We went for a family walk on Christmas Day along the river and up to the Forks.
Before each family member opened their gift in our family gift exchange they had to share a highlight from the last year and something they were looking forward to in the New Year. Since we have a wedding and the birth of a baby coming up in 2012 most of us had similar things we were looking forward to.
Our family went together to see a matinée performance of The Nutcracker ballet on December 23rd. We also had a family gathering at my parents that day in the evening.
Santa had left special T-shirts in Bucky and Alisa’ stockings with a recurring mantra from their favorite TV show–Friday Night Lights.
It is a tradition that we do a new jig saw puzzle together every Christmas. This year I was nostalgic and got a puzzle about Hong Kong. Joel and Karen did most of the work on it, although I helped.
We played a new game I had bought called Smart Ass. Thanks to Bucky who read all the directions and taught us how to play. It is a trivia game but is much quicker than Trivial Pursuit and everyone is trying to answer the questions instead of just one person. Alisa also taught us a new game called Qwirkle which she got for Christmas.
We went to see the movie War Horse. It contained a brutally honest depiction of what World War I battlefields were like. The scenes in the trenches reminded me of an excellent exhibit we saw at the Ottawa War Museum about trench warfare. Joel thought it would be a good movie to show his high school students in history class. Alisa said it made her want to officially register as a conscientious objector to war.
We also went to see the movie The Descendants on Christmas Eve in the afternoon with Joel and Karen. It was very sad and clearly depicted how messy, complicated and difficult life can be. The main character Matt King is certainly no saint, but faced with a challenging family situation he tries to act with grace, forgiveness and maturity.
Some NBA basketball was watched on Christmas Day. Since the players have been on strike most of the fall and are finally back on the court who could blame the basketball crazy men in our family from having to get in a few hours of the sport?
Christmas Day we had a whole variety of home-made pizzas and pear, feta and walnut salad with angel food cake for dessert. Christmas Eve we had homemade rice paper wraps, Pad Thai and chocolate fondue for dessert. The 22nd in the evening we hosted a dozen of Joel and Karen’s Winnipeg friends and served chili and munchies. Dave was the chief cook for all of the meals. Christmas morning there were cinnamon buns and biscuits with coffee. Karen had made peppernuts at home in Saskatoon and brought them along.
Christmas Eve we went to Charleswood Mennonite Church for an evening of music, Scripture and slides of the Holy Land. Dave and I and Bucky sang in the choir and Bucky and Alisa were in the orchestra. Bucky played a lovely guitar solo for The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy. Joel and Karen were there to support the rest of us.
Before we ate on Christmas Day we did a three-part round of the musical table grace For Health and Strength. We have a very nice family choir.
It was a fantastic holiday. What next? This morning we will go and see Grandma at the hospital, have a family brunch at a restaurant and take Joel and Karen to the airport for their flight home. Then we need to take down the tree and get ready for our upcoming trip to Arizona.