Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Family: Wrapped up with one another.



"The best Christmas of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another."

- Author Unknown


One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the time shared as we gather together as families to celebrate this special holiday. Such was the case for us this weekend. We had an extended weekend together as a family, wrapped up with love and laughter with one another at my parent's home. My childhood home where I have so many fond memories of Christmas with family. What a beautiful and tender way for us to welcome the Christmas season into our hearts.

It has been a long standing tradition for our family to celebrate Christmas with my mother's extended family, the Kruegers. We fondly refer to this holiday celebration as the Krueger Christmas. As a child, we celebrated this annual event at my parent's home...nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas at our home out in the country. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from Dallas would make the trip to our home each year for this special holiday celebration on Christmas Day. They would usually arrive at our house around 1:00 pm each Christmas Day and my brothers and I welcomed them with such excitement and anticipation. What fun we all had together....laughing, playing, opening presents and having our annual Christmas lunch together. My mother's brothers, Uncle Bill and Uncle Kerry, would usually bring water guns and have a water gun fight in the house just to irritate my mom (their sister). It was hilarious to watch them run around chasing each other all the while my mother would be chasing them around yelling at them to not get her furniture wet! And it never failed that my grandmother, Mimi, would show up wearing her Christmas sweatshirt which had a Christmas tree spread across the front side with battery operated lights that sparkled and lit up. Mimi and Pawpaw loved Christmas and enjoyed making it magical for their children and grandchildren. Each year, the gift exchanges with the family were always great fun.

Now, years later.... it is not as easy to get everyone together for this holiday tradition. Over the years our family has grown, we, the kids have grown into adulthood, married and started our own families. We have spread out all over the place demographically and then coupled with everyone's busy work schedules, it seems to make it more and more difficult to gather together for this event. I have not been able to attend the Krueger Christmas in 3 years, which has made me so sad. Fortunately though, the Hubby, Little Man and I were able to make the family get-together this year. And what fun memories were made!!

On Friday night, prior to all the Kruegers arriving Saturday, my brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews gathered at my parent's home for some family time and to take photos in front of the Christmas tree. We were also so happy to have my grandmother, Nanny, there with us. Nanny is my Dad's mom and sadly, she has been in poor health lately, so we weren't sure if she would be able to make it. What a treat it was to have her there this weekend to share in the celebration and to join us for the family photos. Nanny is 85 years old and is as feisty as ever!! She is my last living grandparent and I consider myself so very fortunate to still have her in my life. Even moreso, what a blessing it is to me that she has had the opportunity to know my son and her other great-grandchildren.



Mother asked that we all be there by Friday night so we could do the family photo. My sister-in-law Katherine is our resident professional photographer...woo-hoo!! She had her work cut out for her with this "wild -n-woolly" gang! By 9:30 that night, we finally had everyone there to begin the photo shoot.

And let me tell you...it was quite a feat getting all the kids dressed in their Christmas outfits...particularly my dear son. He was not happy about having to wear a bow-tie. It took some bribing and coaxing from both the Hubby and myself to get him to keep it on. All the parents were afraid it was going to be a nightmare trying to take all the photos so late at night, but in the end, it went off much more smoothly than we expected. The kids were great!



From left to right all the cousins: Marcus, Ava (holding Kinsey), Little Man, Lola and Beck.




My brother Brent and his family.


My other brother, Jeff and his family.




And Katherine...how did we not get a photo of you, Brian and the girls?? I'm so sad about that.


My parents, KiKi and Poppy, with all of their grandkids. Poor Baby Kinsey...at this point, it was way past her bedtime! She had been patient long enough and was ready to be sleeping in her comfy bed.



It was nice having some time before and after the photo shoot to hang out together and catch up with everyone. I so cherish times like this with my extended family.






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Mom and Katherine checking out the pics from the photo shoot.




Nanny especially enjoyed getting to enjoy some quality time with her great-grandchildren. Here she is snuggling with my niece, Lola.


BB and Jeff catching up










The kids enjoying hang out time on my parent's den floor while watching Nemo...


Nanny fell in love with Katherine's i-Pad...and well, I must admit, I did, too!! Wow, they are really cool...I may have to add this to my Santa wish list this year...;-)

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It is tradition for the kids to get pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve...my great-grandmother, Big Mama, would buy my brothers and I our Christmas pajamas each year. My parents are continuing this tradition with their grandkids. Here are their Christmas pajamas for 2010.

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Lined up in the hallway...yet another Christmas tradition for our family. Now our kiddos get to do the same thing.

Our Friday night Family night was great fun. It warms my heart to see my son and nieces and nephews make special Christmas memories together in my childhood home.

By Saturday, the Kruegers had arrived in town and the house was busting at the seams...literally-- full of laughter, energy and Christmas fun. I look forward to sharing more pics of our wonderful Krueger Christmas weekend!!

XOXO...

Jennifer

4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful family you have! I enjoyed seeing all the little families combined with your parents and Nanny in the group photo. The kids outfits are darling. You son looked so cute in his bowtie and I'm glad you were able to convince him to keep it on.

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  2. Thanks, Kelly! We will cherish these pictures over the years.

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  3. These photos are beautiful! I love seeing your Nanny Katie with the Ipad. I miss her! Merry Christmas Jennifer!

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  4. Merry Christmas, to you, too...Jennifer! It's great to hear from you. I'll tell Nanny you said hello.

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