California Christmas

4:34 PM

Spencer and I got to fly out to California to celebrate Christmas with our family. We were there about a week, so we got a good amount of time to visit with family we don't see often.

The evening we got there, Kaley's family was getting together to decorate chocolate houses. My mother and grandmother have opted for self-constructed chocolate houses over classical gingerbread or graham cracker the past few years. They have molds in which they pour melted chocolate and let harden to form chocolate houses. There were many that evening awaiting decoration from all the kids. Spencer and I couldn't miss out on the fun. Spencer's main focus was his "wall" or pretzel fence around his house. He called it "Trump's Wall." We enjoyed spending the time catching up with cousins and other family members.

Spencer's family had an ugly Christmas sweater party the following day. We planned out our sweaters beforehand, but left the construction of them for when we were in Cali. Spencer went as Rudolph, and I a Christmas tree. We found our brown and green sweaters at Goodwill in Roswell. I also found a tree-like and ribbon garland for a steal. We picked up ornaments and antlers at Walmart. I also stuffed some socks to use as antlers on Spencer's sleeves, but i couldn't think of a way to keep them in place and prevent gravity from pulling them downwards, so we ended up leaving that part off.

I hand-stitched two white circles I cut out from rags onto the sweater for eyes, followed by cut out blue duct tape for the pupils. Rudolph's nose was blown out of a red balloon that was safety-pinned on the middle of the sweater. We even found a pair of bells while checking out at Kmart in Cali to add to his costume.

My mother helped put mine together, since I needed to be wearing it to see where everything should be. She safety pinned the garlands around me and hung me with ornaments. I had brought a small star ornament to hold for my star, but she had a better one hanging from the ceiling that she hot-glued to a headband for me to wear. Out of the closet, she pulled out a set of battery-powered lights to complete the effect. The tree won by a landslide at the party, but Rudolph did come in second.

Christmas eve we accompanied Spencer's family to church. We sung songs and listened to the sermon before going back to the house to play Settlers of Catan. We hadn't played before, but his family was eager to introduce us, as it is a new favorite of theirs. Star Wars was also a must see while we were in town, and we made sure to get to the theater over an hour in advance to get good seats.

The day of Christmas we split up between families. We got to spend parts of the morning with both families, having a big Christmas breakfast with his family and opening gifts/stockings at both. 

My extended family does a service project every year Christmas day, the past few years being caroling at an assisted living home. We were glad that we were able to add our voices to theirs this year in the spreading of Christmas cheer.

Following caroling, we went back to my grandparents' house for other family traditions including a talent show, nativity scene play, singing the 12 Days of Christmas song in which each of us has a part, and white elephant gift exchange.

Our flight home was very early Sunday morning after Christmas.  I had already gotten my tears out, so we were clear for take off. We were thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the holiday with our loved ones.

Spencer's on left. Mine on right.

Christmas Day I set my camera on the tripod so we could snap a few family pictures.

Christmas day. Warming up our voices, getting ready to carol.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer

Partaking in more tradition.

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