This year, we were in Richmond for Christmas. With my parents being in two different towns, then Bryan's parents in a whole different state, we still end up spreading Christmas over a minimum of three days. Bryan and I were both very last minute on the Christmas shopping, so Christmas Eve we both spent out with the very sparse crowds (wow, definitely noticeable how bad the economy is this year!).
Christmas morning we got up and checked out what Santa brought (a Roomba for me and a fridge for Bryan's office, among many other things), then got our acts together to head down to Grandma's. My dad and Brenda were headed to see her family in Lynchburg in the afternoon, so we had an early Christmas with them. We had a little time after my dad left before we needed to be at my aunt's house, so we went by and visited my Papa and Sandra (my paternal grandfather and stepgrandmother). It was fun to see them--this was my Papa's first Christmas off after working shiftwork at Honeywell (formerly Allied Chemical) for 44 years! And what was he doing? He was about to take a nap! He said he figures after all those years he's earned the right to do whatever he wants on Christmas! Unfortunately my uncle Steve was sick, so we didn't get to see him, but we did leave a few treats and a gift on the porch for him. It wasn't until we drove off that I realized that since I had been planning to hand it to him, I hadn't put a gift tag on it! When I talked to him the next day, he said he hadn't eaten the cupcakes because he didn't know who they were from! Duh, Lydia! :)
Then it was on to Aunt Elaine's for Christmas dinner. This year, my cousin Shane's son got Rock Band for his Playstation (or whatever system plays that game), and we all played for a bit before dinner. I have to say, I think my 6th grade All-County Band percussionist skills are not totally lost--I did a pretty decent job on the drums for someone who had never played that game! (And since I know you read this, Nikole, every time I think of 6th grade band I think of All County Band and playing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" next to you! :))
The day after Christmas, after Bryan got off work, we headed up to Staunton to do Christmas with my mom and brother and sister. My mom had recently gone through a bunch of old boxes she had in storage, and so her Christmas tree was full of some of my Nana's ornaments. It was nice to have Nana there with us that way. My mom also found several of my old letters to Santa and put those in an album with some Christmas pictures from my early years, and that was truly a treasure. Apparently I was really into markers and coloring books as a child. :)
After a few hours with mom, it was on to Pennsylvania! We got to Bryan's parents' around 3am and hit the sack to get some rest before the Klinger Family Christmas on Saturday. Jan made a lovely dinner and we exchanged gifts. Bryan and I got our nephew Joey the game "Guess Who?" And I realized that when I bought that, perhaps I was kind of buying it for myself? I think Joey and I played that for a good three hours over the weekend. :)
We stayed until after the Eagles kicked the Cowboys' butts, and then came back home where my mom, brother and sister were just completing their Chester visits, and invited them to spend the night at our house rather than driving back to the mountains. We enjoyed just hanging out with them on Monday... we don't get to do that enough! It was Monday that we finally managed to get our annual Christmas picture together. :)
Finally, we spent New Year's Eve in Virginia Beach with my friend Frane (aka Jen). Frane was my college roommate, and NYE was her 30th birthday, so she figured what better time to have a party?! We had a good time, and after ringing in the New Year, someone decided to turn on the Wii and play bowling. I tried it the first time and came in last place out of four, and then the next two times I won!! Don't ask me how. I've never played before in my life. But somehow I was hitting strike after strike! I even got a Turkey! Which I think is 4 strikes in a row. Whatever it was, it was awesome! :)
It was fun to hang out with my dear Frane... I don't get to see enough of her!
And then, it was 2009. :)