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Christmas Eve 2012

We stayed home this year. . .it was *wonderful*!!!!
Miss Margaret kept a countdown going on the board for days. 
The tree was full.  It's full of cards from friends and family and full with gifts to and from family too. 
Miss Marie and I decided on these. . .they were outstanding!  (A Pinterest find at some point this year)
And this big man showed up to share our day!!!  He's a grown-up version of the little boy who used to live across the street and help me prepare food for parties.  Now he's an almost-graduate of culinary school :)
Church.  And no, we weren't the only ones there. . .there just wasn't room downstairs for a family of 7!!
Dinner after church was beef tenderloin, twice-baked potatoes, mixed veggies, a salad, and bread.  I'm so glad Pavel has not become a "food snob" in his culinary studies. . .the meat was pre-marinated, we used (gasp!) bottled salad dressing and frozen veggies.  It was fun to have a family meal around the table with a guest. . .sometimes I forget how much I have always loved to entertain.
I think this may have been Thomas's 4th potato???  We haven't had twice-baked potatoes in a long time. . .time to re-visit that dish more then once a year :)
Pavel & Frederick
 Our stocking tradition is that each child picks a name and that is who they buy for that year.  And we open stockings before Christmas :)
Our annual in-front-of-the-tree pose.  But usually we take it before church. . .this was after and some had changed. . .oh well.
Time for presents!!
Fingerless gloves from Marie to Margaret
Thomas's favorite -- in jumbo-size :)  The rule is:  the gift has to fit in the stocking. . .this made it!
A little something for Daddy that he had commented on awhile back. . .Dunkin' Donuts travel mug (and we added a little gift card to it too)
 Miss Margaret bought for Marie. . .
I'm not really sure what Thomas bought Frederick but really, in the end, they all just really enjoy the opportunity to purchase stuff for one another then to watch them open their gifts. . .I love that.  It seems like the true spirit of Christmas, y'know?
We had gotten Pavel an iTunes gift card and that's a poster he's opening there so he wouldn't feel left out :)

After gifts and dessert, we put in a movie that ended up not being that great.  Some Redbox Christmas movie. . .oh well. . .again, it was the family time spent together.  Or, rather, the 6 of them spending time together. . .I was busy on making a gift that I had had in my head since June. . .
I painted a canvas black and had all my "sign" pictures from Kiawah printed then went to work on a collage.
I had an extra 4x6 picture of the Island entrance so I put that on the back with the signature.
And here is the final product:
I was extremely happy with how it turned out!  As it happens, the VJs liked it too :)
The tough part was waiting until 2 days after Christmas to give it to them!!!

It was a beautiful Christmas Eve.  We had Christmas morning in our own home. . .a first for us down here in TN.  And then we had endless, beautiful Christmas with our family 300 miles north for the next three days :)

It's December 31st and I think we're the only house with lights still on.  But I *love* them.  Plenty of time to take it all down in January. . .for now it's time to continue to enjoy.


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