This year for Christmas, my family gathered here in West Virginia. Earlier this year, my parents moved to Utah from Virginia, where they had lived for over 30 years. I have a brother in Utah, a brother in Virginia…as of three days ago, and a sister in Virginia. At Christmas time, my brother who lives in Virginia was actually living in San Francisco. Needless to say, it was awesome that we were able to gather from across the country to be together for Christmas.
We started off the family Christmas celebrations the Friday before Christmas with a dinner at Maggiano’s (sadly, my brother from Utah didn’t arrive until Sunday). I love Maggiano’s and I love my family, so this was a win/win situation for me haha.
My brother from San Francisco spent the weekend before Christmas looking for housing in Virginia in anticipation for his big move across the country. My parents and my sister finished their Christmas shopping. John, David, and I laid low and hung out at home. We also FaceTimed with John’s parents and sister and opened up the presents they had given us and we had given them.
On Christmas Eve, we gathered together at our house with my Wagner cousins, my uncles Carl and Markus, and John’s Uncle David. I cooked a ham for the first time. It was super easy, but unfortunately the glaze got everywhere. (Note to self: Glaze the ham in the roasting pan, not on the serving tray). Since I was nearly seven months pregnant at the time, I couldn’t see that I had gotten glaze all over the bottom of my shirt. Thankfully my sister pointed it out before anyone noticed – ha!
Dinner was delicious. Everyone contributed and there were so many tasty sides. After dinner, we read scriptures from the Bible and Book of Mormon that talk about Christ’s birth. In between passages of scripture, we would pause and sing carols. I love this tradition. My family is a musical family, and I love hearing all our voices blend together as we sing songs about the birth of the Savior. It’s one of my favorite parts of Christmas. Afterwards, we had our traditional White Elephant gift exchange. (Earlier in the day, John, my brothers, and I played Dance Dance Revolution. My parents had given us their two DDR mats and game before they moved. I haven’t played that game in years, but I still love it! I may consider it as an option for post-baby workouts haha).
On Christmas Day, we kept things pretty low key. We all slept in (including David) and then opened presents. We had a late brunch, which included an omelette bar and Monkey Bread. That afternoon we watched the movie “Collateral Beauty.” The movie got terrible reviews, but it is one of my all-time favorite movies. It takes place at Christmas time, so even though it’s not a Christmas movie, it seemed fitting to watch it. That night my dad made baked Ziti for dinner, which was so good (I love Italian food!). And we ended the night with some games.
Some other fun things we did during the Christmas break were visiting the National Christmas Tree and going on a nature walk in Harpers Ferry. Below are pictures of these outings!