This is us at Christmas. As I blogged before about my family and our times together in the past, I didn’t blog about how Christmas continues and is still young on my husbands side. Ivan is the oldest in his family, then 4 sisters follow. Grandchildren out number the adults by 2 to 1. Locally, 10 grandchildren range in ages 15-2. A sister lives in Idaho and currently has 9 children (that number is always subject to change). They do not join us every year, but their presence is felt with songs they leave on Grandmas phone. I tease a little and call it the 13 hour Christmas. We all show up to prep for breakfast, which is a display that would put any bed and breakfast to shame. The days events include children playing as hard and fast as they possible can, my husband and our brother in-laws play a full bore game of Whitetailopoly, and like daddies like sons theres a game of Penn Stateopoly happening at the same time with the forth slot filled by Hannah, who’d rather be doing what the boys are doing. Snacks and punch (this year we served snowman punch) are put out around 1 o’clock, along with homemade snack mixes, popcorn, and fruit. The gift exchange is quite the event. Grandma makes sure each grandchild has a Christmas stocking hung on the fireplace mantel, each one with an age appropriate toy, activities book, and candy. Name exchange happens in the fall, usually on our way to our Lancaster shopping day. The name reveal begins with the youngest first. “Who has Kates name? ” We watch each one open their gift, then Grandma and Grandpa hand out their presents and at the very end we shower them with either a big one from all of us or some years we are on our own. Before the gift exchange we gather and sing Christmas carols, we sound pretty good, I must say. The evening meal highlight is shrimp (for most) and there’s ham, salad, hot veg, hot starch, and for dessert ice cream, pie, and tons of Christmas cookies. This is the Christmas that our son will remember, and I am so glad that our Christmas is meaningful and full of excitement and fun.