My mom's goose, all decked out for Christmas, greeted us at the door.
Her pine cone wreath looked so pretty!
My mom's table is always festively decorated. I wish I could be like that!
This year, in lieu of gift-giving, we had purchased gifts for others. We still wanted to do something fun on Christmas Day, though, so it was decided that a white elephant gift exchange was in order. No one was allowed to purchase anything--the gift had to be something already in our homes and which we no longer wanted. I'm a de-clutterer by nature, so it was a bit challenging finding six gifts in our home, one for each of us to contribute to the exchange pile. But we did it.
Let the fun begin!
My brother Jeff showed off his nature and scenic photography.
My mom opened one of the first gifts.
I think Jeff may have been in trouble, for some reason...
My brother Matt opened his choice of gifts.
I was so busy having fun, talking, and taking pictures that I didn't realize my Dad had chosen a gift already and was opening it. I was thrilled that he chose this gift--it was a set of three country gospel and hymn CDs! We listened to them throughout the afternoon, and he was happy with his choice.
Thomas goofed off with Grandma when he tried to read his number upside down.
He opened a trivet in the Americana style; there was also a matching clock. (I later stole this gift from him.)
Yeah, Danny got the gag gift--he loved the chocolates, which came with a leg lamp night light (if you've seen A Christmas Story, you know what this is).
Fernando promptly stole Danny's gift for the leg lamp night light.
So, Danny got to open another gift--a heavy-duty Christmas tree stand!
Jacob opened an old mug, saved by his grandparents from my childhood days in Spring Lake Heights, NJ.
Char picked a great gift, too--a backgammon set.
Since I stole Thomas' gift, he got to open another one.
This was a brand new card game set. We had purchased it on clearance many years ago, and left it in our "gift box" in our closet. It was nice to finally give it as a gift!
Mom knew what was in the bag.
It was sort-of awkward. I had wrapped up a little old tea kettle that I thought I had gotten at a garage sale. Wrong. Mom had given it to me; it was her grandmother's. Oops.
Mom took it in stride, though. And I may just end up with that kettle again!
This wasn't all the gift-opening there was on our Christmas Day. Stay tuned for a very special Part Two!
Back to life,
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