They live about 20 minutes from us, but we decided to stay for a few days over at their place. We packed up the car like Santa's sleigh with gifts, suitcases and an excited Bear (you would have thought we were going away for three weeks...).
Two of Blake's siblings live in the DC area, too, and they each brought their four kids. Blake's brother and his wife were also here from Amsterdam, so we had the whole gang together.
Marilyn (Blake's mom) does two Christmas trees every year. A silver-ornamented one in the more formal living room, and a traditional colorful tree in the family room. Not to mention a million other great decorations around the house.
Bear loved curling up not he tree skirt under the family room tree. If we couldn't find him anywhere, we knew where to look.
Blake and I brought over our stash of Santa hats and gave one to each of the nieces and nephews. They all put them on for the annual Christmas performance. Coco played the cello, Sydney, Morgan and Ella played the piano. All eight of them sang a bung of Christmas carols. It's so cute (and they're so cooperative! My brothers and I never would have stood for something like that...)
After the kids unwrapped their Christmas jammies and the presents from Iya and Papa (Blake's parents), they ran around snagging cookies and treats while barely containing their excitement. When their enthusiasm rose to a fever pitch, the parents decided it was time to head home (thankfully).
We spent Christmas morning quietly with Blake's parents and his oldest brother and sister-in-law. You know you're getting old when you don't even start opening gifts until after noon. But it was perfect, and low-key and restful. Exactly what we needed.