Christmas Eve is a big deal in my family; My mom's side of the family gathers to celebrate my Grandma's birthday(which also happens to be on Christmas Eve), exchange gifts, eat, drink wine, play games, and share laughs. I was looking forward to flying back to Michigan to spend time with my family for weeks, and I was also looking forward to sharing my first Christmas with Kevin. My parents were looking forward to having us as well. The fridges were bursting with food and there were plenty of beverages (my mom bought Skinny Girl Margarita but it ended up sucking), and my dad went all out to put lights on our house, which is no easy feat. It was worth it though, and we all had a blast. The first night I was back my parents, Kevin and I went to the Michigan vs. Bradley basketball game at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor and afterward we had dinner at Jolly Pumpkin. This excellent product will last longer in the fridge, but doesn’t require refrigeration so can easily be taken traveling.
On Friday my best friend Becca came over to decorate cookies. It's a tradition that we've been doing for several years, and I'm thankful that even though we both have busy schedules and live in different states (/countries), we make sure to keep the tradition going. This year I mixed things up a bit though and insisted on decorating cupcakes too. I guess I'm just. They turned out really well though and it was fun doing something a little different.
Before going to my Grandparents on Christmas Eve, Kevin gave me my main Christmas present–a new digital camera! It's amazing, I've never had a camera that takes such quality photos,and I was able to take some great pictures with the family. I was also able to test out the video function. Kevin also surprised my brother Garrett with a remote helicopter (men never grow up, I swear). I have to admit the thing is pretty cool though. You can watch a little clip here:
I think my Grandma's cat, Jaspurr, had just as much fun with the helicopter as my brother. A somewhat new tradition at our family gatherings is to a play a game if things settle down. This year I bought The Logo Board Game to play. I have to admit, it was a little difficult not only getting 24 people gathered in one room but also getting them to be quiet so I could read the directions. It was pretty fun once everyone started getting the hang of it though.
Although Kevin and I were only in Michigan for four short days before flying back to the city, we had a great time and I'm so thankful for such a fun, loving family. I'm already looking forward to the next time I can see everyone again.