Spending Christmas at home was such a treat. Last year, Ben and I spent Christmas in London, which was lovely, but being back at home for the holidays sometimes just can’t be beat.
Christmas Eve started out with a literal rendition of, “over the mountain and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.” Ben ran the extra long scenic and mountain route over Valhalla Vineyards and Mount Chestnut while Hannah and I ran along Roselawn. Hannah and I came in first (even though Ben ran a few more miles than us). A long run was more than necessary to leave room for the copious amounts of food we consumed over the holidays. Later in the afternoon we headed to church for the Christmas Eve service, back to Ben’s for a lovely dinner, and then off to my Granny’s for her Christmas Eve party, and ended back at Ben’s for a little Settlers of Catan and Christmas Eve pajamas.
Christmas morning is always my favorite. I still get just as excited as I did when I was little. I love everything about it. To help us become a little more bright eyed and bushy tailed we filled our Christmas mugs with coffee, put the blueberry scones in the oven, and nestled around for presents.
Three cheers for jammies, robes, and Ben in a Santa hat.
After opening our presents and then playing with them, we got ready to head over to my Granny’s for our tradition of my dad’s biscuits and gravy, bacon, and eggs. He makes a mean sausage gravy. This year was extra fun with little Braven around to entertain us all.
I can’t handle how cute he is.
My brother is teaching him young the importance of Star Wars, and let’s just say the force is most certainly with him.
I mean look at that face.
I’m obsessed and hearing him call me Auntie Carrie melts my heart.
I’m quite happy being in the middle of these two. Love you, brother bears.
Mom, you are one heck of a mom and a nina.
Celebrating Christmas this year also meant Ben and I celebrated seven years of being together! I still think you are the greatest and wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with anyone else. I think we make one swell team.
After our second breakfast we popped back over to Ben’s grandparents’ house for a delicious lunch, more presents, and more Settlers of Catan.
After living in London together for four months we didn’t manage to take a single picture with the three of us. Behold, the roomies of 2o Cockspur Street in one picture.
Our final stop was back at my parents’ for a feast courtesy of Papa bear. If you know my dad, and have tasted his food before, then you know you should be immensely jealous that Ben and I had Christmas dinner with him.
Prime rib, cajun shrimp, red potatoes and andouille sausage, and asparagus with tomatoes. Go ahead and drool.
After dinner was more presents– or rather, watch Braven open his batman costume and swoon over how cute he is.
And then play Hungry Hungry Hippos with him.
Then it was game time. This year my dad used 3.5 rolls of saran wrap and rolled up little gifts inside to make a massive ball for one intense game. Here’s how it goes: the person to your left rolls the dice while you unwrap, without breaking, the ball as fast as you can, until they get doubles. Whatever you unwrap, you get to keep. Some can say I am a bit competitive.
I have never laughed so hard before in my life.
Ben brought home the bacon.
After, my loving siblings wrapped me to my chair and Batman/Braven/Jedi saved the day.
On Saturday we ice skated, relaxed at home, grabbed dinner downtown with Dustin and Magan, and watched a little football.
After church this morning, we were itching to get outside and take advantage of this practically summer weather. We hopped in the car and made our way to Bottom Creek Gorge for a lovely afternoon hike.
I mean, I just love Christmas so much. I loved everything about being home. I loved creating new traditions and partaking in old, I loved playing Settlers of Catan every single night, I loved celebrating seven years with Ben, I loved getting to kiss and hug Braven, I loved ping ponging back and forth and celebrating Christmas with both of our families, and feasting on so many Christmas treats and dinners.
It’s always so, so good to be home.