I'm trying to go in chronological order here with the few photos I took so that brings us up to...Christmas Day. We spent it going back and forth from the two family houses and as much as this is my favorite holiday, trying to share it with everyone I love and want to see is a little difficult. It's hard to stretch the day out but we got as close as we could.
One of my personal favorite traditions over the past few years has been waking up early and going for a run before the rest of town has really woken up yet. Early is a relative term for Christmas Day considering most of the years previous to, I don't know, 22? I woke up by 5am to check my stocking and go downstairs to await the rest of the family's arrival. Anyway, by 9am I've usually grabbed my Christmas playlist and set off into the snow and wow, a white Christmas is beautiful. (Hi Grandma!)
We played a new game at Christmastime this year and funny enough, I ended up playing it at three different Christmas events when all was said and done. My parents bought 20 presents that were divided up between the five of us "kids" and then you got to trade as they were passed around. As one who usually has an aversion to any holiday changes, I actually really liked this twist and thought it was fun. And a surprise Taco Bell gift card? Who can be upset with that find!?
Best part of the night before I jetted back to see the rest of the extended Hanlons was putting all the wrapping paper in the bag. Brady helped for a bit but then, with a smirk and a laugh, began pulling as much back out as he could before anyone stopped him. He was laughing and looking at us all as each grown-up in turn corrects him to put it away and stop goofing around to which he slightly adheres...then Kaelyn sees the fun and, as more of us are helping Brady to put the paper back in the bag, she launches her little self at it a la leaf-pile in Autumn in hysterics. To this everyone smiles and laughs and no corrections are made. Brady again looks at all of us and is probably wondering why she can mess up clean-up time and not him but before the fun can stop he quickly joins in with a leap and for a few minutes wrapping-paper pile with two kids jumping in is the best game ever.
Back on Main Street dinner is underway when I walk in the door to tiny caprese-salad bites from Erin, ham, turkey and the rest of the spread. One of the most anticipated parts of the evening in Canandaigua is always the opening of Dawn's present filled with dozens of goodies for kids slightly older than those at the party I'd just left. This year brought LED finger-flash-lights, 7 (or was it 9?) rubber duckies in humorous attire, nail polish (YES), and at least ten wind up animals set to have a race akin to the one in Friends.
Merry Christmas (two weeks later) Everyone