Well it is always nice to go home...even when everyone can't be there! It is still hard for me to believe even almost 2 and half years later that my mom will not be there when we get there. I sometimes pretend she will or is just in another room. Her things are really all still there and it gives so much comfort. My dad is ALWAYS thrilled to have us there and it really lifts his spirits when the house is full of the noise from grandchildren. This year of course we had one more in the bunch.
We arrived to Charlottesville with 5 minutes to spare at Katie (my sister) and Haley's (my niece) church Christmas performance. They were reading together for the Advent Candle Lighting and then Haley was in the Christmas Pageant. It was a wonderful service and even better because it was at 5:00 and not later that night. We enjoyed the service and the time to slow down to remember Christ is the reason for the season!! My dad and sister Laurie were also there for the service. After church we all headed back to my dad's where the cooking began...we enjoyed lots of yummy appetizers and deserts. A few last minute additions did not make the cut since Todd could not find a grocery store open and Wal-Mart had police out in front stopping all new customers from entering. As always we had plenty to eat and did just that! Emily got some fun play time with Bridget, Laurie's dog!!
The next morning we got up and opened presents youngest to oldest of course, our family tradition! Then it was off to fix our traditional Christmas breakfast! The biggest part of that tradition is the Oyster Stew...something my mom and dad always made for Christmas morning. It was not always enjoyed by us 4 girls but slowly over the years we have all grown to appreciate the taste and some even enjoy it but we always have to have it because it just wouldn't be Christmas morning without it!! Anne & Eric and their children joined us that afternoon for a Christmas Day dinner as well as spending the night to have some more family time! It was a great Christmas...was even white!!