We took a page out of Christmas Vacation and decided to host everyone at our house this year.
"Everyone" included Leah's parents, Leah's Aunt Margaret, my parents and my brother Neal. Arrivals began on the Monday before Christmas and everyone was accounted for my by mid-day on Christmas Eve.
The fun part was that the last time this whole group was together was probably our wedding over 7 years ago, so there was plenty of catching up to do. The difficult part was where to put everyone.
Leah and I stayed in the girl's room with Ellie on a sleeping bag in between us, Ansley Mills moved in with Addis and my parents moved into our room with Neal on an air mattress on the floor. Leah's parents were supposed to be in the basement guest room with Aunt Margaret on the basement couch, but Vic and Margaret switched places due to a few "sleeping issues."
While it was a bit packed, I think it ended up working out well and everyone stayed happy.The time together, good food, seeing our kids interact with all of our family together and Christmas morning were certainly a part of what made this Christmas so wonderful, but the clear highlight was our Christmas Eve activity that may now become a yearly tradition.
Our church was not doing a Christmas Eve service, so we decided a good way to cement Addis' arrival this year and introduce our family to some Ethiopian culture was to take everyone for a meal of ethnic cuisine at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. Our good friends, the Lokkesmoes and their two kids, also joined us for what was a wonderful evening.
We went to Dukem, and because Christmas Eve happened to fall on a Wednesday night, we were treated not only to wonderful food, but also to a show of traditional Ethiopian music and dancing. We were proud of everyone's flexibility on the food and I think all genuinely enjoyed the fare. Addis, was the star of the night and got passed around the restaurant. It was also awesome to see all the kids dancing to some of the music.
Overall, this Christmas was great. The verdict is still out on having everyone every year, but it was a good one nonetheless.
Ellie's new Sleeping Beauty Doll and Ansley Mill's with her Nemo lovey
Ellie, Kolton, Ansley Mills and a new friend dancing at Dukem
Leah sitting next to Santa's footprints on Christmas morning