tim and I still manage to make it to my parents' house for all of the festivities start promptly at 7. Well, I think I actually kind of started this tradition when I was little because I would wake up so early, wait as long as I could, then burst into my parents' room and say, "Santa came!!!" They would tell us to come back right at 7:00.... and can tell you, that wait was always so long for us, but we waited until 7:00 on the dot! Every year after the first few, we already knew that the time would be 7:00, and so we would settle in and watch Christmas Story marathon on TBS on the couch (no, I didn't wait until 7 to wake up my brothers!).

This year was a little bit different, but not because I wanted it to be! We got there at 8:15, by far our latest since I have been married. Being pregnant, sleep is sometimes hard to get. I woke up at 3 to pee, then couldn't sleep til 5, then when the alarm went off at 6:15 and I felt that I could sleep another few minutes, I took it! I accidentally slept until 7 and tried multiple times to get Tim up, but he was being stubborn this morning!

We made it over there after the tradition of stockings followed by breakfast. This will NOT happen next year! Luckily, my mom didn't do a stocking for me, and my although the breakfast my brother made was surely delicious (beignets) the smell of the oil frying would have been too much for my preggo stomach! I tell you, I don't have many symptoms, but the smell of certain foods just ain't gonna happen!

Then we let my brothers pass out gifts and we started opening. When I was younger, my mom tried 'savor' Christmas a little bit by having us each open one gift at a time..... like my little brother, then my middle brother, then me, then big brother, then her, then dad.... and back around again. I think I was one of the kids that really enjoyed this, because it helped 'extend' Christmas a little, and you got to enjoy ALL the gifts rather than just your pile an you're done. The problem was that we would end up taking forever to get done because our family is so big and because we are spoiled and got quite a few gifts! Seriously, friends would be knocking at the door ready to play and we would still be in our pajamas opening gifts!

We have tweaked the method a little where we all open about one gift at a time, after getting mom's approval (there is usually a certain order to gifts), that way it doesn't take too long! This year was not different, and since I had only asked for gift cards for baby furniture, I was surprised to see a mounting pile of presents. Tim got lots of fun fishing equipment, and I got some cute maternity clothes, a waffle maker so I don't steal my mom's anymore, a new leather halter for Phaedra, and an AMAZING purse. I seriously was not expecting a gift so extravagant on top of their gift for the nursery furniture! My mom was so cute because she put the gift card with some super cute baby clothes, love it!!

We hung out for a couple of hours at my parents' house, then headed home to shower and get ready for Christmas at his mom's house. We actually managed to go back to my parents' house to eat a delicious meal, made with love by mom, and take a family photo with all of the kids. Then we rushed over for our last Christmas!

All of the siblings with spouses
(Matthew, Heidi, Michael, Christopher, Isabella and me, Tim)

The McLees family
(Dad, Isabella and Mom, Matthew, me, Michael, and Christopher)

Christmas #4: Winding Down Christmas

We made it over to Tim's mom's house so that we could do a gift exchange with his mom and her husband. She is like my parents who love to go overboard on Christmas..... my kind of lady! While we waited for one of my sister in laws to arrive, we munched on some food and chatted for a while. Everyone is so excited for next Christmas when we will have another Thompson joining us!

We exchanged gifts and began to open! Tim's mom went crazy with gift cards to Lowe's for Tim so that we can get new carpet sometime in the near future. She also got me a pretty make up bag and laptop case made by an equestrian style designer that I had been eying for a while. We also received a gift card to a fun fancy restaurant that we love to eat at when we feel like being fancy. We are going to eat there on New Year's Eve with Kristin and Jason! She got me a gift card to a spa so that I can get a pre-natal massage, something that I have been dying to get! Yay me!!

Lastly, she got us a generous gift card to the baby furniture store! We were shocked at how all the grandparents pulled together (kind of) and now we have over half of what is needed for his furniture that we chose for Hunter's room! (Yes, we picked crazy expensive baby furniture, but it WILL last him through high school. It is super high quality and coverts to a full size bed. We love it.)

We hung around his mom's house for a couple of hours, and then left because we were so exhausted! It was great to see every part of the family, but sleep sounded so good!

All in all, we had an amazing Christmas. It was a different feeling this year when someone would ask what we wanted and we truly only wanted things that would help us with the nursery!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

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