Just so we’re clear, we will be discussing Christmas with my mother’s side of the family.
Not with this guy:
Are we all on the same page now? Good.
So, Conway Christmas has become a tradition (can 2 in a row be a tradition?) and this year my sister hosted. For the inaugural edition, click here.
Highlights of the night:
The children. Christmas is so much more enjoyable with little kids. They laughed and played and screeched and cried and it was wonderful.
(house rule, no playing in Uncle Chaj’s weight room unless Uncle Chaj is there. But, boy, do they love playing in there when he allows it)
Tommy playing darts with Simon–Arionna supervises by picking up any that land on the floor and handing them back. Mostly to Simon, whom she adores.
“Little” Royce, the youngest child, who, at 15 months, is six months younger than Arionna and about 7 pounds heavier–and nearly as tall.
He’s only freaked out bc I am taking a picture. He was LOVING playing tea party with Danica. These two are only two weeks apart in age.
Present chaos. We only do kid presents (sort of–the hostess gets a gift–and Uncle Dave and Aunt Pam buy a case of wine and give everyone a bottle).
Simon got a guitar and Arionna got a crystal wine glass. I snapped this and noticed through the camera what she was doing. I snatched it from her only seconds later.
My mother is demonstrating something, I don’t know what. I just like that she somehow captured everyone’s attention.
Royce is fascinated at this straw process and really hoping the second one was for him. (it was).
The randomness of children at play.
Of course, it was wonderful to see the adults and to catch up. There were some nice moments there, as well.
Grandfather/grandson. And–that kid is 15 months! (And that is my Uncle Bri, of whom there was no photo from last year)
A candid group shot. That is most of us. Maybe 4-5 missing?
Starting at the left, my cousin Jake, his brother Rory, his mom Carole, his dad Brian, Jake’s son Royce, and my Aunt Pam, who doesn’t fit in that immediate family, but was in the picture anyway.
Jake and Rory.
The corner dwellers.
With my niece and my cousin Tommy.
Think these two are buddies? She was amidst all the chaos and then walked over to Uncle Zack and held up her arms.
One of my favorite pictures of the night. Zack and Jake are the same age and were very close as children. They were standing there talking when Arionna wanted to be picked up and then Jake’s son Royce did as well. Then, while holding the babies, they both turned back to watch football. They just stood there, watching football, holding the babies.
It just makes me laugh.
Think this guy needs another kid?
My sister, reading to her daughter, in the middle of the storm. I love stolen moments like this one.
Definitely needs more kids. He’s been spilled on, kicked and punched, hair pulled–and still he wrestles and plays, with all of them at once, so no one feels left out. He didn’t get tired, he didn’t stop, just kept on being the cool, fun uncle. Only when the parents made the children leave did he stop.
That one’s going in a frame, too. That’s my cousin Tommy, one of my favorite people in the world. I just love that picture.
There is nothing spectacular here, except that it is totally my mom. I’ve seen that look on her face before, I’ve seen her point her hand like that before, I can hear her voice. From her expression, she is talking about a memory. Do you remember the time that we… or something similar. It just makes me happy.
And, of course, in a new twist, we added a family game component. Simon was gifted with Jenga. He was unimpressed. But, Uncle Bri loves playing Jenga, with his grandkids. Jenga, as it turns out is a great game for kids–teaches balance, gentleness, carefulness, patience, strategy and gives an understanding of support and structure. Uncle Bri played with the kids most of the evening–until eventually others were drafted into the game.
See how intent they all are?
When his 75th consecutive game of Jenga got to be too much, Simon borrowed my camera to take pictures. Here are a few of his gems:
That’s Uncle Zack’s hands straightening the tower to start a new game–I just love this picture. It’s like art.
He caught Uncle Chaj–and about a millisecond later, the tower fell. It’s why Uncle Zack is laughing so hard in the background.
Simon then strayed from Jenga photos to random candids about the room.
I like this shot of Rory–because of his Autism, he’s a source of fascination and wonder to the children.
And, without question, my favorite. That’s pretty amazing for a 4-year-old.
Then, he gave the camera back and went to do this:
He’s struggling to keep his eyes open at this point. Moments later, he’s in Grandma’s lap, sound asleep. As she prepared to leave, I held him. Of course, he’s 50 pounds of dead weight, just hanging in my arms. After about 10 minutes, I was tapped and Uncle Zack offered to take him.
(It’s a little creepy how his one eye looks open.) And he was so zonked, being passed around didn’t wake him. Being carried out into the cold didn’t wake him. Strapping him into the carseat didn’t wake him. Carrying him in and changing him into pajamas and putting him in bed didn’t wake him. Maybe we shouldn’t keep him up until midnight?
Overall, it was a wonderful evening, I enjoyed it very much. It marked the final Christmas celebration of the year and it is nice to have things get back to normal. Christmas is amazing and magical and wondrous, but it can also be loud and long and exhausting, not to mention expensive.
I’ll leave you with this last piece of wonder. Why is it that children find it interesting to take pictures of themselves making weird faces? They all do it. Give them a camera and they’ll screw up their face and point it at themselves.
Case in point:
I love that little weirdo.