Christmas 2010 (Part One)

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We did something different for Christmas this year… we got the heck out of town! Last year, after spending most of another Christmas in the car driving from one end of the bay area to the other, we decided it was time to slow it down, and we made plans to spend the holiday up in Grass Valley, with Jamie's dad and stepmom. It actually worked out really well, since my sister and her family were making similar plans to travel to Colorado!
We drove up on Christmas Eve after Jamie got off work (advantage of travelling on Christmas Eve evening? ZERO traffic!) We got to Ed and Lucinda's in time for Max to spend some time with Lucinda and to get reaquainted with Auntie Amelia.
Reading books by the tree and homemade french onion soup made for a wonderful evening for all of us!

While Jamie and I chowed down on the amazing soup, Amelia entertained Max with her amazing gravity defying stacking abilities, which truly fascinated him!

After putting Max to bed (probably our last Christmas Eve without a fight, although keeping him up until after 10pm probably didn't hurt our efforts! LOL) we got to work setting out presents and filling stockings.
Make mental note: When both parents and grandparents are separately shopping for stocking stuffers, be grateful for a gigantic stocking that's as long as the child in question! Exhibit A: Max's stocking. Notice that it continues all the way down to the bottom left corner of the photo!

Max woke up at around 7:45 on Christmas morning, and we were able to get him to climb in bed with us for about 10 minutes of snuggles before heading out to the living room… again, I'm pretty sure we won't be able to pull that off next year!
This photo is actually a recreation, but it's pretty accurate as far as his reaction:

And this is what he saw:

There were stockings for everyone; bubbles, lottery tickets, chocolate, kazoos and chapsticks all around!

Gas to get to Grass Valley: $15 • Four pack of kazoos: $1 • The in-laws serenading us with a rousing kazoo rendition of Jingle Bells: Priceless! (Catching a photo of it? Priceless-er!)
And the gifts, oh, the gifts! There were lots of handmade presents; a _____ that Max made for Lucinda (Nana and Auntie Katie haven't gotten theirs yet, so I'll update this next week!), a navigation sign for the end of their driveway, made by all 3 of us, handknit socks that Amelia made for her mom, Ed gave me an *amazing* sketch of Max (The only gift to make me cry this Christmas), and had gave Jamie a #7 Stanley handplane that he restored himself (shown below… yes, it's really that big!) ,homemade peach jam… so much love and thought went into the creation of these amazing things.

Add to the list of “Things We Won't Be Able to Get Away with Next Christmas” Taking a break in the middle of gift opening for breakfast (Homemade cinnamon rolls with raisins and/or pecans!)
It was really nice, taking our time opening gifts and really just enjoying the morning.
When every last box was opened, we just spent the rest of the day (well, until lunch!) lounging, checking out new goodies (so many books for me to read!)

We were sad to have to get on the road at 3 in the afternoon, because Jamie had to work today (Sunday) but there was, as always, a silver lining! (Or in this case, a diamond one!) Our good friends, the same guest of honor from this party I blogged about recently, always throw a party the evening of Christmas Day… we've gone the majority of the years we've been together, always making an appearance after all of our other family commitments are done. They live up in Vallejo, so even just driving from my sister's house, it's a bit out of the way. Well, driving from Grass Valley made it 100% ON the way, and we were thrilled to get there early this year! We planned to stay for an hour or so, but as soon as we got there (at about 6pm) Ray pulled us aside and whispered “Pssst! I'm proposing to Jess at 9! Can you guys stay?” Hey, I'm a girl; I can't NOT be present at a proposal if I know about it, let alone if I love both parts of the couple!
We were thrilled and honored to be a part of this Christmas turned engagement celebration, and can't wait to celebrate the marriage itself next year!

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