Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy holidays, not like a lot of days...

Christmas is over and I'm back at work. I definitely am feeling the pains of a holiday hangover this year from too much candy, food and lack of sleep. This year I was in denial about how rapidly Christmas came and went. I blame the lack of snow.

 Without further ado, here is my holiday in pictures...

The holiday season started out with my work holiday party, complete with White Elephant gift exchange. This was the gift I gave which my boss received. I couldn't have picked anyone more perfect (and hilarious) to get this gift. And yes, it is VHS. Jealous? I, in turn, had two gifts stolen from me (two that I had previously stolen, karma) and I ended up with a monkey with Gumby arms that makes noise when he launches. I like to launch him at Jacob when he's not looking. I'm the best wife.

We had the annual Gingerbread House event with the Bensons. Ironically, there isn't any gingerbread in sight. It would be more aptly named Graham Cracker and Hot Glue Gun Houses. We used the cultural hall in the church near John and Caroline's house. Above is their son Jess adding mounds of frosting to his UFO. In case you were wondering, he never spread the icing around, frantically keeping it from dripping down the sides. And yes, it eventually dried.

It's a pretty big deal with the Bensons and their graham cracker houses. It involves plenty of trash talking, out-of-this-world creations and exacto knives to carve the perfect cracker. Truth be told, gingerbread houses are not my thing. Last time I got away with making Stonehenge and eating candy the whole time. This year I was Jacob's apprentice, which meant I ate candy the whole time. That is my kind of heaven.

Example of "Did they seriously just make that?" gingerbread houses. JoEllen (SIL) and Tanner's (soon to be BIL) Trojan horse, complete with trap door. Seriously. It kills me.

This was our little village. We were late because of busy mall shopping and Jacob whipped this together. He wanted it to be Hogsmeade and I think he did a pretty good job. I helped by balancing the roof while he glued the other half. That way I can call it our gingerbread house.

Christmas Eve was spent with my family for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner (which is to die for) and pageant. This is Reagan (Mary) and Korianne (the angel Gabriel) starting off the pageant.

Tradition is a popular theme at my parent's house. We eat the same meal for Christmas Eve (Chicken royale, three layer Christmas Jell-o, Rot Kraut (red cabbage) and rolls. And the pageant is the same every year. You would think it would get old, but it is so much fun to watch the videos from years past to see how much we have grown.

The cast, minus dad who steps out from behind the camera to make a cameo as the donkey. 

The Three Wise Women. Every year the costumes get more ridiculous and pink. Hey, the costumes are whatever is lying around. What do you expect from a house full of girls?

Moo wearing a beard.

 Another Christmas tradition: sitting on the stairs waiting to be allowed to come see our presents.

With the youngest person being 16, we weren't dying to wake up early to open our presents. I had a hard time sleeping and just fell back asleep when my dad blasted Trans-Siberian Orchestra on the sound system. If you don't know what Trans-Siberian Orchestra is, imagine Christmas mating with Metallica. Want a re-enactment? Check out this YouTube video about a minute in. Then turn it up really loud so the walls begin to shake. That was our Christmas morning.

Then he ran upstairs saying, "Ok, who still needs to wake up?" Apparently he was ready to open presents.

 Sisters with matching sweaters. It reminds me of the days when we were forced to match. My how we've come full circle.

 If you can't read it, the sign says "Grandpa's Workshop: Broken Toys Fixed Here. This is so perfect for my dad. He creates, fixes and makes everything and anything. Seriously. I am not sure there is anything he can't do.

My favorite tradition: Christmas morning breakfast. We usually wake up, open a few presents and then eat. We call this Christmas Pull-Apart, some crazy families call it Monkey Bread and I think it should be called Heaven in a Pan. There are other foods, this is my favorite. But sometimes you can see other foods sneak on my plate like skillet apples, hash-brown bake and fresh-squeezed OJ.

{Mommy and her Kindle}

Mom received the coveted Kindle for Christmas. I outfitted it with a red leather case. Kindles are so cool.

It was a University of Utah kind of day with the U of U Cookbook from Jacob and a U water bottle cozy my dad won at his office White Elephant gift. I think the first thing I will make: Whack A Coug Wraps.

The family upgraded to a flat screen for Christmas and we rocked out playing Just Dance 2. Have you played it yet? The best ever. Stacie and Malorie always win. I think they wake up in the middle of the night and practice so they can beat everyone. Yep, I'm pretty positive that's it.

 {baby Liam and a bunch of bows.}

We then switched to the Benson Christmas party which includes dinner and a gift exchange. We give gifts in order and then switch down the next year. It just worked out this year that who you gave to also gave to you. So we had David and Amy and they had us. We both thought on the same wavelengths of movie night. Great minds think alike.

Jacob's youngest sister Jocelyn got a room makeover for Christmas, complete with a Fabio cut-out our BIL JL found at DI for 25 cents. He finds the best deals, it is amazing. He should have his own show.

This picture needs no caption.

Cute niece Kaitlyn. I made her a card kit to make some cute cards.
She is so crafty and cute and trendy. I just love her.

Phew. Now I am in the in-between "holiday limbo" as we wait for New Year's Eve to come. With timing this year, I get two 3-day workweeks in a row. I could get used to this. I loved having Christmas Day on a Saturday this year so we could relax the day after.

I'm off to nurse my holiday hangover until the next one this weekend......

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