After a couple of years without the white stuff, we experienced the snowiest Christmas on record in 27 years for our city of Grand Rapids as more than 5 inches fell that day.
In the quiet of Christmas morning, the bright lights of the tree made the living room glow and feel cozy. We were thankful to remain in our home to celebrate the day together as a family.
Cam woke up early on Dec. 25th,
but patiently waited for Oma and Opa before asking to open stockings. It was a leisurely day for us. After discovering the contents of our stockings, we had a delicious breakfast before settling in to open presents. The whole experience lasted for quite some time as we watched each person unwrap before the next. It is a day when the joy of giving equals or exceeds the joy of receiving.
Later in the afternoon, Chris and Cam tried out their new gaming chairs downstairs and Chris braved the elements to snowplow the driveway. He entered the house looking like the abominable snowman!
So many special gifts were everywhere we looked.. from each other, from Oma and Opa, from our sweet relatives and friends we call family across the country. Chris' dad, Grandpa Jim, sent us an Instant Pot and for Cam, a cool room projector with a note that said "I wanted to give you the world, but I settled for the stars."
We all had a relaxing evening on the couch as Jane curled up in her new "Wonder Woman" blanket, handmade and given to her by the best husband and son a girl could ask for!
Two days after Christmas, we welcomed our cousins, Aunts and Uncles for the annual family Santa Party at our home. A few of Cam's cousins have let it be known that the 'real' Santa is the one that comes to Cam's house for the party.
Each kid receives two small presents from the white bearded man. We share a potluck dinner and try to catch up with everyone during the short time that goes by much too quickly. We were so very thankful for the extra assistance from Oma and Opa with setup and cleanup duties. Without them, it would have seemed a monumentous task.
Part of our annual Santa Party normally includes sledding, but it was far too chilly outside to partake in outdoor activities that day.
However, the weekend brought the sunshine and although it didn't warm up a great deal, the sun allowed us to brave the outdoors to take advantage.
Last year for Christmas, Chris and Jane ordered a cool sled for Cam that one of his parents could ride behind and due to the mild winter, it wasn't used even once.
This year, though, it seems we may have ample opportunities to test its capabilities.
As we close out 2017, we are thankful for our family, friends and blessings which seem to grow exponentially with each passing year.
We enjoyed having Oma and Opa with us for almost five whole days during the holiday. Here are a couple of his grandparents' favorites from their stay.
"You need to be more specific, Oma..."
"I wish Christmas was every day and Oma and Opa were here every day!"